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Lifehack Deals: Stack Your Mac with the iStack Mac Bundle [Deals]

Lifehack Deals: Stack Your Mac with the iStack Mac Bundle [Deals]

    Some of the greatest deals you can find for Mac apps are from StackSocial and their killer Mac app bundles. Today is no different with StackSocial releasing their newest deal, the iStack Mac Bundle featuring 9 essential Mac apps for $49.99. The entire bundle has a total retail value of $953 (with the included iOS App Development tutorial course), in fact, 5 of the apps actually retail over the sale price.

    I haven’t used all of the apps in the bundle, although I have heard of at least all of them. There are three of these apps that I have used quite extensively, and those three alone are totally worth the $49.99.

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    Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac

    If you are a Mac user and want to use some of your old Windows apps, then you can either virtualize or use Bootcamp to install Windows. Using Bootcamp works pretty great, actually it’s pretty surprising how well Windows works on a Mac, but it can be a huge time waster having to switch between partitions on your Mac. To save time you can use Parallels Desktop 7 instead which can virtualize Windows or even a Linux OS “inside” of OS X.

    It’s great to be able to use Parallels and have your Windows and Mac apps running side by side. While using Parallels in its Coherence Mode, you can sometimes even forget what is a Mac app and what is Windows app because they are running side by side and feel pretty fast.

    If you are in need of a good virtualization solution for Mac, then picking up this bundle for Parallels alone is worth the cost.

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    SnagIt

    SnagIt is my favorite tool for creating video demos and taking screenshots on my Mac. I use it every day to create small tutorials for computer users at my current job.

    What I love most about SnagIt is that it’s super fast and easy to create a small video, create some text and effects to go along with it, then share it with whoever I need to. It takes a lot of the configuration and editing time out of the mix and gives you a great looking video with little effort.

    SnagIt is also great for taking screenshots and even can take nice long photos of websites that span more that your screen’s resolution, which is great for taking picks of demo sites in the browser and being able to send them.

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    Clarify

    Yet another tool I use at work to create great image and text tutorials. Clarify can be used to create beautiful documents with photos that can be use to help users and other understand a process or even a piece of software.

    It has some great built in features for managing screenshots and photos and can be used to automatically create how-to documents while you are taking photos in the order of the process.

    What’s in the iStack Mac Bundle?

    So, 9 titles worth $953 for $49.99. That’s a pretty killer deal, not to mention that the software you are getting is high quality and highly usable. Here are the 9 Mac apps that are featured in the iStack Mac Bundle and their retail prices:

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    • $80 – Parallels 7
    • $50 – SnagIt
    • $90 – Disk Drill Pro
    • $50 – Hands Off
    • $30 – Clarify
    • $50 – Elasty
    • $20 – PaintSupreme
    • $40 – TextSoap
    • $20 – iGlasses 3

    So, if you are in the market for 9 awesome Mac Apps (who isn’t?), then check out the deal over at Lifehack Deals within the next two weeks.

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    The power of habit

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to make a reminder works for you

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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