Mac Average Users Versus Mac Power Users

I like to think of a world in which every person is a power user. Society would be efficient, but also chaotic.

Maybe some people are better off being average users. Being a power user might just not make your workflow any better. It especially depends on what your workflow is. Some power tools are unnecessarily and might not serve a purpose to you or possibly slow you down depending on what you do.

By no means am I saying that certain applications will ruin your workflow, but maybe they’re not for the average user. If your workflow is simple, you probably don’t need them.

Are most people (who are generally average users) better off not being power users with all these power tools here and there? It is very confusing and very lengthy to think about. I could go on and on all day, but what do you think?

I think we can all agree though that Alfred is a must-have for any user. Part of me hopes that Apple will pull a “Watson” and integrate all of its great features into Spotlight. :wink:

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“Power user”=waste a lot of time trying to fit the newest gadget/software into your workflow, creating an overcomplicated mess. Think Rube Goldberg. :smiley:

I have found out, that often simple, time-tried and “average” solutions are the best.

“Powerusering” is also a hobby. :wink:


I’m not sure how to parse that assertion. Seeing as 0.000068% of the global population belongs to this forum (and many fewer speak up), I don’t think there’s much argument this of any importance to “the world”. Anyway “power user” is a marketing term – nothing to do with skill or accomplishment.



“Power user” is such a relative term that it’s essentially meaningless without context. Enthusiasts is probably a more accurate (and inclusive) way to refer to the target audience of the MPU podcast and the members of this forum :slight_smile:


Perhaps especially poignant today, “Whatever gets you to the light”.


Enthusiasts, more or less.


I don’t remember when I first heard the term “PowerUser”. I think I started noticing the presence of the creatures, we would some day call power users, back in the mid 80’s when we only had a handful of people starting to use IBM XTs. The signs were subtle, sometimes it might just be a user manual on their desk with the cellophane wrapper removed. But there was something different about these users that set them apart from their peers. Later as we started networking our PCs I realized that these users seldom called me for help. Then I learned they were helping their co-workers write Lotus 123 macros and solve problems.

Once I knew how to recognize them I watched for their traits in others and encouraged them to grow :grinning:

A power user to me is someone who works to master the tools they have been given. This doesn’t necessarily mean evaluating new software and/or software. For years that was my job and everyone else had basically the same setup. But there was always some users that dug deeper, became more proficient with what they had, and frequently shared that knowledge. They were my ‘power users’.


From a longer view our tech is in its infancy and we’re still finding our way with what to do with it. From that view PowerUsers can be seen as explorers or inventors who find discovery thrilling as well as enjoy finding new efficiencies. Also more expansively, there is a whole realm of “Being” as well as the more easily available realm of “Doing” we all are so competent in.

The term “power user” is a political tool used to convince your big corporate IT department that you deserve admin access on your own computer. :wink:

Agree with others that there’s a hobby component to experimenting with and mastering software and personal programming. It’s totally fine to not care. However, I do of course wish more people would be curious enough about their tools to avoid creating problems for other people.


Early adopters? Seekers?

I define Power Users as someone who seeks to understand the technology they use either from an efficiency or curiosity standpoint. I love digging into all the config options on gadgets or software. I hate reading the manual but will use it to search for something specific. I also continue to tweak my workflows or apps because there’s some pain point and I think to myself “there must be an easier way or another app that can do this.” I have to temper my own curiosity so that I can actually get things done.

I’ll +1 this. The term also comes with a nice, little ego boost!

Really though, is the “power user” label useful in any way?

I’ve never found a good use case for Alfred for me. I use Typinator to handle snippets and never use Spotlight to find files. That’s what my DEVONThink Index of my degital filing cabinet is for, that is if I can’t find it quickly by just looking in the correct folder.

I wish I’d realized this years ago, it would have saved me hundreds of dollars. At first, I wouldn’t have minded, because as hobbies go, it was fun to tinker, but after a couple years, all the fun went out of it. Now it’s like, “please just tell me what I need to do to get me through a day on my computer with as little hassle and as few subscriptions as possible.”

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I’m not a power user of AlfredApp, however I love it for accessing these 3 things without touching the mouse.

  1. Launch apps
  2. Open files and finder window via Alfred’s search
  3. eject mounted drives

Power users are the ones who forget that macOS has a GUI :innocent: :smiling_imp:

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In the beginning, was the command line

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Why yes, I am a Stephenson fan :slight_smile:

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Without a heavily configured shell…you are just a n00b! :smiley:

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…and then, there was a graphical user interface.

Let there be a graphical user interface!

Let there be a cursor!