How to Get Divorced Using a Mac

"What?" You may ask? "That doesn't make sense!" Well sure it does. It's all about how you use your tools, and I used my Mac recently to get divorced.You too can use your Mac to end the tyranny and again regain freedom with your MacBook, Mac Pro, or whatever Apple branded product you may have on hand. Keep in mind, I do not recommend getting divorced with a PC. It may not go well.

  • You need an app to help you keep everything organized. For this I used DevonThink. Adds native "Print to DevonThink PDF" functionality right into OS X, it will let you edit files of many filetypes, and you're not limited on subfolders like something like Yojimbo is. This is a pretty hardcore app, but it's become invaluable as a notetaking, filefolder, lifestyle organizer. Print to PDF all of your emails directly to it, take notes on apartments, and generally drag and drop anything of importance right into it's interface to find later. It also features smart folders, artificial intelligence to know what files are related to what other files, importing of RSS, and so much more. This is step one. A place to put your crap.
  • Second step, you're going to have to get crap. Remember that old technology from the 80s or whatever that you never thought you'd need to use again? Telecopier, or facsimile, or the better known "fax"? Yeah, you'll have to use it. Don't feel dirty, it's not your fault. But you'll need to start getting faxes. You'll quickly learn that opposing counsel only takes you seriously if you kill a few trees, so you'll have to do so for them to listen to you. Don't buy a fax machine. Get a fax number. Use an online fax service that will email them to you in PDF so you can drop them right into DevonThink. I used TrustFax. It'll let you fax out in any format you want, but you'll mostly be dealing with PDFs.
  • "How am I going to deal with PDFs? I hate PDFs! They're a crappy format." You say. And you're right. But you'll deal. You'll also have to find a way to create them from pieces of paper. Sorry. You'll be signing a lot of crap and you'll need a way to get those out either in an email, or fax them with your TrustFax account. So get one of those HP all-in-one devices to replace whatever inkjet printer you currently have and move on. They work great with your Mac, and it has native one button scanning functionality. Throw the paper on the flatbed, push one button, and the PDF will show up in OS X Preview. Drag that into DevonThink. PDFs suck, i'm aware. But this is as good as you'll get.
  • Use Apple Mail. It displays the PDFs natively right in the display of the email, and you won't have to go opening it with anything else. But make sure you still drag it into DevonThink. See the pattern here?
  • Being I'm no good at making any kind of document that looks decent, and if you're not either it's best just to find a format that works and stick with it. For me it's an outline. So I love Omni Outliner. The non-professional copy comes by default on Macs, or at least it did. If it doesn't anymore, grab a copy. It rocks. You'll need to make lists, and this app is made for it. Open it up and start typing. I use this app a lot. When you're done, drag the file into DevonThink.
  • Get a copy of GarageSale for OS X and sell everything you own (minus your Mac) on eBay. You'll need every cent you can get.
  • On the same topic of saving money, since you'll have to somehow find the cash to get a new apartment and everything, make sure to "Think Different". Don't get a phone line, don't get cable television. All you need is some internet connectivity. Don't skimp on this, it's your lifeline. If you need a home phone get Vonage, it's a great service. It'll email your voicemail directly to you, and Apple Mail will play it natively right in the message. For TV, get Joost. It's free TV. If that's not enough, buy ala carte from the iTunes Store at $1.99 per show. A copy of XTorrent will let you subscribe to RSS feeds of tv shows or search torrents for entertainment you want, so that's a worthy investment as well.
  • I'd highly recommend having a device that can do mobile email. I love my Palm Treo. If you go that route, grab a copy of Markspace's The Missing Sync. It'll seamlessly sync your mobile world with your Mac and get iCal, Addressbook, Notes and everything else right to your Treo. There's also a copy for Blackberries, if you're into that. They're OK too. But either way, it's good to be connected wherever you are, and have it integrated into your Mac. You'll get a lot of email and phone calls, so make sure you're prepared to get them all. (Hint: If you use Vonage you can save your voicemails into DevonThink!)
  • Change your password on your mac. Set a different password on your DevonThink database. I'm serious. Then do the same on your remote email.
  • Have a good blogging client, like Ecto or MarsEdit, and blog a lot about your experience. It will make you feel better. Getting things off your chest is important. And who knows, someone may want to hear and learn from what you say.

Gabe Kangas

Jun 22, 2007