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Mac vs. PC: Who’s Winning The Productivity Race?

Mac vs. PC: Who’s Winning The Productivity Race?

No matter how far technology goes or how crucial integration across platforms becomes, you can still count on an eternal split between PCs and Macs. With fierce competition between the two crossing over into the realms of mobile computing, smartphones, and pretty much every other product, the choice between a PC and a Macintosh determines more than your home desktop’s OS. Historically, something as regular as a writing program would need completely different versions to run seamlessly on both.

The Basics of PC and Mac

PCs

First, let’s look at PCs — the vast majority of computers out there, including desktops and laptops. Windows computers are PCs, as are computers running Linux or any of the dozens of lesser-known operating systems that aren’t Mac OS. With most PCs, you have a great degree of control over your hardware. You can swap out CPUs, power supplies, connection hubs, motherboards, graphics cards — any and everything in your system. It may be more difficult with a laptop, but the option still exists.

Mac

On the other side of the equation, we have Apple computers running Mac OS. While the hardware on these isn’t quite as fixed as it once was, they’re still largely pre-built, unalterable systems. That means two things for the user: one, they’re built to perform well because the hardware reflects on Apple directly in a way PC parts don’t. Two, upgrading usually means a big expenditure, since you can’t upgrade piecemeal with the same ease.

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Of course, there are systems that blur the line once you get into custom builds, but presumably if you’re at that point, you already know your preference for productivity.

PC vs Mac: Power

It’s essentially impossible to say whether Mac or PC offers more power for productivity, because both come in so many variations. If you’re putting the time in to build your own PC, you’re probably going to get more bang for your buck. If you’re buying premade, Apple at the very least can be trusted to offer consistency in a way pre-built PC brands do not. Either way, you’ll want to do your homework on a particular system’s ability to run the apps you need for productivity rather than assuming any PC or Mac can do what you need.

PC vs Mac: Integrated applications

For years, Macs stood well above PCs regarding integrated applications, and for good reason — with the relative scarcity of third-party programs on their platform, Apple needed to offer tools worth using to remain competitive. This is essentially a large part of what lead to the Mac’s reputation as the system of choice for productivity. For media editing and a host of other tasks, Windows and other PC operating systems’ in-house solutions simply couldn’t keep up.

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The modern incarnations of Windows have greatly bridged the gap between the two, but most Windows users will still prefer third-party alternatives in most cases. What has notably improved on the PC side as a result of better in-house application development is the integration between platforms. It’s far easier to seamlessly manage productivity tools across your desktop, tablet, and smartphone than before, eroding one of the key strengths Mac traditionally offered. Mac still does it better, but the difference between the two is shrinking.

PC vs Mac: External applications

When we start looking at external applications developed by third parties, Mac begins to fall behind. While there’s certainly strength to be found in the unified, managed sandbox of the Apple ecosystem as a whole, individual solutions on PC tend to be more versatile and powerful. It’s simply a matter of reach: PCs, in particular PCs running Windows, still make up the bulk of the market, therefore you get more PC-savvy “devs” competing to produce the winning productivity tools.

That said, the trend of technology looks to return parity between the two, as much by coincidence as anything. Why? Because technology continues to move in the direction of web-based solutions operating remotely — so-called Software-as-a-Service solutions which operate largely agnostic to the system involved. While the intention behind these tools may be to make it easier to leverage applications across a variety of machines for mobility and ease of use, it also means Mac users will be less inhibited on third-party options moving forward.

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Cloud_applications

    Source: Wikimedia

    A few years back, one might struggle to find certain niche productivity applications like an online odds calculator that worked well on Mac. If one existed for your field, it might be of inferior quality due to a lack of competition. Today, one can run something as niche as a poker odds calculator directly from the web, regardless of their hardware.

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    Expert Opinions

    It should come as no surprise to hear that experts have largely moved past the question of whether one or the other wins the productivity race, because of the rapid rise of cloud-based solutions. Savvy users who want access to absolutely everything can use Mac computers equipped with workarounds to run their favorite Windows programs, but it’s increasingly unnecessary to go that far as more and more of the top developers move their programs into the cloud. Why make life complicated when a program can work perfectly on literally any computer?

    At the end of the day, the gaps between Mac and PC are shrinking with each successive generation of product. Windows 10 resembles the Mac OS more than ever, Macs continue to shrug off the worst constraints of the Apple sandbox, and popular languages like Python play nice whether you’re running a PC or Mac. So you’re going to be most productive, in most cases, by working with the tools you’re most familiar with — wherever those are to be found. If you have no preference or familiarity, you’ll want to experiment with both and see which camp you eventually side with.

    Featured photo credit: Wikimedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

    No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

    If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

    But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

    Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

    Let’s dive straight into the list.

    1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

      If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

      RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

      2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

        If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

        This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

        3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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          This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

          Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

          4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

            Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

            Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

            5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

              There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

              6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                  Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                  This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                  Available on iOS and Desktop

                  8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                    This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                    This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                      Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                      MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                      10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                        1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                        11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                          When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                            This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                            Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                              This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                              Available on desktop (macOS)

                              14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                  Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                    Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                    17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                      This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                      Available on iOS and Android

                                      18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                        Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                        So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                        More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                        Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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