How I set up a new Customer on a Mac Workstation

I do consulting and sometimes I deal with different clients/projects. This requires a bit of compartmentalized thinking, but I still like to do it fast without having to endlessly tweak my setup. By now I have evolved a way to set up a new customer (when I get a whole new project) on my Mac. This discusses my filters, calendars, and other programs. So this is basically my cheatsheet.

  • iCal: I add a calendar named Clients:ClientName for color-coding their appointments (and hide/showing).
  • Mail: I try to practice Inbox Zero. For this I use MailTags and I try to do something with an e-mail within 2-5 seconds after scanning or reading it. Mail Act-On is crucial for this. So I do the following:
    • Add a Mail folder ClientName under Clients
    • Add an Act-On rule for the client’s initial letter that will: Set MailTags project to ClientName, Move E-Mail to the Clients/ClientName folder
  • Finder: Under Documents/Clients, add a ClientName folder. Using Mercurial, “hg init” the folder, or do whatever you do to put it under version control.
  • OfficeTime: Add a ClientName project
  • iGTD: Add a ClientName project

If you already use this, all of this takes less than 10 minutes, and it’s only done once per client. Finger-memory takes care of the rest, because all your other clients work the same way.