PC to Mac and Back Part Deux

This article should really be subtitled “I Haven’t Looked Back.” Last year, I wrote about my switch from a PC to a Mac, and then back to a PC. In the last thirteen months, I’ve been happily working away on the Samsung Series 9 I purchased in May of 2014. It has honestly fulfilled my initial requirements by being lightweight, having a bright monitor, and to my ongoing surprise it continues to start-up and respond quickly. I’ve never gotten 10 hours of battery life as promised (and the battery won’t charge more than 80%), but I haven’t been willing to make adjustments to my settings to get it there.

I was fortunate at the time of purchase that my new machine came with a Windows 7 operating system. It eased the transition to a new machine without having to learn yet another new operating system. Probably the biggest surprise: my new machine took less than a day to get up and running! Gone were the days when it took a week to 10 days to load operating systems, configure internet and settings, load applications, and transfer data. No more transfer cables, no fuss, and no muss.

I will acknowledge that much of that simplification is due to the fact that I store very little on my machine. I converted LVS Strategies to Microsoft Office 365 prior to my decision to “come back,” so installing the Office Suite, downloading the apps, and setting them up took minutes rather than days. The remaining applications, including Adobe Acrobat, QuickBooks, etc. were quickly and easily installed.

Making life even simpler, several years ago I moved “My Documents” to Dropbox. So while my files are duplicated on my hard drive, I no longer needed to copy them by cable or transfer them across the network.

The Next Steps

While most of my old issues were resolved, new issues were cropping up. Not with my machine, mind you, but rather how we do business. Working with a growing group of marketers, designers, writers, and clients, the need to share large files and manage revisions was time consuming and we managed versioning manually.

In April, LVS moved to a private cloud provided by cloud service provider Uptime Legal (in full disclosure, Uptime Legal is a client of LVS and we pay for the services they provide). Using our client’s services and applications has helped us understand their offerings and experience their support, but more importantly, it has brought us a new and simplified system for working collaboratively with our team and our clients.

Uptime’s document and email management application, LegalWorks, solved several issues for us. First, the document organization, versioning, and file sharing keep our client files organized and available to the team that is working with them. Second, we store and share large files (graphics files are often several hundred megabytes, making them too large for email transfer or free transfer services such as Hightail). Now we have a system, with permissions, where we can share files with our team, clients, and even outside providers such as printing companies.

Best of all, LegalWorks stores emails like other documents. In Outlook, I can save/drag an email to a selected LegalWorks folder. Now I have my emails, Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, graphic files and more organized in one place, and accessible to those with permission. As a marketing and consulting organization, we use ‘Matters’ for projects and topics rather than cases, but the way we work and the need to share documents internally and externally is the same as a law firm.

On the Horizon

I really love my laptop! It’s feather-like weight makes it an easy traveling companion, especially on long flights. The full power and functionality means I can work efficiently in a hotel room, airport, or client site (although I do miss my 27” dual-screen office set up).

I’m about ten months from replacing my laptop on my two-year schedule. I’ve been admiring the Lenovo, but I’m not certain that I really want or need a multi-function touch screen computer.

What I am leaning toward is replacing my iPad3 with the Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10. It seems to me that it offers almost all of the computing power, with the portability of a tablet. If I go in that direction, I likely will keep my current laptop another year or two and use the Surface for traveling.

And What About the Mac?

I must admit, I still love my Mac. It’s sleek and beautiful. I even turn it on occasionally to marvel at its beauty. I keep my Mac up to date with my Exchange email and cloud access. The one feature I miss most is the Spotlight Search. With the Apple iOS, I can quickly and easily search every document, file, and email for any combination of terms. When I find myself spending time looking for a document I will flip open the Mac and locate the file I am looking for, regardless of folders, date created, or file type. I wish Microsoft could do that!

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