How Your Environment Affects Your Blogging

Are you more or less productive in certain settings? Or on certain computers? I am! For me, this is mostly true with web design/development work, but it also occasionally applies to blogging:

Hardware: I work better on a bigger computer

I have two computers: a desktop PC sitting in England, and a MacbookPro laptop that I take with me when I travel. When I’m home in England, I never ever use the laptop. All of my work is done on my desktop computer, which is super fast, has like 4 or 5 hard drives, and has two monitors. It’s epic!

But when I travel, I only have my MacbookPro. When I sit down to start doing work, suddenly it feels so tedious! I almost can’t even explain why. I have almost all the same applications on my laptop than I have on my desktop PC. I suppose the main annoyance is that my laptop is slower and it only has one 17″ screen, instead of two 23″ screens. It’s hard to downsize! I think the slower laptop also makes me feel less productive, even though in reality it doesn’t actually affect me that much.

Ultimately, I think most of it is in my head. My laptop feels smaller and less awesome, so that makes me feel less productive. I also love the setting that my desktop is in. I have a great desk, and a fabulous chair that I adore. But when I travel I often just sit on my bed with the laptop. It makes me feel lazy.

Location: No public places!

Location also affects my productivity. I’m not one of those people who can plop down at Starbucks with their laptop and work away. I hate it! I don’t like having eyes on me or people reading over my shoulder (which I’m sure they do, because sometimes I do it to people on their laptops lol). For me, there’s nothing like the quiet privacy of my own apartment.

Are you more or less productive in certain environments?

Where’s your favourite place to blog? At home? In Starbucks?

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. I’m the same way – I have a Surface Tablet that I use when I have to (and I really like it) but I will always prefer my desktop (I did even when I had laptops). I don’t have two monitors setup, though I’ve been toying with doing it, since I have an extra monitor sitting in my closet – I had a job once that required two monitors and I quickly fell in love with it. So I’m very tempted.

    I can work at a public place though. sometimes, I’m actually more productive at a public place because I feel like I need to get a certain amount done while I’m there. At home, I tend to jump around a lot because I don’t feel the pressure. And I guess I don’t care of people watch what I’m doing. If they ask me about my blog, the joke will be on them because I can talk about my blog until I’m blue in the face LOL!

    Fun post πŸ™‚

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | Audio Review
    1. You should totally go for two monitors! It’s so much more convenient, especially when you’re doing something that involves you constantly tabbing back and forth between windows. For example: when I’m coding a design, it’s really useful to be able to have the code on one monitor and the WIP website (or Photoshop mockup) on the other. Then I can see them both at once.

      1. I need to figure out the logistics of adding another one, but I really want to. Last time I worked with two monitors they were all setup for me. Now I have to do the work – but I think it will be worth it once I figure it out. I’m guessing that I need a splitter and also need to make sure my computer graphics card can handle it, but I think it should be able to.

        Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | Audio Review
  2. I only have my own laptop and I work best on that one! =) I’m used to the keyboard and when I have to use another one, for some reason I can’t type blind as fast. It annoys the hell out of me. As for location, I never take my laptop anywhere. We don’t have starbucks or anything like that here, so. =) (I know, for shame! I want a starbucks here.)

    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted: ARC Review: Brush Strokes by Janelle Stalder
    1. Haha yeah it can be hard to adjust to keyboards. I know all about that! My Macbook is from the US so it has a US-style keyboard.. but my desktop computer has a UK-style keyboard, which has a lightly different layout. Some of the symbols are in different places, the enter key is bigger on UK keyboards, etc. It’s so weird going back and forth. πŸ˜› The biggest difference that catches me up every time is the quotes button ( ” ). On the UK keyboard it’s SHIFT + 2 (so using left hand on top left of keyboard). On the US keyboard it’s SHIFT + Comma (so using right hand, right side of keyboard).

