Macaroni and cheese may be my favorite thing in the world. Granted, I’m using vegan cheese, but my love for it still stands. It’s gooey, filling, and delicious in all the ways that are the very worst for you. When it’s baked, my love for it just goes straight through the roof.
Mac and cheese is comfort food for a reason. Well, a couple reasons. The salty, fatty, brimming over with carbs part of it is a major factor, but it’s also comfort food for many people because it’s a food that’s probably been a part of their lives for a long time.
It’s familiar and we all like familiar things. And c’mon, this stuff was the bomb.
One of my business “comfort foods” is G Suite. It’s a service that I’ve used in multiple businesses for a long time. I know its eccentricities, I’m familiar with its time-saving features, and I’m aware of how easy it’s made portions of my work. It’s an all around great service and I would probably recommend it to a lot of people.
But I’m taking steps to remove it from my business life. Let me tell you why.
The comfort and pleasure of a single ecosystem
Back in 2005, if I had stuck with a Windows computer and then perhaps transitioned over to Google/Android when the smartphone revolution took place, then this post may be totally different. I could see myself extolling the virtues of G Suite and using Docs and Sheets to run major parts of my business.
Instead, I got my first Mac in 2005 and instantly fell in love with Apple products and Mac OS X (as it was called back then). Now we’re here. You’re reading a post written on an iPad and I’m talking about trying to remove Google from my business life as much as possible.
Funny how life works.
Granted, I’ll probably need to use services from different companies no matter how I feel about going all in on a single ecosystem. For example, Apple doesn’t really make bookkeeping and accounting software. I’ll need to use something like Xero or FreshBooks for that. Compromises will need to be made.
But they’ll only need to be made where they’re absolutely necessary.
I’m already paying for additional iCloud storage space, so why shouldn’t I move my important working files there and use Apple’s apps? I’m already using them for my personal life. Extending them out to my business won’t be a huge stretch for me.
When everything is functioning under the same ecosystem, you’re afforded benefits that you won’t get if everything’s fractured. These include:
- Using a virtual assistant, like Siri or Google Assistant, to manage reminders, calendar events, and finding documents.
- Easy sync between the apps you use.
- No longer having to remember where you placed that one file you used two years ago but need again right now for some reason.
- A single subscription bill.
I especially like how everything just works together better whenever you’re working under a single ecosystem. When I open Apple Pages on my iPad, I’m presented with the native file picker that I’m already familiar with. I don’t have to spend any time adjusting how I navigate through my files. I’m ready to jump in and get to work.
Likewise, if you’re working in the Google ecosystem, using Google Drive starts to feel like something you know like the back of your hand. You know how to create a new document in Docs, you know that everything is going to be instantly autosaved for you, and you know how simple it is to share everything with other people.
Not having to change your workflow because you’re bouncing back and forth between ecosystems is something that will save you a lot of time throughout your day.
The elephant in the room: privacy
I’m moving to an all Apple workflow in part because I’m not particularly fond of the way Google (and other services) treat the data that’s given to them. This is a personal choice. If you work with Google products a lot and are okay with them, then more power to you.
Kick some business butt!
On the whole, though, I’ve appreciated Apple’s take on and consideration of their users’ privacy. Yes, they’re not perfect and do slip up, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes not. I’m not excusing their major issues and I think they need to work harder to protect the digital privacy of the people who use their products. However, they’ve proven themselves to be worthy of my trust.
I don’t feel that same way about Google. As Douglas Schmidt, a computer science researcher at Vanderbilt University says,
[T]heir business model is to collect as much data about you as possible and cross-correlate it so they can try to link your online persona with your offline persona. This tracking is just absolutely essential to their business. 'Surveillance capitalism' is a perfect phrase for it.
I’m certainly thankful they’re not Facebook. If they were, then the whole world would probably be in trouble. But still, for me, Apple is more palatable.
Saving some bucks instead of spending them
If I’m paying for iCloud storage, then why should I also let myself pay for Google Drive storage?
A question like this one is something you should ask yourself if you’re paying for more than one similar service for your business (and even your personal life). Why pay for two or more things if you can manage only paying for one?
In this world of non-stop subscriptions, removing one should be a no-brainer.
Additionally, what am I getting from G Suite that I’m not already getting from iCloud? For me, the answer to that question is a business email address: sean [at] dandycatdesign [dot] com. Thankfully, my amazing domain service provider also provides business email service, so what I thought would be a big hindrance actually isn’t an issue at all. It’s only $20 a year through Hover. With G Suite, it’s currently $72 a year.
I’m pretty free to move to iCloud whenever I’d like and start saving some money. Sounds like a win-win to me.
All of this is to say that your particular situation may not resemble mine. If you love Google’s services and don’t want to give them up, but your day job requires that you use Microsoft Office, then there’s not a lot of say you may have in the matter.
In a case like that, I’d recommend using your least preferred service as rarely as possible. Make the service you love work so well for you that the joy you get from it overshadows all the unpleasantness of having to use the one you dislike.
Thankfully, since we’re pretty much living in the future, we have the benefit of choice. We’re not all stuck using the same IBM typewriter because that’s the only thing available to us. We can use whatever we’d like because we’ve moved past slamming keys through inked ribbon onto paper.
Going all in on Apple’s services is my new comfort food. It’s allowing me to gain all the benefits of a single ecosystem, like using a virtual assistant, enjoying the apps I love, and not having to worry about switching between user interfaces. I’m also able to save a bit of money at the same time.
It’s kind of the best and I encourage you to think about how your workflow could improve if you were to go all in on one service.
And don’t worry, I may have a new favorite comfort food, but I’ll never stop loving mac and cheese.
Stay comfy, cats.