As much as I loved the look of Apple Mac devices, I was never really a Mac person, well that was until I started using MacOS at university back in 2017.
Before then, I was always a fan of Windows and the idea of building my own computer and all the cool RGB lights.
It wasn’t until I went to the university library to work on a group project that I discovered the operating system. It was by chance that all the Windows computers were taken up by other students that we sat down at the Apple iMac tables.
I don’t know why, but I found the interface very clean and user friendly and the software seemed to work really well.
How my journey with Apple started
After returning to the library to use the Macs a handful of times, I started watching various YouTube videos about how to make the most out of the operating system as well as the best apps to use.
Unfortunately, as it was a managed device I wasn’t able to install any apps on it. That’s when my friend recommended that I get a second-hand MacBook for university, he specifically recommended that I get the mid-2012 MacBook Pro as it was upgradable.
After a few months of saving, I finally had enough to buy one on eBay. I think I paid around £400 for it at the time and it had 4GB of RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive which I upgraded to 8GB of RAM and a 500GB Solid State Drive.
From roughly around that time I started building up my ecosystem. I took a contract out for an iPhone, I think it was an iPhone 6 from what I can remember. I also got an 1st generation Apple Watch which I remember being exceptionally happy with.
At the same time, I still used my Windows gaming PC as my main computer for a lot of things including gaming and creating videos.
I was in the Apple ecosystem for a few years, until I decided to get the Google Pixel 6 Pro almost two years ago.
So, why do I feel more productive on MacOS?
I had to have a long think about how I was going to answer this question because the truth of the matter is that I don’t think fully understand myself.
However, after having a long think about it, my main reasons are…
The clean interface
In all fairness, Microsoft has seriously made some good improvements to the Windows interface over the last few years. But for some reason, I still prefer the MacOS interface.
It’s very clean and minimal and allows me to focus without getting distracted by random things such as unwanted or annoying features and and software not having a design standard.
One of the most annoying features of Windows 10 and 11 is the news and widgets area. I know that you can disable it on Windows 10, and haven’t tried disabling it on Windows 11. But it can become annoying when you are trying to work and you accidentally make it pop up.
I think that the widget area on Windows 11 is a good idea, but it should be moved to the start menu where I’m more likely to make use of the widgets. I’ve been using Windows 11 since some of the early insider previews and I never once had the need to use it.
I think the fact that most Mac apps follow a standard design makes them easier to use and the design that they follow makes sense, not forgetting the fact that it makes some apps look stunning.
It’s the system
Moving on from the clean interface, I wanted to talk about the system, which is actually designed in a very clever way, I know that Microsoft have now implemented many of these features into Windows 11, but, I still feel that it works in progress and in all fairness, I can’t wait to see what Windows 12 brings to the table.
But if we combine the clean interface with the way the system functions as well as productivity, it turns out that MacOS has enormous potential to improve your productivity.
For starters, have you noticed how Apple doesn’t adapt the iMac for multiple display setups and the MacBook Air which I upgraded to recently only supports one other external monitor?
Obviously, I don’t know the actual reason, but I have a theory as to why this may be, by the way, what I actually mean with the iMac is that they haven’t adapted it to a multiple monitor setup where the iMac and the monitor look the same to make the setup cleaner.
My theory came to light after watching Ali Abdaal’s productivity desk setup video. In the video, he mentioned that most of the things he does require focused work looking at one thing instead of trying to multitask.
I understand the advantages of multi-tasking and as someone who uses a dual, sometimes triple monitor setup, I find it incredibly beneficial to be able to do my work on one monitor and have the second monitor for things like research or notes.
However, Ali’s point has seriously left me wondering whether I can become more productive if I abandon the multiple monitor setup for a single monitor.
The reason I am mentioning this is because I think that Apple may have the same idea with the way MacOS works, and as for multi-tasking, Mission Control is a great way of working with a single monitor.
The apps and software
I appreciate that this one is more of a personal preference, but I simply prefer the productivity apps that are available on MacOS and iOS.
I mean productivity is all about comfort, if you feel comfortable using a particular app or piece of software you will automatically become more productive as you enjoy using the productivity app.
As an example, I absolutely love Things 3, I think that it is a brilliant To-Do list app that has an awesome interface and some pretty decent features. However, Things 3 is sadly not available on Windows or Android, which meant that I had to find a new app.
At present I actually use 2 apps, my main task manager is TickTick, but I also use Google Tasks for managing the more general tasks and reminders such as taking the washing out of the washing machine or any other quick reminder.
But based on my experience, neither of these apps works as well for me as Things 3 did. On top of that, I’ve tried many other To-Do list apps and nothing came remotely close to Things 3 in my opinion.
I guess it’s all down to the fact that I perfected a system that worked really well for me and without it, I kind of feel lost.
But it’s not just one app, it’s a whole handful of apps and software, some of which come with the MacBook as standard, such as GarageBand, iMovie and Apple Notes. What makes it even better is that Apple thought of every detail.
There aren’t any areas that need more work done or are unfinished. A great example of where Microsoft fails with this is the fact that you still have settings in two different areas, one area being the settings app and the other being the Control Panel.
I could sit here and talk about the software all day, but these are my main thoughts.
As a Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Watch user, I can’t really say much about the ecosystem.
However, when I was in the ecosystem a few years ago, the apps that I used played really well with my iPhone and Apple Watch as well as other Apple devices.
If we combine that with productivity, it means that I can access the same services on different devices without it being too much different when I’m not using a Mac.
In all fairness to Android, Android has seriously improved over the years and I have really come to like the Google Pixel ecosystem.
However, I still find that apps simply look and work better when they are using the same design.
I mean, I’m a huge fan of the Pixel Watch, but based on my experience and the apps I use, I feel that the Apple Watch is just better suited to my use. I mean, I honestly feel that WearOS lacks in many features and that the apps are incredibly basic and feature-restricted.
To conclude this article, I summarised the main points that I believe make me more productive on MacOS.
However, I am well aware that Microsoft Windows also has its perks and that a lot of the features I mentioned in this article are either available or there is a similar alternative in place.
I also know that window management is better on Windows, but with MacOS, you can actually fix this with an app such as BetterSnapTool.
Based on my personal opinion and experience, I feel more productive on MacOS. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will become more productive.
I find productivity to be a funny topic because we are all different and just because I feel more productive on one app or system, doesn’t mean that you will feel more productive if you do what I do.
That’s why it’s always important to explore your options and to play around with apps, try new apps and that sort of thing. The same can be said for operating systems.
For some reason, I simply feel more productive on MacOS. In all fairness, it could be that my brain is playing tricks on me, but it could also be that I associate Windows with gaming and MacOS with work and getting things done.
But one thing is certain, since I switched to Mac, I have put out more content and worked on more things than I usually work on and when I was fully in the Apple ecosystem while at university, I was able to get more of my coursework done on MacOS.