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3 Ways to Use Windows on Your Mac

3 Ways to Use Windows on Your Mac

    One of the biggest reasons that Windows users have a hard time making the switch to a Mac is that they have obtained years and years of Windows software. Of course there is no real way to run Windows apps natively on the Mac operating system. But, instead of not becoming a Mac convert or starting your application collection from scratch, you can use these 3 ways to use Windows on your Mac.

    Remote Desktop

    One of the fastest ways to get Windows running on a Mac, especially if you already have an installation of Windows (XP, Vista, or 7 Pro or higher) is to use the free Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application that is available for your Mac. You will need to do some initial configuration, like making sure that your Windows PC is accessible through a firewall and allows for remote desktop connections.

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    To allow remote desktop connection on Windows do the following:

    XP

    1. Click Start and then right-click My Computer.
    2. Click Properties.
    3. Click the Remote tab, and then click to select “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer”.
    4. Confirm the change.

    Windows Vista/7

    1. Click the start button and in the search box type “Control panel” and hit Enter.
    2. Double click the System icon.
    3. Under Tasks to the left click Remote settings.
    4. One the System properties dialogue under the Remote Desktop heading, choose Allow connections from computers running any version of remote desktop
    5. Click apply.

    If you are on a local area network with the Windows computer that you just allowed to be remotely accessed, all you need is the computer’s IP and that it be turned on to access it from the Remote Desktop Connection application from Microsoft. Simply enter your IP, click connect, and you are good to go.

    Virtualization

    If you don’t want to remotely access your PC, keep Windows with you on your Mac, and have the ability to use your Windows apps next to your Mac apps, then virtualizing Windows inside of OS X is the way to go. There are a handful of great virtualization suites out there including Parallels Desktop ($79.99) and VMware Fusion ($49.99). But, if you want virtualization done for free, you may want to look into VirtualBox that was originally created by Sun and is now owned by Oracle.

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    Virtualization is a great way to use Windows on your Mac but can be a little bit of a bear to setup, especially if you aren’t familiar with virtualization at all. The process basically includes installing the virtualization software, creating a new virtual machine, and then installing Windows on the new virtual machine. The creation of the virtual machine (especially with Parallels and VirtualBox) is pretty straightforward. Where you can run into issues with the virtual machine is when you are trying to virtualize certain hardware components and setups, but for most users, they will never have to touch these options.

    Another thing about virtualization is that you will need a valid license and installation media for the version of Windows you want to install.

    Probably the hardest part of virtualizing Windows on a Mac is installing Windows on the virtual machine. If you have installed Windows before with succes, then this won’t be an issue, but for those that have never installed Windows, it could pose a problem.

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    Luckily there are some great tutorials for installing Windows from the Microsoft Support Site. Also, since Windows Vista, the installation process has become much easier.

    Boot Camp

    While virtualization is a great way to use your Windows apps alongside your Mac apps, some power users may want the full power of their Mac hardware to run Windows. For this type of user I suggest using Apple’s Boot Camp to install Windows on a totally separate partition on your Mac. This gives you the ability to boot into either OS X or Windows when you turn your compter on.

    The benefits of using this type of setup is that you get to use the power of your Mac to run Windows, rather than using a less powerful virtual machine because it doesn’t have to share resources with the “host” operating system. Also, using Windows 7 natively on a Mac is pretty great and can prove to be a better user experience than most of the high-end PCs that are available.

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    The installation guides for Boot Camp can be found here on Apple’s support site. Just choose the installation guide that is applicable to your Mac to make it happen. Once again, you will have to know how to install Windows natively and have a valid Windows license and installation media to get this to work.

    Go forth, you cross-platform warrior

    Now that you have the ability to use Windows on your Mac you can use pretty much all the software in the world. Pretty awesome, huh? You can now turn into a cross-platform, Windows on Mac warrior.

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    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.

    To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make 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

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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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