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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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                        40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                        40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                        Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                        There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                        Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                        It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                        Productivity apps to help you get things done

                        1. OmniFocus

                        This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                        Download it here.

                          2. Forest

                          Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                          Download it here.

                            3. Things

                            Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                            Download it here.

                              4. 30/30

                              Recently covered here at Lifehack

                              , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                              Download it here.

                                5. Any.Do

                                A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                Download it here.

                                  6. PocketLife Calendar

                                  This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                  Download it here.

                                    7. Asana

                                    We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                    , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                    Download it here.

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                                      8. ToDoist

                                      This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                      Download it here.

                                        9. FlowTasks

                                        From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                        Download it here.

                                          10. Calendars 5

                                          This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                          Download it here.

                                            11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                            A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                            Download it here.

                                              12. Due

                                              A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                              Download it here.

                                                13. Checkmark 2

                                                I use this app

                                                for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  14. TeuxDeux

                                                  Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    15. Wunderlist 

                                                    Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                    Download it here.

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                                                      16. Nirvana

                                                      For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        17. Priorities

                                                        An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                          18. Productive

                                                          With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                            You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              20. Streaks

                                                              This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                21. Remember The Milk

                                                                Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  22. Day One Journal

                                                                  When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                    23. Evernote

                                                                    Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      24. Pocket

                                                                      You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                      Download it here.

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                                                                        25. Sync.Me

                                                                        This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          26. Droplr

                                                                          One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            27. Dropbox

                                                                            Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              28. iDolly 

                                                                              In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                              Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                29. Soulver

                                                                                It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                  30. Captio

                                                                                  A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    31. Drafts

                                                                                    A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                      This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                      Download it here.

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                                                                                        33. Doodle

                                                                                        This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                          I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                            A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              36. GoodReader

                                                                                              This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                  38. 1Password

                                                                                                  There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                    You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                    All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      40. Truecallers

                                                                                                      Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                        Reference

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