On digitally separating work and personal life

Work-life balance is something I struggle with. Part of me wants to overcome the (oddly named) concept and unite work and life—this is what self-actualization means after all. Another part thinks that it's healthy to give mind and body different nourishment every now and then, since my job doesn't provide everything I need (a decent workout, for a basic example).

Technology plays a major role in this. While it seems natural not to meet up with colleagues during the weekend, there's hardly a time I don't interact with my digital devices. And being constantly confronted with work email doesn't really do wonders for letting my mind explore different (or no) paths.

This is why I tend keep some elements of my digital life together, and some apart. Here's my setup.


  • Email – Mail.app personally, Outlook 2011 for work
  • Files – they reside on the same hard drive, but work files don't transgress above a certain threshold
  • Tasks – I've basically stopped using OmniFocus for personal tasks
  • Twitter – not using that for work purposes (yet?)


  • Contacts
  • Appointments, but with a twist: separate calendar systems in a unified view (Exchange for work and iCloud – grudgingly – for personal use)
  • Browser – although whenever I fire up a webpage with someone looking over my shoulder, they must think I'm crazy for having a gazillion tabs open
  • Phone number – sometimes I reminisce about when I had a company-issued phone that I could turn off on weekends and feel done

What's your setup?