  3. I’ve actually never tried to blog in a public space before, but I don’t think it’d work for me, for the same reasons you give. It’s just too distracting, I think. I love the desktop computer I have at home because it’s really fast and just generally awesome, but I still have a soft spot for my (relatively) old laptop I’m currently working on at my parents’ house at well. Mainly because of the keyboard I think. Fun post! πŸ™‚

    Anne @ booksbakingandblogging recently posted: Sundays in Bed With…, Social Media and Feedback
  4. I’m pretty good once I have time to myself – that’s te most important factor for me. I actually like going to my local Barnes & Noble cafe, because it means I have some dedicated time that I can spend blogging – and the environment – surrounded by others on their computers and reading – is conducive to it (not all cafes are). But I can easily well do it at home – when the family is gone. Otherwise, they’re vying for my attention.

  5. AUGH YES. I have two monitors at work, and when I get home and get ready to work on my laptop, not having TWO monitors is such an annoyance. (First world problem, heck yes. Still annoying? Heck yes.) I can’t look at my blog at the same time that I look at my spreadsheets or my review notes and it frustrates me so much, but I have no desire to get a desktop for home use.

    It’s funny how quickly two monitors spoils you (and by you, I mean me) and the inexplicable rage that comes with involuntary downgrading.

    Terri @ Starlight Book Reviews recently posted: Review: “Out of the Blue” by S.L. Rottman
  6. I’m completely jealous of your desktop setup.

    Funnily enough, I’m the exact opposite. I’m less productive at home and more productive in busy areas, like Starbucks. It’s mostly likely because home = relaxing time and I’m pretty good at turning distractions into white noise. If I don’t have that white noise, I start distracting myself!

  7. I’m the same way working at coffee shops! I can handle the library at the university close to where I live because there’s sort of mini desk dividers–like half cubicles–that at least give you a little privacy. But I hate working completely in the open! I don’t know why.

  8. I only have a laptop (a MacBook Pro). But I’ll often sit at my desk, and hook my laptop up to my keyboard because I find it so much comfortable. I actually really dislike typing a lot on my laptop keyboard because it hurts my wrists.

    So I definitely understand why you enjoy blogging using your desktop the most. I’m not one to work in public places either. I can, if I have to, but I prefer to be home too. Actually, I just prefer to be home all the time. I’m a homebody.

    Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook recently posted: Review: Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
  9. I worked in so many settings I’m not sure I really care anymore… πŸ˜€
    My favorite working station now is my MacBook Pro 15′. I found that the retina display saved my life from daily migraines. It’s fine for most work: pure development, blogging, or simple Photoshop tasks. I love it because I can MOVE. When it’s winter and -30Β°C, I can’t really go anywhere. So when spring/summer comes, I go to work in the garden or in parks. The 8 hours battery of the Mac helps a lot for this.
    On the other hand, I really understand your preference for two screens. When I was working as a webdesigner/web developer, I did have two screens. One for the code, one for displaying the website, it’s almost a requirement. (Though with Linux & MacOS, you can switch desktop with a combinaison of keys, which leads to almost the same effect)
    I wonder how you fill 4 to 5 hard drives though πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  10. Great topic!

    I have a desktop at work with a 17″ screen and since I work 8 hours a day at that I type faster and the computer is brand spanky new and faster than my home computer, which is a 19″ Dell laptop. However, as far as (personal not work related) productivity goes, I work better at home. I think my main problem is the keyboard on the laptop. I’ve been thinking about getting an external keyboard to make it easier.

    I like desktops better than laptops, but when I was finally able to get wireless internet in our area, I went laptop. I like the mobility.

    Carrie recently posted: Do You Keep A Journal?
  11. I use my MacBook Pro for everything– school, blogging and relaxing. Before, I used PC too but I’ve spent too much time using Macs that I have trouble using PC. I don’t have a favorite place to do work but I find that the places that I tend to get the most work done are places that are quiet such as the library, my room and places in the early morning.

