Wil and I visited family and friends umpteen times over the holiday weekends. Many of them, thanks to our tireless evangelizing, use Macs.
Needless to say, both family members and friends are quick to hit us up for Mac tips and trips during our visits, and, as good Mac citizens, we’re happy to oblige. One thing we both noticed is that nearly every one of our Mac using family and friends were not doing anything that smacked of efficiency or productivity.
Why Do Friends And Family Use Macs?
Most new Mac users, those who’ve switched in the past five or six years, are quite happy with their Mac experience.
Using a Mac is both easier and fun, and most of the headaches, anger, frustrations and fear of using Windows was gone.
In place of that we found comfort. Not for us. But for our friends and family Mac users. They were so happy to be rid of computers problems and fears, that they didn’t bother to use their Macs to the full.
For example, in nearly every case we recommended they use Copy Paste Pro, the Mac’s premier multiple clipboard manager. Why? Multiple clipboards makes using your Mac easier; you become more efficient and productive.
In nearly every case, especially where we helped them purchase and install Copy Paste Pro, it just wasn’t being used.
Copy, Save, Paste, Click, Click, Click, Click
The same was true of all the little tips and tricks we gave them to use the Mac’s Finder. For example, dragging popular applications to the Finder toolbar. Using column view instead of opening up 14 folders to find something.
In nearly every case, our tips and tricks were forgotten and neglected. They reverted back to their pre-Mac, pro-Microsoft way of using a computer they had obviously come to love. Why? A Mac can be a very efficient, productive tool, and without much training or effort.
My example is Copy Paste Pro. Like anything new, a new tool requires a learning curve, and some effort to integrate it into our usage routine. Copy Past Pro is simple and elegant (though, sometimes it feels as if it’s loaded with more features than needed).
It captures what you copy and saves it, so you don’t have to copy it again. No more copying something and having to go back and find it to repeat the process. The clip browser is easy to browse. You can edit text clips with a built-in word processor. You can create archives of clips. What’s not to like?
Wil and I have show Copy Paste Pro to a few dozen choice family and friends, and their initial response is always the same.“ Oh, I want that. Cool. What else does it copy and save?” We show them how it works, they love it, then forget to use it again. Ever.
Instead, we’ve noticed that many of our acquainted Mac users spend countless minutes clicking and opening files and folders, one after the other, to find something, and end up with a Mac screen that has umpteen eleven windows open and no visual breathing space.
Efficiency, Productivity, Difficulty, Oh My!
Do Mac users have an allergy to efficiency and productivity? Is it that anything new must be difficult, therefore, easy to forget?
Maybe it’s the Monk in me, but there must be a better way to get more of the Mac’s basics to the user base.
Is it any wonder that Apple keeps iLife and iWork and OS X as simple as possible? The spectrum of Mac user ability is broad, wide, and the disparity between ends of the user base spectrum is growing. Is it any wonder why the iPhone is such a huge hit? Or why Apple’s iPod is beloved by a few hundred million customers?
Our Macs are complicated, complex beasts in sheep’s clothing. Many Mac users are, well, sheep. They like going downhill. They don’t like to stray from the flock of point and click comfort. They seem to say, “Whatever is easier is best.” Or, “That feature is nice, but don’t complicate it for me.”
I was showing one of my uncles what Copy Paste Pro could do by saving a history of the clipboard. He replied, “What’s the clipboard?” Sigh. So, I explained it and he seemed impressed. Using the web page advertising copy to full advantage, I told uncle that Copy Paste Pro was sort of like Time Machine for the clipboard. He nodded approvingly, then said, “What’s Time Machine?”
See? We older Mac users are raising a generation of neophyte Mac users who are content with the basics and have no desire to achieve greater levels of efficiency and productivity. Where have we gone wrong?