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9 Most Useful Built-in Tools In Mac That You May Have Forgotten

9 Most Useful Built-in Tools In Mac That You May Have Forgotten

Mac OS X comes with a number of practical and versatile built-in tools, which can help enhance productivity and simplify your tasks. We often end up overlooking some of these easily available and handy features, which are jam packed with potential. Here is my cheat sheet of the top 10 default tools that you may have forgotten about.

1. Grapher

Access: Finder – Utilities – Applications – Grapher

For math geeks as well as those intimidated by equations, Grapher is a powerful tool to visualize pesky formulae. The software sketches out 2D and 3D graphs in seconds from any mathematical equation. In fact, it can chart multiple equations at once. The interface is simple with three panes: equation editor on the top, equation list on the left, and the graph area. Use the Inspector button on the top right corner to change colors, line type and other attributes of the graph. Eliminate dabbling with your paper and pen, and add Grapher to your list of must-use applications.

Grapher2

    2. Dictation

    Access: Apple – System Preferences – Dictation & Speech

    Available in Mac OS X Mountain Lion and later versions, you can use Dictation to speak to your Mac and translate words into text. You have to be explicit with punctuations – like saying aloud ‘comma, ‘quotation mark’, ‘all caps’ or ‘new line’ will do as the name implies. The computer will listen to your dictation for 30 seconds at a time. OS X Mavericks also offers Enhanced Dictation without an active internet connection.

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    Dictation2

      3. Automator

      Access: Finder – Applications – Automator

      With Automator, you no longer have to repeat your daily and tedious tasks.  Many users shy away from this tool because it looks difficult to implement at first glance. But once you get the hang of it, it can significantly reduce the time taken for mundane activities. To name a few of its features, you can rename multiple files or images at once, automatically quit applications at designated days and times and convert a text file into audio in no time.

      Automator

        4. Screen Sharing

        Access: Apple – System Preferences – Sharing

        This robust and user friendly feature lets you connect to another Mac on your network and display its screen on your computer. It’s helpful when you want to remotely trouble shoot on a parent’s computer, collaborate on a project and access your home Mac on the go. If you have an iCloud account, you can use Back to Mac to share a Mac screen on a remote network as well.

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        ScreenSharing2

          5. Podcast Publisher

          Access: Finder – Applications – Utilities – Podcast Publisher

          Podcast Publisher enables you to record audio and video podcasts of professional quality. I particularly enjoy ‘trimming’, an editing feature that aids in removing unnecessary parts of my clip. For some of us, creating content is the easy part but distributing it efficiently is a taller task at hand.  With this application, you can easily share your podcast to iTunes, email it to another person, save it on your desktop or publish it on the Podcast Library. You can also record your Mac’s screen real time to demo something instantly.

          PodcastPublisher

            6. Preview

            Access: Finder – Applications – Preview

            Preview is probably the most underrated and unspoken treasures in the Mac OS X. Aside from the the basic PDF viewing utility, it is equipped with a host of other functionalities.  You can annotate files, insert new pages, magnify a specific portion of the document and sign PDFs without printing them. Besides, you can crop, rotate and resize popular image files such as JPEG, TIFF, GIF and PNG.

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            Preview2

              7. Terminal

              Access: Finder – Applications – Utilities – Terminal

              Analogous to the Windows command prompt, Terminal lets you communicate directly with the core of the Mac. It is more powerful than Automator and has a whooping number of useful features, that makes it worth even for a casual Mac user to learn a few basic commands. Have you ever been unsuccessful in permanently deleting a file because its locked and you can’t identify the culprit? Terminal will do it in a second using the ‘rm’ command. Want to have some fun and make your Mac talk to you? Use the ‘say’ command in Terminal.

              Refer to a more exhaustive list of Terminal commands here.

              8. Boot Camp Assistant

              Access: Finder – Applications – Utilities – Boot Camp Assistant

              Sometimes the most loyal Apple supporters need Windows on their Mac, be it for customized office software or the latest PC games. Boot Camp lets you choose between Windows and Mac OS X when you turn on your computer.  It will create the necessary Windows partition without erasing your existing OS X data. But remember, you still have to buy the Windows license!

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              BootcampAssistant

                9. Wi-Fi Diagnostics

                Access: Finder – Go – System – Library – CoreServices – Wi-Fi Diagnostics

                Diagnostics is a shy and lonesome tool but does wonders by tweaking your Wi-Fi for optimal performance. It monitors signal strength and noise by providing a real-time graph. Observing what makes your signal drop from time to time can prove to be an addictive pastime! If anyone attempts to connect to your network, the Record Events function logs it along with the date and time. For those into debugging a network, the Capture Raw Frames can seize all traffic on the wireless network for later analysis.

                Diagnostics

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                  Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                  10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                  10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                  Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

                  Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

                  As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

                  In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

                  Projects and Tasks Management

                  1. Monday dot com

                    Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

                    The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

                    The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

                    The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

                    Check out the software here!

                    2. Asana

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                      The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                      The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                      Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                      Check out the software here!

                      3. Trello

                        Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                        Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                        Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                        Check out the software here!

                        4. Jira

                          The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                          The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                          The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                          Check out the software here!

                          5. Evernote Business

                            Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                            The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                            Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                            Check out the software here!

                            Communication

                            6. Slack

                              Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                              Check out the software here!

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                              7. Spike

                                Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                                Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                                Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                                Check out the software here!

                                Creation

                                8. Office 365

                                  Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                                  Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                                  You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                                  Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                                  Check out the software here!

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                                  9. Grammarly

                                    Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                                    Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                                    Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                                    Check out the software here!

                                    Team Analytics

                                    10. ActivTrak

                                      ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                      The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                      Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                      Check out the software here!

                                      The Bottom Line

                                      Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                                      More Productivity Tools

                                      Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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