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Getting Things Done with the Magic of Flow Concierge

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Getting Things Done with the Magic of Flow Concierge

    Ever have something that you know you need to do, but just don’t want to take the small amount of time to do it? Have tasks that are so menial that the thought of taking the time to do them is almost offensive? Well, that’s a little harsh, but you get the drift.

    We have so many things to do in a day that we can get pretty backed up. We all know that delegation is a great way to take some of life’s todos off of our platter, but sometimes we don’t really have anyone to delegate to.

    Flow Concierge

    Enter the pilot program, Flow Concierge. Flow is the group project/task application that is simple, effective, and just darn beautiful to look at and use. They are rolling out a new feature that you can use to delegate tasks to a “Flow Concierge”.

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    You can basically ask your Concierge to do anything that can be done online; look something up, compare things, answer a question, etc. What they can’t do is anything physical (“go feed my dogs”), create content or writing from scratch, offer legal advice, or do anything that involves paying for something. Anything else is fair game.

    The Magic

    So, I had a magical experience (yes, in the Steve Jobs sense of the phrase) with Flow Concierge today. It showed me just how powerful and awesome having a mini “virtual assistant” would be.

    My wife SMS’d me asking when her warranty for her MacBook was up (the bottom of it is falling apart). When I got the message a thought also hit me, “oh, boy. Our 2 year (marriage) anniversary is next week, too. What to do, what to do?” I had already been accepted into the Flow Concierge pilot so I thought I’d give it a go.

    First task: “when is my wife’s MacBook warranty no longer valid (then gave them her serial number.”

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    Second task: “is there anything fun to do this weekend in the Erie, PA area?”

    I then assigned the task to the Flow Concierge that is now built into my Flow interface. Then I went about my other work tasks that I had to get done.

    About two hours later when I was clearing out my personal email inbox, I saw that my Flow Concierge had updated my tasks with a comment and then made a final answer and marked them as complete. I found out that my Wife’s MacBook warranty is sadly not valid (oh, the horror!) and that there isn’t really that much to do this weekend in Erie, Pa (other than go to the Philharmonic, which will work for our anniversary).

    To say that it was like magic is sort of an understatement. Yes, finding these things myself would be easy enough, but I didn’t want to take the time to do it in the middle of the day. Rather than blow it off until later when I don’t have any energy, I simply delegated to someone that had the energy and time to do it.

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    This is a seriously awesome addition to a task app that is already excellent and the geniuses at Flow should be proud of themselves for such a great idea and implementation.

    The drawbacks

    One of the biggest things that I can see as a drawback going forward is the potential price of the Concierge service after the Pilot program. There would be nothing worse than using this in Flow and then one day they announce that it will be very expensive. Or, even worse, Flow could just cancel it all together.

    The service does seem to be “too good to be true” so far, but hopefully it gets baked into the full Flow product.

    Conclusion

    Flow is a pretty awesome tool to manage your projects with a team or otherwise and the new Concierge pilot program makes it that much more awesome. To be able to delegate menial tasks that will take 3 – 10 minutes of your time throughout the day can add up quick in the grand scheme of things.

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    If you have a Flow account, try to get into the Concierge pilot program by checking out this link. You will be glad you did.

    (Photo credit: Flow logo via Flow)

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

    There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

    Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

      What Does Private Browsing Do?

      When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

      For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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      The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

      The Terminal Archive

      While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

      Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

      dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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      Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

      Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

      However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

      Clearing Your Tracks

      Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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      dscacheutil -flushcache

      As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

      Other Browsers and Private Browsing

      Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

      If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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      As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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