Best way to migrate to new Mac


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I have ordered a 24" M1 iMac with 2TB storage. I plan on using the migration assistant to migrate from my Late 2013 27" iMac with 1TB fusion drive. It uses Catalina as it is too old for Big Sur.

(I'm kind of chicken to migrate each application by hand, afraid that I will lose serial numbers and settings)

In my previous migration, I just plugged in my Time Machine, but I'm wondering whether I'd be better off connecting to my old Mac.

I have a USB-3 cord for my Time Machine. I have some Cat-3 cable, I do not currently have a Thunderbolt-1 to Thunderbolt-3 cable. I thought I had a Thunderbolt-1 to Thunderbolt-3 adaptor, but am not finding it right now.

It is possible that I will have a 1TB SSD. I'm using it now to boot up my old iMac to Mojave. There's a chance I won't need it for that when my M1 machine arrives in a month (otherwise, I'll have to keep my old computer to run one program).

What is the best way to migrate my old machine to my new one?
 
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Yes, there are several ways, especially if I still have my old Mac. I've used my Time Machine in the past.

Also, in the past, I have always migrated from the same OS to the same OS. I won't have that option this time, as my old Mac won't run Big Sur, and my new Mac won't run anything but Big Sur.
 
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Here's one that is still running MacOS Mojave - v10.14.6 Apple are still sending me Security updates every couple of months.
I did progress to 10.15 Catalina - it did not recognise half my software so quickly jumped back to 10.14.6 From the late 1980's I started with an Apple/Macintosh Tower running OS 7.6 - Always chasing new updates till 10.14.6 - prior to that for years I had uses the Apple 2E (Apples second production computer) with an OS know as Pro-Dos (if I remember correctly). Luckily OS 7.6 did recognise my Pro-Dos files. Collected so much over the years that I now have a external box that can hold 6 x 12TB - but only running about 18Tb at the moment.
 
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Write a new, full backup.
Then use migration assistant for pulling all of your files off this backup to your new mac.
(Do reinstall the apps/software that you need directly.)
If you think to need rare files/apps on the old mac, you can have access to it.
 
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To do a new, full backup, are you suggesting that I reformat my Time Machine drive first? (Right now I don't want to spend money on getting another backup drive). Otherwise, I just have my current Time Machine backup (which I will make sure isn't backing up when I disconnect it from my old Mac.
 
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