In order to live a life of freedom like mine, I need a minimalist computer setup at least in the way I organize my stuff.
I do have a 3TB Time Capsule to store all my stuff! But all of my huge assets are extremely organized and easy to retrieve.
I have explained a few articles ago, how you can survive and work from home thanks to affiliate marketing and computer stuff.
If it happens that you want to travel the world while doing that I highly recommend you to get TEP Wireless so you will always have a connection.
In another article, I have listed all of my possessions and explicitly highlighted that I seriously need a computer and a car.
When I turn on my computer I want to be able to immediately see what I need to do for the day and reduce my distractions to the bones.
I am going to tell you how I set up my minimalist computer desk and I organize all the stuff that I have in a very simple way.
A lot of stuff that is enabled by default on a computer is for most of the people useless or you will never use it.
Minimalist Computer Setup Step By Step
If you are on a Mac it would be easier to follow, but I am pretty sure that you can do a computer declutter on any operating system.
After the release of IOS Mojave in September 2018, it is possible to change your mac colors to black or white.
This is very nice for a minimalist like me that likes a lot of black and white stuff.
Go to “System Preferences” and scroll over every single box and option.
Remove all the stuff that you are not planning to use and adjust the look of your computer from there.
There are a lot of settings there and if you start removing all the unnecessary stuff, your computer will use less RAM and it will go way faster.
Something I am not using is the vocal control and Siri. You can go to the “Siri Icon” in the preferences and disable it and hide it from the top menu bar.
I personally have no time to talk to a computer and also I find it faster if I type.
Then you want to remove any screensaver or fancy desktop picture. I use a blueish desktop picture and a fixed dock that does not magnify.
All these little things are sucking off RAM from your computer.
My mission control “Hot Corners” are set up so that if I hover the top left I get to see the desktop meanwhile on the top right corner I get to see all the apps, also called mission control.
That way I don’t need to use any button or dock shortcut.
I find this the most important setting on my computer!
It saves me so much time when moving stuff from place to place without having to move my apps.
All the notification are adjusted so that I will keep only the ones that really interest me. I have removed any Facebook, or social media notification and kept iMessage and Google Notifications on.
Keyboard And iCloud
Under “Keyboard” I have disabled dictation so that my computer runs faster. I have also created a few text shortcuts so that I don’t have to type them when I am writing stuff.
Like my email, websites and stuff I frequently say like: yeah give me 15 minutes ⇒ y15.
Under “Trackpad” all the gesture I never use are disabled. Meanwhile, the ones I use are optimized accordingly the way that they need to be used. I like to see the launchpad pinching my thumbs on the trackpad.
And very important, under iCloud I have all enabled except for photos and keychain!
That way I will not need to pay for a plan with iCloud and I simply store all of my pics in my time capsule.
Bluetooth is always off and not shown on the menu bar. I don’t find Bluetooth useful for me and having it disabled makes your laptop more reactive.
The time capsule is configured for manual backups. All of the other settings are adjusted but you will need to find your own personal minimalist computer settings.
Minimalist Computer Decluttering
Now you want to go over your computer and start adjusting the dock!
I keep on the dock only the apps that I use the most. I am using app cleaner to completely remove an app I don’t use.
On my dock, there is only stuff I regularly use.
The positions of the apps are not casual!
On the left side, there is the stuff I use the most for long-term work, on the right side the stuff I use the most but for fast tasks.
Like I constantly use Google Chrome, and I often use TextEdit for fast tasks.
Then from left to right after the browsers, I have the productivity apps I use the most and my favorite app called OneNote exactly in the center.
On the right, I also have the folders I use the most, and they all open in a “Grid” you can right click on it to adjust this setting.
My desktop is organized in blocks, I have 9 blocks of folders on my desktop! Each block has their own order and rows and columns:
- most used folders on the left of each block.
- average used in the center.
- less used to the right.
The block in the center of my computer is stuff that needs to be done as soon as possible. (ASAP block!)
The block in the center in the bottom is the stuff that I am currently working on at the current moment and that will probably go away by night.
On the top left I have the stuff that is most likely to stay there for a while like:
- my earnings.
- documents etc…
Just below of that, I have a folder with all of my projects, like the minimalist boy is there too and I keep adding stuff.
Just for safety, I have all of this stuff backed up on my time capsule and all the things that don’t include personal information or password are also backed up on Dropbox.
