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Workflow of Dual CRIMPers -- those fortunate folks using both Macs and Windows PCs

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Posted by Cady
Apr 3, 2010 at 06:14 PM


I’m not sure if the subject is off-topic, so I apologize ahead.
I’m a veteran PC user, I love my HP Mini 2140 to bits (okay, not literally), and I carry that netbook everywhere.  Recently, I’ve purchased a Mac Mini and installed Parallels on it, thinking I could easily integrate my favorite Windows apps into my Mac-ish workflow. Not so easy. Though I now have Surfulater, ConnectedText, LinkStash, ClipCache and OneNote working on the Mac, I realized that within the OS X environment they’ve lost much of their old charm, mainly since integration with other Mac applications is far from perfect (or absent). I’m still trying to cast that silver bullet, the one that would ensure the Perfect Workflow scheme integrating both Mac and Windows, and ease the sharing of information between the two platforms. For now I only purchased a Scrivener’s license, and I started using Dropbox to move files between the Windows laptop and the Windows virtual machine on the Mac and vice versa; next I copy what I need from the Windows virtual machine to Mac applications (from OneNote to Scrivener’s Research folder, for instance) but this process is one heck of a time-waster.
I realize that every person’s workflow is unique, but frustration drives me to ask anyway:
Those of you who work daily on both Mac and Windows, how has it affected your workflow? Were there Windows applications you quit using, while concentrating on others? Have you found an easier way to move data around between platforms outside of Dropbox/Virtual Machine environment/Cut-Paste? (Well. Except for dumping the HP and getting a MacBook. I still love my Windows machine).



Posted by Tom S.
Apr 3, 2010 at 07:46 PM



I’m not sure what you are asking exactly but here are two potential replies/suggestons:

1)  Dropbox is a great idea.  But you don’t need to use it between the virtual machine and the Mac.  These literally share files over a virtual network and all of the files can be stored in a folder on the Mac and accessed from the virtual machine.  Since I use VirtualBox and not Parallels, I can’t tell you exactly how to do it but I know its possible.  So if you are transferring files any other way between these two (and I’m not sure if I understood whether you were or not), I think you will find that this is much more efficient.

2)  You sound like you like the software you are using but my own experience doing this type of thing led me to a variety of cross platform applications.  A search of the posts to this forum will give you quite a list.  My own favorite was PersonalBrain.  Using just one or two programs like that might be too limited for you but installing this and using it on all of the machines was a good answer to my own problems.  I’ve since moved on to us the Mac “virtually” 90% of the time so I’m currently using Mac only software.

Tom S.


Posted by Wes Perdue
Apr 4, 2010 at 12:04 AM



I went through a similar transition two years ago; after many, many years on PCs I got my first Mac - a Macbook Pro.  I have gradually fallen in love with it, and will never be without a Mac.

I do still have a PC at work, and I go back and forth between them all day.  At home, it’s just me and my Mac.  I do have Fusion and a Win XP VM; it’s primarily used to VPN to work, but I do occasionally use it for Windows-only apps.

Evernote and SugarSync are my two primary cross-platform apps, and I use them every day.

OmniFocus, which syncs between my Mac and my iPhone, is my task manager, and iCal and my Address Book sync between the Mac and the iPhone as well.

My toolset expands a fair bit for academic work, but all are Mac-based: DevonThink, Bookends, Scrivener, and Nisus Writer.

And of course, I use OmniOutliner and NovaMind regularly.

Honestly, the only app I miss from my PC world is ConnectedText.  I wish it would be ported to MacOS; there’s nothing quite like it on the Mac.  Well, maybe Tinderbox, but I’m still struggling to “get” Tinderbox.



Posted by Hugh
Apr 4, 2010 at 08:01 PM


I’m another of those Mac converts who have more or less given up using their Windows machines. Fortunately I’m no longer required to use the platform for work.

What do I miss? Zoot, and possibly Ultra Recall.

There was a thread in the last couple of weeks exploring cross-platform CRIMP solutions; I think Personal Brain came out well.



Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Apr 4, 2010 at 10:16 PM



I am in the same boat as you and Tom. I have MacBook for personal use and a PC at work. I’ve been trying to find a satisfying solution, and basically I’ve given up for now. I’ve got VMFusion on my MacBook with OneNote, ConnectedText and EccoPro, but like you, I’ve found that this feels clumsy to the point that I rarely run the virtual machine. I’ve got PersonalBrain running on my MacBook (in Mac OS) and on my PC and I’ve had success with keeping one brain file stored in a Dropbox folder. You’ve got to make sure you close the file on one machine (and that Dropbox fully syncs before shutting down) before opening it on the other machine, but it works fine if you do that. Still, Personal Brain isn’t a perfect application. I wish I liked Evernote enough to rely on it.

Anyway, as I’ve said, I have basically given up trying to find that perfect cross-platform solution. I find that just saving the information I need in a Dropbox folder using PDFs or RTF files works nicely. It doesn’t allow me to have all my data everywhere, but I’m finding that’s okay, as my work and my personal data needs are fairly separate.

Perhaps a windows version of Tinderbox will finally come out. That might prove very useful for us cross-platform folks.



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