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You Can Become A Mac Shortcut Expert Too, You Just Have To Read This

You Can Become A Mac Shortcut Expert Too, You Just Have To Read This

For most productive Mac users, it is essential to know a good selection of keyboard tricks to get things done. This means that you will begin to have a growing connection with the “Command” (⌘) button. But it can be hard to learn all of the best Mac keyboard tricks on your own. In addition, it can be very difficult to remember them all on your own. Today, we decided to give you a helping hand and offer you with fifteen of the most amazing Mac keyboard tricks that you may not know about, but could save you a ton of time in tasks you have on your Mac.

1. Compose an Email (⌘ + Shift + I)

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    If you find that you need to compose an email in a snap, simply use the ⌘ + Shift + I shortcut. This opens up Mail compose page on Mail for Mac, allowing you to dig right into posting rather than being sent to the inbox.

    2. Define a Word (⌘ + Control + D)

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      Most Mac OS X and iOS iDevices allow you to define highlighted words. To do this through a Mac shortcut, simply highlight click (even without highlighting) any part of the word you want to define, then press ⌘ + Control + D.

      3. Specify Your Screenshots (⌘ + Shift + 4)

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        As you may or may not know, you can screenshot your full Mac screen using ⌘ + Shift + 3. It is a command I make use of almost everyday as a writer. However, what if you want to only screenshot a certain part of your screen? Easy, simply perform ⌘ + Shift + 4, click, and drag the section you want to screenshot. A shot is automatically taken.

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        4. Minimize All Screens (⌘ + Option + M)

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          If windows are just getting in the way of you getting work done, why not minimize them all. You can do this in a snap by using the shortcut ⌘ + Option + M.

          5. Cycle Open Applications (⌘ + Shift + Tab)

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            If you have a ton of applications open, you can cycle through them all and easily access them without even touching your trackpad. With the ⌘ + Shift + Tab option, you can make this happen.

            6. Quit a Safari Window (⌘ + W)

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              The ⌘ + Q shortcut allows you to quickly quit the current application you are in. However, what if you are in Safari and don’t want to quit out of everything, just the current window you are in? That is possible with the ⌘ + W.

              7. Peak At Your Desktop (⌘ + F3)

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                There may be times when you need to refer to a file or see an image that may be found on your desktop. You might even need to delete or drag it out but don’t want to have to minimize or quit your applications. You don’t have to with the ⌘ + F3 shortcut, which spreads your windows to the top to reveal only the desktop.

                8. Minuscule Volume Adjustments (Option + Shift + F11 or F12)

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                  Have you ever had a time when you wanted to adjust the volume of the music that you are listening to but you’re unable to get it to the specific level you were hoping you could? With the Option + Shift + Volume Up or Volume Down shortcut, you can make very minuscule volume adjustments to get to the level you want.

                  9. Delete Entire Words (Option + Delete)

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                    It can be a pain sometimes to have to press and hold the delete button until the entire word you typed is deleted. With the Option + Delete command, that’s all you’ll have to press to delete the most recent word you typed. You can press it as many times as you want to delete multiple words.

                    10. Scroll to Very Top/Bottom (⌘ + Up or Down)

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                      There are multiple ways to scroll. You can click the scroll bar on the left of the screen, you can use your trackpad, or you can use the keyboard arrows. However, when you press ⌘ + Either the Up or Down Arrow, you can race to the top in lighting speed.

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                      11. Minimization Slow-Mo (Shift + Minimize Window)

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                        This is just for a fun effect to show friends and family. If you want to have your minimizing screen minimize in slow-mo, simply press Shift then minimize your screen with the yellow button.

                        12. Access Address Bar (⌘ + Up + L)

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                          If you want to type something in the search bar without having to even touch your trackpad, simply press ⌘ + Up Arrow + L. From there, you can quickly get into typing your web search or search engine term.

                          13. Fast Shut Down (Control + Option + ⌘ + Eject)

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                            If you find yourself in a rush and need to shut down the computer right away, you can do so with the Control + Option + ⌘ + Eject button. As you can see, it’s very hard to do this command accidentally. For good reason, once activated, you have very little time to save documents or pages before shut down.

                            So make sure you save before doing this command. Even if you do, during my tests, I found that windows loaded back up on the next start-up, but you aren’t guaranteed to have your work completely saved.

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                            14. Finder Shortcuts (⌘ + Shift + A, U, or D)

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                              Finder is the hub of files and applications for your Mac. This means that it can sometimes be a bit cluttered to navigate around. With the ⌘ + Shift + A shortcut in Finder, you can quickly go to the Applications page of Finder. ⌘ + Shift + U takes you to Utilities and ⌘ + Shift + D escorts you to the Desktop folder of Finder.

                              15. Inverted Colors (Read More)

                              Inverted colors may be a cool feature for some people, however for others it can be an important way for them to navigate around their computer. This is why it takes some tinkering in the Accessibility section of Settings (System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Accessibility). From there, check off the “Invert Colors” box. Then with the ⌘ + Control + Option + 8 command, you can change colours to and from being inverted.

                              Let us know in the comments below which keyboard trick is your favourite.

                              Featured photo credit: Blender Artists via blenderartists.org

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                              Last Updated on November 3, 2020

                              20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                              20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                              Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                              There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                              This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

                              What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

                              Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

                              • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
                              • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
                              • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

                              1. Todoist

                                Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                                Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                                If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                                Download: Todoist

                                2. 1Password

                                  You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                                  1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                                  You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                                  Download: 1Password

                                  3. Bear

                                    Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                                    It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

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                                    Download: Bear

                                    4. Hazel

                                      Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                                      For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                                      Download: noodlesoft

                                      5. Alfred

                                        Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                                        For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                                        It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                                        Download: Alfred

                                        6. TextExpander

                                          TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                          For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                          An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                          Download: TextExpander

                                          7. Backblaze

                                            If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                            Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                                            Download: Backblaze

                                            8. Keyboard Maestro

                                              Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                              Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                              9. Snagit

                                                There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                                Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                                10. Bartender

                                                  Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                                  If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                                  Download: Bartender

                                                  11. Otter

                                                  Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                                  Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                                  Download: Otter

                                                  12. Flux

                                                    Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                                    Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                                                    Download: Flux

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                                                    13. PDFpen

                                                    If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                                    PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                                    Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                                    14. OmniFocus

                                                      OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                                      It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                                      A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                                      Download: OmniFocus

                                                      15. Franz

                                                        It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                                        Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                                        Download: Franz

                                                        16. MindNode

                                                          If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                          The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                          Download: MindNode

                                                          17. Focus

                                                            The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

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                                                            This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                            Download: Focus

                                                            18. CleanMyMac

                                                              Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                              Download: CleanMyMac

                                                              19. Grammarly

                                                                A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                                This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                                A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                                Download: Grammarly

                                                                Focus To Do

                                                                  Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                                                  There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                                                  Download: Focus To Do

                                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                                  These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                                  Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                                  More to Boost Productivity

                                                                  Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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