  12. I do everything on my laptop. With a 17″ screen, it’s a bit cumbersome, but I’ve gotten used to bringing it school in my backpack or toting a laptop case with me when I go on trips. It has everything that I’d ever need for blogging, working on the school paper, studying, or relaxing: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Chrome, etc.
    I do most of my blogging and work in my bedroom because it’s quiet and private. I edit photos and make graphics during study hall at school sometimes, but I always feel too self-conscious to write blog posts in there.

    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  13. I used to work on a desktop, but last year I got a laptop and I use that ever since. I like the fact that I can take it everywhere with me, although I do miss the bigger screen. Of course, I mainly use it for blogging and to work from home when I have to, I imagine you use it a lot more!

    I have never blogged in a public space so I’m not sure how I would manage that. I can read anywhere though πŸ™‚

    Liza @ Reading with ABC recently posted: Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
  14. I’m like you! I rather work with a desktop than my laptop just because my laptop sucks and very slow. I also don’t like working in public just because people would randomly come up to me and ask me what I’m doing (writing my blog post) and then I’d have to explain to them about book blogging etc. and it’ll take away my time lol.

  15. I only have one computer, my rather oldish laptop, and it’s the only one that I use when I blog. I hate using my tablet to write up blog posts, I’ll get bored quickly and I won’t be as productive. Maybe it’s because my laptop has my music, or I can easily pull up YouTube for some more music. If I’m stuck on a post, I can just play a quick game and return to it with fresh eyes.

    I can’t really blog in public either, except for a few situations. If I’m at school in a little room with a few friends, and no one can see my screen, I’ll go off and see if I can write a quick post. πŸ™‚

    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted: Talk To Me 21: The New Girl
  16. I’m exactly the same. I love having a bigger screen, so when I get a laptop to take to uni I’m looking for one with a fairly big screen! I also hate using those touchpad mice, so I’ll have to take a proper mouse with me too.

    And the same with working in public – nope. At uni before I could NEVER work in the library, I just got my books and took them home πŸ™‚ I don’t like people being able to see what I’m doing, even if it’s just making notes!

    Rinn recently posted: Thoughts: Book Amnesia
    1. Lol can you believe that I went through all my years of uni (5) without EVER stepping foot in the library? Like, never been in the building.

      I always hear about people spending hours in the library to do work… but I never understood that! It’s so much more convenient and comfortable to be at home!

  17. Ashley I absolutely love your posts! They almost always make me giggle!! I’m the same, I prefer doing stuff at home where I know I’m not being watched (I like being nosey too;) haha). But I haven’t got two monitors πŸ™ YET! But it is something I’m wanting to do, maybe I’ll start giving my partner hints πŸ˜€ I generally do everything on my laptop/PC but if I’m out and about I’ll play on my iPad and blog, or nosey at other random stuff.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ashton @ Morphys Book Blog recently posted: Book Blitz: Impulsion by Jamie Magee
    1. Thanks so much! πŸ˜€

      You totally should go for the two monitors! πŸ˜‰

  18. Oh, I can only work on my Macbook Air and nothing else any more. Recently on holiday only hubby brought his (Windows) Laptop and I gave up after 30 mins struggle arrgh. At home, best work on my desk (as now) or in bed. I tried writing in my lunch hour at work, but that doesn’t work at all… my work is very different from writing/reading etc and I can’t get into ‘that’ mood when I’m at work. I love to sit at Starbucks etc , mostly read though and don’t write. Yep, I think I could sit there all day πŸ™‚

    Peggy recently posted: Review: Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  19. I love to work at Starbucks because, unlike you, I am much more likely to have people reading over my shoulder there. The people here are little people – and not so much reading over my shoulder as looking at the interesting pictures on the blogs – or tapping on my shoulder to ask when the heck I’m going to be off the computer. πŸ™‚

    That being said, it’s not practical for me to head to Starbucks on a daily basis to work on my blog, so I pretty much reserve that for when I need to hunker down with an editing project.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: Best of the Bunch - May 2014

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