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15 Mac Hacks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

15 Mac Hacks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Mac is one of the most powerful and versatile machines on the market today. There are so many great features included with your Mac that it’s nearly impossible to know every single one of them. From taking effortless screen shots to adding emoji to your messages, there’s a lot more to your Mac than meets the eye.

Check out the 15 Mac hacks below that you may have never seen before and get to know your Mac better than ever.

1. Master The Screenshot

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.26.43 AM

    Screenshots on the Mac are pretty awesome, and there are three ways to take a screen shot with your Mac:

    • Command + Shift + 4 and you’ll get a crosshair that you can drag with your mouse to capture exactly what you want.
    • Command + Shift + 4 at the same time and then let them go, then hit the Spacebar. Now you can click on any window you want and take a shot of that entire window, shadow included.
    • Command + Shift + 3 to take a shot of your entire desktop. You’ll get a file for each display connected.

    2. Move The Dock

    First, hit Command + Option + D on your keyboard to instantly hide the Dock. Hit the keys again to bring it back. What if you have two monitors and just want to move the Dock to another display instead of hide it? Just move your mouse to the other display and hold the cursor at the bottom center of the screen. The Dock will jump over and make the new display its home until you do the same action on the original monitor again.

    3. Use Spotlight As A Calculator

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    Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.36.48 AM

      If you just need some quick math done, just launch Spotlight by hitting Command + Spacebar and type the problem out. When you’re all done just hit esc and you’re back to what you were doing.

      4. Make A Quick Apple Icon

      Just hit Option + Shift + K to make an Apple icon quickly and easily. You can use this in text messages, emails, Word documents and really anything that allows for keyboard input.

      5. Use An Emoji Keyboard

      Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.49.17 AM

        By hitting Command + Control + Spacebar, you can access an emoji keyboard on your keyboard. This doesn’t work in every text entry field, but when texting and emailing it tends to work seamlessly. If you use an emoji where it doesn’t show correctly you’ll see a triangle.

        6. Quickly Delete Files

        All you have to do is select the file, then hit the Command + Delete keys and the file will be moved to the trash. If you want to empty your trash quickly, just hit Command + Shift + Delete and approve the empty. No more files.

        7. Access The Dictionary In A Snap

        You can look up words fairly quickly by using Spotlight to find their definition, but did you know you can actually do this with a few taps of your MacBook touchpad? Just hover over the word in question and tap the touchpad with three fingers. Doing so will pop up the definition as well as a thesaurus entry for the word! Super useful for readers and writers.

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        Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.58.25 AM

          8. Create A Signature

          Signing documents electronically can be a major pain. If you have a Macbook with an iSight camera and OS X Yosemite you can create a digital signature and apply it to documents in both Preview and Mail. There’s a few steps involved in this, so check out this post for all the details.

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            9. Disable Notifications

            The Notification Center in OS X is the home for all the apps and websites on your Mac that need to tell you what’s going on, but if you want to disable notifications for your Mac you can click on the Notification Center icon in the OS X Menu Bar and turn on “Do Not Disturb” (DND) in the Today tab.

            Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.05.41 PM

              Even quicker, you just hold down the Option button on your keyboard and click the Notification Center icon in the Menu Bar and it will shade itself out. This means DND is turned on.

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              10. Use Incremental Volume Adjustment

              Hold down Shift + Option and hit the volume Up or Down keys to incrementally adjust the volume up or down.

              Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.11.26 PM

                11. Use Incremental Brightness Adjustment

                Hold down Shift + Option and hit the brightness up or down and you’ll get an incremental adjustment. This is perfect if you’re trying to attain just the right brightness in a dark room.

                12. Cycle Through Running Apps

                To do this just hit the Command + Tab keys on your keyboard and you’ll be presented with the window seen above. From here you can hold the Command key and cycle through apps by tapping the Tab key. Whatever app you release the Command key on will be selected.

                Screenshot_1_3_15__12_16_PM

                  13. Use Dictation On Your Mac

                  Believe it or not, your Mac can actually take dictation and make writing pretty easy. Out of the box this feature works fairly well, but if you have some extra space on your hard drive, you can do a quick update and make dictation nearly seamless.

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                  Open up System Preferences and click on Dictation & Speech.

                  Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.21.03 PM

                    From here, click the radio button next to Dictation so On is selected, and make sure Use Enhanced Dictation is checked. This will allow you to dictate when not connected to the Internet and make it much faster. To activate dictation, press the Fn (Function) key on your keyboard twice quickly.

                    Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.24.30 PM

                      14. Batch Rename Files

                      There was a time that you had to use a 3rd party app to rename files en masse on the Mac, but with OS X Yosemite the feature is built in. To batch rename files highlight the files you want to rename and right-click them. In the menu that appears select Rename x Items.

                      Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.26.34 PM

                        You’ll see the rename utility pop up over your files. Just select the formatting you want and click Rename when you’re all done. The files will be renamed and you’re all set.

                        15. Type Special Characters

                        The last tip in our list is pretty important if you ever need to type special characters and letters with accent marks. To access these accent marks for letters, hit and hold the letter you want to see special versions of and OS X will pop up a list of available characters. Choose the one you want by clicking it or by hitting the number that lines up with it.

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                        Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                        11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                        11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                        Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                        Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                        Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                        In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                        1. ScheduleOnce

                          ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                          ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                          ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                          Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                          Available on Web

                          2. Calendly

                            Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                            You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                            Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                            3. Assistant.to

                              For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                              From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                              While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                              Available on Web

                              4. Acuityscheduling

                                Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                5. Pick

                                  Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                  At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                  Available on Web

                                  6. X.ai

                                    For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                    This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                    Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                    Available on Web

                                    7. YouCanBook.me

                                      is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                      They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                      Available on Web

                                      8. Doodle

                                        Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                        It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                        You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                        While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                        Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                        9. WhenAvailable

                                          WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                          Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                          Available on Web

                                          10. Rally

                                            Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                            Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                            Available on Web

                                            11. NeedtoMeet

                                              Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                              NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                              While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                              Available on Web

                                              Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                              In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                              To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                              Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                              A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                              Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                              If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                              Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                              With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                              The Bottom Line

                                              Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                              Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                              Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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