I do that just in case all my stuff gets burned or explode! I will still have some chances to find it on Dropbox then.
In the bottom left block I have all my dev tools, things like virtual server shortcuts, web apps, tutorial or courses I need to listen to and all the web development stuff related stuff.
My bottom right has only one folder which is the alias folder to my other mac.
On top of that block there is useful stuff I constantly need, like:
- videos I am working on.
- stuff to delete.
And on the top right, I have a row dedicated to my external hard disks, time capsule, and disks storage.
On the top center instead, I have all my new ideas and upcoming projects.
Finder Minimalist Settings
When opening the finder I tend to go over the finder preferences as well and I remove all the stuff I don’t need like for instance Airdrop.
Do you know anyone that ever used Airdrop? This is a RAM and battery sucker.
I also reduce the tags to no more than 3 and the advanced settings accordingly to my needs. Those are rather important.
I also like to have the “new folder” button and the “tags button” on the top of any window. You can customize this menu with right click on it and “customize toolbar“.
See pic below.
The Top Menu Bar
The top menu bar is stripped to the bare minimum. If you hold the CMD button while touching the elements on the bar you can move them or remove them from the bar.
I don’t want to have stuff I don’t constantly use up there. I am using a nice app called amphetamine to keep my screen awake and anti-virus called Avast.
The other things are:
- language flag. (I have it because sometimes I switch from English to Italian).
- time with date and hour.
- wireless signal.
- time machine.
- avast antivirus
- f.lux (highly recommended).
and that’s it.
You can see how my dock, menu bar, and google chrome looks like in the picture below.
I also like to keep my bookmarks extremely decluttered and organized. The websites that are showing up in my bookmarks bar have no titles since the icons are more than enough to recognize them.
That way I can stuff more websites in my menu bar.
That way you will always have a backup and you will be able to share and modify your documents online and with no need of opening additional apps or stuff.
I am using gSuite to have over 1TB of space in my Google Drive and to have a custom Gmail email even for my business sites.
I highly recommend using gSuite since it is very useful, practical and nice to use if you have a business online and want to preserve all the benefits of having a Gmail account.
I am also using Google Keep from Google to organize my reminders that then I re-elaborate and put on my OneNote.
To keep all of this wireless I have of course a Time Capsule and all of my cables are connected to a big socket that once is plugged off all turns off.
So I don’t have any light or noise at night while I sleep.
I have mentioned on my possession list that I have 4 wifi controlled wall plugs and I can control them with my phone.
I can turn off all my devices from my iPhone!
Once the setup of your minimalist computer is over you can focus on working and eliminate all the distractions.
When I am working I keep my iPhone and Apple Watch charging. Most of the time they are turned off since I can control all my calls and messages from my computer.
I am not scrolling on any social network! The only one I use to boost productivity is Twitter. Where I have enabled notification for the people I need to get news from in order to boost my revenues.
I try to keep the people I interact the most on Google Hangout or iMessage.
I use Skype for work-related stuff where all the big guys, affiliate marketers, CPAs, etc are contacting me for work stuff.
I use skype on the web and I have notifications enabled for that!
I have a minimalist computer case embedded in my backpack so that when I am moving around it stays safe. And my minimalist desk is always very clean and neat with no distraction around.
In conclusions, it is very important to set up your minimalist computer the way that will boost productivity the most for you.
For some people, it might be a desktop with no folders and a menu bar and dock with no icons.
For some other like me instead, there will be a lot of stuff on the computer but organized in a very neat and easy way.
I am always trying to keep my minimalist computer desk, wireless and distractions free.
The best minimalist computer setup can vary from person to person. The best thing you can do is to remove all the stuff that you never use or rarely use.
If you are traveling a lot I have discovered TEP wireless, which is basically a high-speed internet box that will work in any country for a fixed price.
Even if you are in Kazakhstan you will have internet access with that! So I think that it’s a good investment if you plan to travel a lot.
If you are looking forward to more content, Bookmark this blog. Share it with your friends and spread some rumors about it. Also, make a comment, I’m curious to know what you think about this.
You should start a blog or a website too. If you want to know why and how! Read my tutorial that will guide you on how to have a successful blog step by step:
If it happens that you need to have a bank, here is the best bank you can have as a minimalist: