Why I love Windows 8 (Pro, with Desktop)? Distraction free mode!
First of all I’m talking about the full Windows 8 with ‘classic’ desktop, not about the RT version.
Lot of people complain about the hybrid approach of Windows 8, that it’s stupid to include both a fully featured desktop mode and a more lightweight Metro/Modern interface. You have to get used to it, it’s true. Does it feels a bit awkward at first try? Yes it does.
But once you get used to it the two paradigms start to complement each other.
Why and how? Am I out of my mind?
I’ll explain how my workflow changed since I’ve switched from Windows 7 to 8.
On Windows 7 (and on Mac OS X if that matters) I had a bunch of apps running just to keep up with all the social/news stuff I follow.
Just to mention a few:
- social (Twitter, Facebook)
- app updates
- calendar (meetings, events, etc.)
- IM (Skype mostly)
These are all really useful tools to get things (and some entertainment) done. What’s the problem with them? All of these tools ‘think’ it’s really important to notify me about every little change instantly.
You get an email, sure you’ll check it, it can be important to deal with it. Right after you finish writing your response to an important email you get a notification on social and you have to check it. Social is done, back to work - but hey, there’s a new message on Skype, I have to check it, it can be important. Done with Skype, now an app popup appears that I have to update the app right now. OK, I’m done, back to work… No way, I just received a new email, I have to check it, it can be important…
I think you get my point now. Since I started to use Windows 8 I try to replace most of my distracting apps with their Metro/Modern version and get less notification about ‘important’ stuff. It’s more than enough to check emails once or twice an hour, check social or update apps when I have the time for it.
I can deal with the really important thing (what I work on) quicker and generally it feels much more productive this way.
And when I want to do something without any distraction I can open a Metro/Modern app to do it. Like I do it right now, writing this post in a Metro/Modern text editor app without checking my mails or social notifications. I can still get my familiar desktop apps and mostly I work in the Desktop mode, but when I want to focus only on one thing I can still do it.
That’s the real power of Windows 8 and I’m glad I’ve spent enough time with it to realize it.