I bared my Air. And a few other things.
A few nights ago I came home, reformatted my MacBook Air, and laid down a fresh install of macOS Sierra. I did not restore from backup (although most of my files are in iCloud Drive, so it’s not like there was massive data loss). I did not reinstall any social media. The list of apps I reinstalled is very, very small:
- The iWork Suite
- Instapaper extension
I have 209GB free of a 256GB SSD. Once iCloud finishes its syncing I expect that number to go down. But not by much. I turned on the iCloud Drive Optimization to keep it from syncing the whole damn iCloud Drive. I don’t care that I don’t have all my files on there all the time. The amount of time I use the MacBook and I’m not on a WiFi connection is slim. If that happens, and I need something, meh. Life goes on.
I also made a deep separation of church and state. Nothing on the laptop connects to work. If I need to work from home, I can bring my work laptop home with me. If it’s an unexpected work from day, I’ll install the Citrix Receiver app, work, and then uninstall it.
The cuts didn’t end there.
I went through my iPad and looked at every app installed and asked myself: Does this app add value to my life? and Am I using this app right now? Not an app I want to use. But one I’m using right now?1 If I’m not, does it serve a specific purpose that warrants me keeping it? 2The answers to those questions wasn’t “yes” the app got deleted. While I was at it, I also cleared out almost all my downloaded comics and books. The only downloaded comics are either ones I’m still reading, or the art in there inspires me. There is one Kindle book downloaded (the one I’m reading). None of my iBooks books are downloaded.3 My 128Gb iPad has 60GB free.
I also went through the notifications and only two apps give me badge icons: Messenger and Hangouts. The messages I receive there tend to be important (and provide value), but they do not make noise, vibrate the device, or appear on the lock screen. I also turned off the Apple Watch notification for Messages. If I’m away, or I need to put the phone in a bag and I then decide I need the notifications, I’ll turn them back on.
The separation of church and state still isn’t as good as I’d like. I use my iPad to take notes in meetings, and I like having access to my work calendars on the device. Once we go to Office 2016 and I get OneNote 2016 installed, I might not need my iPad, but I doubt it.
The cuts didn’t end there.
I went through my Twitter feed an unfollowed about 100 people. A lot of them were dead accounts. Not many of them followed me back, so it’s not like they’d notice. The cuts weren’t personal; it was simply about controlling how much information came into my feed. A lot of people I unfollowed are also in lists, so I want the value they add to my feed, I can go get it. I came damn close to deleting the Twitter client. I may still do that. Some cuts are best done cold turkey.
FaceBook on my iPad now sits in a folder called “service apps.” It’s the backbone to playing Words with Friends with some close friends. I’ll still check FaceBook, but it’s in the every few days camp and not the every few hours camp.
I’m not sure if these purges help or do anything other than try and calm a chaotic mind.
- Apparently I also had a lot of writing apps. Gone, all but two are. ↩
- Aside: I really wish iBooks for macOS let me delete downloaded books without also deleting them from iCloud. ↩