New job -- migrating to Windows

Hiya Folks,
Looking for some advice here… I’m well entrenched with my iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone with favorite software packages such as OmniFocus and Devonthink, but just got a promotion at work where I’m in charge of technology, and it’s a Windows house. One of the expectations is that the technical leader uses the same systems as we have throughout the organization, so they’re putting together a high end Windows laptop for me. With that background, I’m hoping I can lean upon the expertise of some of our other Mac folks who use Windows machines at the office to help me out…

  1. Any good multi-platform alternatives to Devonthink? I do use Evernote, but am specifically looking for a powerful way to archive e-mails and scanned documents, as I’ll be running through a mess load of paperwork, and just have never been thrilled with Evernote, especially for archiving and searching e-mails.

  2. I love OmniFocus, but unless I want to carry two laptops, probably need to look at something different for Project and Task Management. Realizing these may be two separate packages, and big recommendations?

  3. Any favorite all-encompassing calendar apps on the Windows side? I love my combination of Fantastical and BusyCal on my Mac, and would love some sort of calendaring app that can access all the same calendars from the Windows PC. Sure hoping I don’t end up carrying two laptops around all the time.

I will have Office 365 on this Windows system, as well as access to the Adobe suite of products.

Thanks for any hints / advice you can provide, and make it a great day!!!


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There is a similar thread Here

My standard advice is, systems should work for people, if you work best with a Mac, you should fight to have one.

On the subject of omnifocus, I would hold out omnifocus for web is coming soon and I doubt anyone would begrudge use of an iPad, maildrop is also an amazing tool.


Agree my wife is an executive recruiter, quite often its part of the contract that the new employer provides or at least allows the use of Apple products.

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Thanks Ben & MacExpert… though I appreciate the thought, I’ll be heading up the technology department in an organization with ~ 4000 PCs that we recently purchased and are deploying to all employees (purchased by previous head of tech). Using a Mac myself when others have been told they have to use a PC sends a poor message (even if the Mac is my own personal purchase). There are also security ramifications as well as licensing concerns.

I’m still planning to use a Mac at home and for personal usage, but the politics of the situation, at least for the time being, dictate I carry a PC into meetings and also train others how to use them – but if there are cross-over apps that work with both, such as the O365 productivity apps, it’s not nearly as painful a transition. Hence the search for a project management tool that might work across platforms, as well as a calendar app for PC that can pull in data from multiple different calendars along the lines of a BusyCal or Fantastical (or can Outlook do this?)

Thanks for your help!


For task management, Todoist is pretty good imo


Thanks Adrian. I’ll check that out!

Office 365 works with your Mac apps.
Just use outlook at work and your own on your Mac at home.

You can also utilize the Onedrive to sync files.

Remains the question why you want to take all your work home???

Don’t really want to take all my work home, but will have to take some home if I want to be able to see my family and join in many of their afternoon / early evening activities. Trade the late afternoon hours at home for a few hours in front of the computer after the kids go to bed. :slight_smile:

Actually I am of the mindset of bring new ideas and thinking out of the box would be a good lead by example. But you can research whereas MacBook Pro was chosen as one of the best quality hardware solutions to run Windows under. Why Choose? I would recommend running Windows under Fusion or Parallels and get the best of both worlds. There are some software packages that are best under Windows and vice versa. IMHO that would be a true technology leader and not pigeon holing your opinions in one versus another. I am speaking of one that was the last convert of an executive management team to switch over to Mac about a decade ago and I am never going back, but I still use Windows to run certain Engineering programs unavailable on the Mac OS

I am in the same boat as you, Mac at home, Windows at work.

The way I’ve solved this is by having a complete and total separation between the work and home “data” (I include here the tasks as well).

At home I use all the usual suspects, OmniFocus, iCloud, etc. If I need something at work, I just use OF let’s say on the iPad and/or iPhone and I use the iCloud web apps and DevonThink on my iOS devices.

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I can understand the reasoning behind @DFullerton idea of using a “PC” at work. I am in a “similar” position. Instead of 4,000 PCs, I have only about 40 I am responsible for. :laughing: I could use a Mac at work if I really wanted to, but I want to be in the position everybody else is in. This way, I am able to really understand what is going on. A Parallels VM is not the same as using the laptops everybody else is using. And no, we cannot migrate to the Mac for several reasons. Sometimes, it should be ok just to accept that. :slight_smile:

Regarding OmniFocus: the OmniFocus web client might be an option when it will be available eventually. I am not sure if it already is available, but it should be soon, I guess?

