writing & productivity

The Minimal Writing Laptop

My poor laptop has seen better days. By virtue of being a piece of technology in the modern age, being 7 years old means it is painfully out of date. Progress has marched on, but it has not, and its welded 2GB RAM are not enough to handle more than two or three internet tabs.

I’m fortunate that I was able to afford my shiny desktop, and work provides a laptop, so my personal laptop falling behind the times isn’t a big deal. But where it has been able to shine is in its steady and only half-planned transformation into a minimal writing laptop.

With the laptop not able to handle much anyway, I slowly uninstalled most of the programs. Goodbye Broken Age, lovingly reinstalled on the desktop to finally finish one day; Picasa too, since all my photo drive storage and upload management is done on the more powerful desktop now. VLC, Simple Comic, and all my other “fun time” apps are gone. What does that leave me with?

  1. Some miscellaneous tools for work: TextWrangler, KeyNote, The Unarchiver. Sometimes if you gotta do work at home it’s more tolerable doing it lying down in front of a laptop.
  2. Evernote, Dropbox, Jumpcut and Quicksilver. Always required.
  3. Skype, because I call my family early in the morning and sometimes I can’t quite get out of bed.
  4. And Scrivener, my go-to for all my writing projects and management.

Plus all those annoying system apps that I know, from painful experience, cannot be uninstalled without dire consequences.

Of the above list, the only two real requirements for my minimal writing laptop are Scrivener, to do the actual writing, and Dropbox, to backup and sync the writing between computers. But minimalism comes in stages I suppose, and I haven’t quite escaped using my laptop for things besides writing. Still, it’s getting there, and maybe its dedication to a single task will encourage some more dedication in me too.