Making the most of OS X Spaces

I read with particular interest a blog post proposing a navigational re-design for Apple's Spaces, the OS X feature that implements multiple screens user can switch between. What sparked my interest is that I'd just diagrammed how I layout my Spaces this weekend, thinking I'd blog this someday. Like today.

I configure my Macbook Pro with 9 Spaces, arranged in a 3 x 3 configuration. The center space (#5) is my dedicated "Home" space: the one I always come back to. The blue spaces are for key activities. The rest for auxilliary ones.

In practice the center space is where I do email (Gmail), catch up with Twitter, take notes, and surf the web. Right now, I find I don't need four blue "dedicated activity" spaces and only use three, The remaining "sand spaces" usually have the programs listed but will change as needs dictate. For instance if I'm doing a lot of Rails development (#4) then I may use the spaces above and below (#1 & 7) to display documentation or work with files on the server with Cyberduck.

Advantages of this layout:
  • Using the center space as "Home" makes it easier to return to it, my fingers can find their way without me thinking about it
  • The four spaces above, below, left and right of center are very quickly accessed, and there are two spaces either side of them if I need more room to work
  • I don't use MacFreedom (even when I'm focused I still need the net) but I'm a firm believer in eliminating distractions. Keeping email and Twitter on the center space achieves this just fine 
  • I do use Optimal Layout as my task switcher (love it!). It sorts my windows / apps according to the screen I'm on: very handy

One detail I've left out: I often use my MBP with an external 24" monitor, effectively doubling my total real estate to 18 screens. Here's an example of this looked like over the weekend. (Oh, and 8GB RAM helps to run all those programs smoothly :-)

Other tips? Let me know!