Outlook 2016 does quite a good job managing calendars and is able to handle ICS-Calendars pretty well.

A multi-platform alternative to DEVONthink… That is a tough one. It depends, to what degree data privacy is an issue… Honestly, I have gone back to a simple folder system on my NAS. I have control over my NAS and am able to access it from anywhere. Is this a true alternative to DEVONthink? Maybe not…


I guess you never worked in a large corporate environment. In 99.9% of the companies you have to use what is the standard. And believe it or not, for most companies that’s a PC running Windows.


Actually until very recently I worked for IBM, and that was my experience, it always came down to business case. Maybe Australian enterprise just works differently.

That‘s mostly even in smaller and smallest environments the case. Sadly enough there is not always the best tool for the job. „We buy what we always had.“ is often to hear. Sometimes it is also just easier to get these damn brilliant business solution software to run (in the meaning of „Go“ not running) :wink:

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Not necessarily. The OP’s shop is probably O365 for Business (or O365 for Government), which despite product name overlap is not entirely the same as O365 Personal. You’ll need to check the authentication configuration – in my case I cannot authenticate into my clients’ instance of O365 for Business without being on their trusted network – either by being on their intranet, or VPN’d in to the trusted internet using their equipment. I cannot use their VPN client on my personal equipment. I cannot connect Outlook for Mac to their Exchange Online (EXO).

Thanks Christian – mighty helpful. And your details on Outlook 2016 take a huge weight off my shoulders.

I’d even be open to a Windows-only platform similar to Devonthink for building up a database of all e-mails, and use it just at work. I do have a Parallels installation of Windows on my MacBook Pro that could get into it. Love the NAS idea, but my favorite aspect of DevonThink is its ability to search through tons of materials quickly and accurately. I’ll keep looking there.

Also, great advice on the OmniFocus web client – just finished applying for their Beta program.

Thanks quorm. It’s O365 for Education, so not sure about their security firewalls, but being in charge of the tech department, worst case I can have one of our tech guys install a VPN to the trusted Internet for me. A good side project if we don’t already have one. At home I’ve been using Apple Mail to pull from the O365 Mail Server, so I’m not so worried about e-mail itself – more concerned with how to store and search those e-mails efficiently without having an Inbox of thousands of old e-mails (which drives me batty!)

Thanks for the advice!

I can understand the need for standardization, but really how long does any computer remain available in a set configuration? I do feel that Apple did a step backwards with the USB C connectors requiring $100’s of dollars in adapters along with omitting the brilliant magnetic power connector.

I am personally of the opinion that using a Mac is the most important productivity process improvement that one can put in their life and like someone suggests above, it is a condition of any consultant job that I may take plus I supply my own computer.

I only wish that I can sue Microsoft for all the time lost due to rebooting, endless system upgrades, chasing computer problems such as printing and virus overhead and eradication.

In listening to some back episodes of MPU there was an example of a company with a large deployment of PC’s equally split between Mac and Windows but the staff of 5 IT personnel and it took 4.5 support Windows issues and .5 supporting Mac.

People tend not to value/budget their time vs. their finance monetary budget enough. Even though your time is much more valuable than money. Have you asked yourself what is your time worth?

For example, if I am managing/responsible for $500K USD of revenue per year my time is worth around $250.00/hr.

I like to look at apps in the same light. For example, Text Expander has an great report in showing you how much time you save by using the expansion snippits.

I can also understand some people’s forced segregation of business vs. personal time. I do this myself with separate email accounts for different personas, a couple of Facebook accounts and separate calendars. It is funny to see Facebook recommending me as a friend to myself.

Lastly, I think people would be quite shocked to see what is behind the desktop on systems such as Hotel management and Airline scheduling with some still stuck in the DOS era.

im in the same boat and i work in a secure environment were sometimes i can’t even bring my iphone/ipad to work

my first question is sounds like your going to have full admin writes to your work windows laptop??? full disclosure my job is IT security/audit and normally most laptops at corporate are locked down to where you can only install software in the organization baseline…

what has helped me is picking apps on iOS that have web counter parts

and i don’t use devon think but maybe you need to first verify if native windows 10 file search and/or sharepoint can solve your knowledge management use case

good luck :slight_smile:

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To all you Windows users I do have a recommendation that was the best PIM that I ever found the search speed was lightning fast.
[](http://Info Select)

It was so good I may set it up again on my MBP running Windows on Fusion