Hello, what an honour to see you in my little cabin on the internet! My name is Sven Fechner and I live in Germany working as a Sales Manager for Cisco Systems Services in Europe. Stuff that you read on this blog is my opinion and not the one of my employer. I mainly post about Creativity, Productivity and Technology here – very much from a practical point of view since you'll find more than enough technology news and "life hacking" sites out there.
I have been focussing a lot of my posts on the efficient use of OmniFocus by the OmniGroup. Therefore I should clarify that I am not associated with OmniGroup in any form or shape, but highly endorse their products. I am also not a part of the OmniGroup support team which is awesome, by the way.
Many Technology, Creativity and Productivity blogs are written by self-employed folks or freelancer which I appreciate. Working for a large, global corporation that needs processes and systems to glue everything together may allow me to write about these topics from a slightly different angle and hopefully in a useful and entertaining way.
I live in the city of Mercedes, Porsche and Bosch: Stuttgart, Germany. I am 38 years old, married with two kids and enjoy mountain biking and cooking.
Lots of people switch their todo list application every few weeks hoping to get more productive. I switch blogging platforms hoping my writing gets better.
Seriously, my blog has been around many platforms and by now I am a migration expert. It has been on WordPress hosted by the amazing WPEngine, Squarespace and Tumblr before. It's not any of these platforms — all of them are amazing in their field and I highly recommend all of them — it's me.
Right now the site is served by the file-based Content Management System Kirby which natively supports Markdown which is how I write. The amazingly easy-to-use and inexpensive Virtual Private Service hosting company DigitalOcean is where my little internet cabin in hosted.
Beyond that there are little other bells and whistles as I keep things as simple as I can. Byword is my preferred text editor on Mac OS X and while I also use it on iOS I tend to use Editorial more. I am using Dropbox to publish to my blog from my Mac or iPad, Espresso and Transmit for the little development work I am doing on my cabin.
My work requires me to travel quite a bit through Europe and when not on the run I tend to work either from Cisco’s corporate office in downtown Stuttgart or my home office, which is located in the basement of our house and pictured below.
My family and I own far too much Apple gear. However, we have consolidated and simplified a bit recently. Here is what I currently use:
- The last generation MacBook Air 13” with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD hooked to a 27” Apple Thunderbolt Display when working at home
- iPad Mini 1st generation (non-retina) which evolved into a real business device, sometimes even used exclusively when travelling
- iPhone 5 as my one and only mobile device
- The rest of the family uses a 2nd generation MacBook Air 11”, another non-retina iPad Mini, a 1st generation iPad, a iPhone 4s and an AppleTV (2nd generation)
How I roll
I try to keep things as simple as I can, but not for just simplicity’s sake. It’s more, like Merlin Mann said, keeping it appropriate. Consequently I try to keep the number of tools and applications down to my main needs, although I own far too many licenses of far too many tools. But then again I did my fair share of supporting the incredible creative indie Mac development community.
- I am on Exchange and therefore have not too many options. There fore Mail.app is my weapon of choice fighting the daily email storm. I use it pretty much as is with only UniversalMailer and the OmniFocus Clip-O-Tron plugin installed
- To make calendaring more enjoyable, I use the gorgeous Fantastical most of the time
- OmniFocus is my externalised brain and runs on all my devices
- Working for a big corporation requires me to stick with Microsoft Office for Mac 2011,
although I wish I could use iWork instead
- Dropbox keeps my life in sync
- Evernote holds all my notes and reference material (together with my Doxie scanner I am practically paperless)
- When brainstorming I use MindNode which is the most simplistic and beautiful mind mapping software for the Mac & iOS
- 1Password is my only place for super secure passwords. Love it.
- I journal in Day One on my Mac and my on-the-road devices designed in California, manufactured in China
- I stick with Tweetbot as Twitter client for Mac and iOS
- Alfred launches things and allows me do stick with keyboard navigation for most procedures
- Smile Software’s TextExpander helps me type less and a few other helpers keep my system functioning
There are some more little helpers and applications that keep me spinning through the workday and you can read about those in my The Fresh Mac Install post.
These are the blogs and news sources I look at when I have time
- Shawn Blanc
- 512 Pixels
- Daring Fireball
- Minimal Mac
- A Better Mess
- The Energy Project
- The usual Apple news sources
- Back to Work (Podcast)
- Mac Power Users (Podcast)
Want to get in touch? Awesome. Refer to the contacts options to reach me.