Mac: 2019 Mac Pro (I know…)
Monitors: Two NEC PA322UHD 32" 4K displays, center monitor is a Dell U4021QW 40" 5K ultra-wide.
Stream Decks: Two XL models.
Desks: Two Evodesk XE Standing Desks. Sit on top of my existing Desk. Let me raise two of my monitors so I can work standing up.
Microphone: Shure PG48 XLR Mic. Connected to mac via a Shure X2u USB interface. On a small adjustable boom.
Camera: Green Extreme 1080p. On a small adjustable boom.
Speakers: two Full size Home Pods
ScanSnap (off to the side)
Speakers: two Full size Home Pods
Two 4-Bay OWC ThunderBay Hard Disk enclosures under desk. Used for Backup via Chronsync. I have three - one always kept offsite.
I use DEVONTHINK for everything. I have 30+ gb in 10 DEVONTHINK databases.
- The right STREAM DECK is user driven.
- The left STREAM DECK is driven by the Active app. It automatically switches to the profile for that app. I also have an index page and can access any app profile manually.
Having STREAM DECK Application profiles lets me use labeled buttons to remember what that application can do. I find I use far more of the capabilities of the apps I use than I did pre-STREAM DECK. I also have buttons for each app that do multi-step things. No more remembering hundreds of keystrokes!
I use KEYBOARD MAESTRO to automate everything I can. I have hundreds of macros. Many of these macros are activated by a STREAM DECK Button. For me, KEYBOARD MAESTRO is crucial to utilizing the 3 monitors.
I’m into “Contextual” computing
- I do many complex tasks on a repeated basis. Some daily, some weekly, some monthly some on-demand, etc. Many involve multiple apps, multiple windows or both.
- I want 1 button to “set up” my computer for these ongoing repeated tasks - I call this a “Context.”
- I want the Context to be the same each time I do the tasks.
- I want to easily modify any of my “Contexts.”
I use KEYBOARD MAESTRO to setup Contexts that involve multiple applications. I have a series of sub-macros for window placement.
Most of my “Contexts” use DEVONTHINK. I often have from 2 to 5 DEVONTHINK windows open to specific DEVONTHINK Groups spread across my 3 monitors.
- Often I’ll put app-specific files in a DEVONTHINK Group (excel, mind maps, omni outliner, etc.) that I may need to access. Double-click that file and it opens in its native app. Some of my Groups contain a series of bookmarks I may also need to access as part of that Context.
This approach saves me a huge amount of time. No more window administration and no more “remembering how I did this” or “where stuff is.” One STEAM DECK button press and I’m set.
How I do it now
– DEVONTHINK: Create a WORKSPACE usually with multiple windows positioned as I want them on my 3 monitors. Each window opens to the group I pre-select. Super easy to modify any workspace at anytime - just change it and save it. Even easier to modify the content in any of the pre-selected groups.
– KEYBOARD MAESTRO: Create a one-line macro that activates a DEVONTHINK workspace. Keyboard Maestro has a “menu” macro step which lets me select a menu item from any application - even submenus. Since this command shows the text of the menu if you name your DEVONTHINK Workspaces well, it is self-documenting.
– STREAM DECK: Assign the Keyboard Macro to a Button on the STREAM DECK. All of my buttons are color-coded with text labels - no remembering what hundreds of icons mean.
How I used to do it:
Started with Programming multi-step actions on my STREAM DECK: to open DEVONTHINK and goto a keyboard shortcut. This was both tedious and hard to keep current. It was not intuitively obvious which keystrokes go with which workspaces. I quickly got bogged down as the number of Contexts increased.
Moved to creating “Context” macros in KEYBOARD MAESTRO. This involved creating windows, moving them around, then setting the DEVONTHINK Group in each window. Doable, but very time-intensive and difficult to modify each individual context. These macros were complex. Still have to do this for multi-application contexts.
Now just doing what I described above. Super quick, self-documenting, and easy to modify.