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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.

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

    Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better Why Getting Things Done is the Best Productivity System For You How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Ways to Beat It Once and for All To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2019

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

    Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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    1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
    2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
    3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
    4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
    5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
    6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
    7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
    8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
    9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
    10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
    11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
    12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
    13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
    14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
    15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
    16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
    17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
    18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
    19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
    20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
    21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
    22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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