Hello, nice of you to drop by. My name is Sven Fechner and I live in Germany working as a 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 productivity and apple things here – very much from a usage point of view as there are more than enough mac news blogs and “analysts” (you can’t call John Gruber that, can you?) around already. Lately I have been focussing a lot of my posts on the efficient use of OmniFocus by the OmniGroup. I am not associated with OmniGroup in any form or shape, but highly endorse their products. Many technology, usability 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 37 years old, married, two kids and enjoy mountain biking and cooking.
My blog has been around many platforms and by now I am an migration expert. While it is now on WordPress hosted by the amazing WPEngine, it has been with Squarespace and Tumblr before. There are little other bells and whistles as I keep things as simple as I can. I use Markdown for the majority of my writing here and post either via MarsEdit on the Mac or Poster on iOS.
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 2nd generation MacBook Air 11” with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD hooked to a 27” Apple Thunderbolt Display when working at home
- iPad 3rd generation 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 1st generation MacBook Air 11”, a standard MacBook Pro 15.4”, a 1st generation iPad 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.
- While I enjoyed Postbox Mail.app remains my weapon of choice to fight the daily email storm
- 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 reference material (together with my Doxie scanner I am practically paperless)
- I jot quick notes down in nvALT and sync them via Dropbox to use them with Byword on my iPad
- When brainstorming I use MindNode Pro, 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 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
The rest is plain simple Mac OS X and Apple’s iLife with the odd little helper app. As said, I do own lots of other software, which I only use occasionally for special tasks (e.g. Pixelmator, OmniGraffle Pro and others).
These are the blogs and news sources I look at when I have time
- Shawn Blanc
- Daring Fireball
- Minimal Mac
- A Better Mess
- The usual Apple news sources
- Back to Work (Podcast)
- Enough (Podcast)
- Mac Power Users (Podcast)