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Level Up OS X With These 8 Mountain Lion Tips and Tricks

Level Up OS X With These 8 Mountain Lion Tips and Tricks

OS X Mountain Lion is the next step in making a “traditional” desktop operating system more like iOS. Some call it iOSification while others call it annoying and not needed. Personally, I like the direction, but just because Apple thinks something in your OS “should be a certain way” doesn’t mean that it has to be. And what’s awesome, is that Apple has relented on some of Lion’s changes to appease the power user.

Here are 8 Mountain Lion tips and tricks to make this the greatest version of OS X yet.

Take your power back with Save As!

What a weird sub-heading. Apple has been trying to change what users think the “document model” should be in operating systems. On iOS we don’t really ever see files (unless you are a serious GoodReader user), so why not make OS X the same, right?

Well, many “power users” were upset about this change, so instead of doing a hack, you can get back Save As by simply pressing the Option key (⌥) when you are in the File menu of an application. Or, better yet, you can use the shortcut Option+Shift+Command+S (⌥⇧⌘S).

Turn off Notification Center quickly

You are trying to get things done right? Not so easy when you have the new Notification Center blaring down your right side. Rather than go into System Preferences and cleaning up your notifications, quickly turn it off by holding Option (⌥) and clicking on the Notification Center Icon in the menu bar.

    Notification Center Off

      Notification Center On

      Make your Mac act more like a Mac and less like an iOS device

      There are a couple of annoyances that happened in Lion that can be cleared up in Mountain Lion, that is, if you are as annoyed as I am by them. One was the weird behavior of scroll bars. To keep your scroll bars from disappearing go to System Preferences > General and choose “Always” under Show scroll bars.

        Make your scroll bars functional again

        Also, you can change the behavior of the scroll bar when you click on it in a long document. Instead of only jumping to the next page, you can jump to the proportional spot in the document that you clicked on the sidebar.

        One more for the General settings, instead of Mountain Lion saving all of your changes for you automatically, you can turn that off and have the familiar pop-up when you are closing a document when you haven’t saved. Also, you can revert your changes since the last time you saved.

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          Setup your social profiles

          Are you a social media nerd? Well, it’s easy to integrate Flickr, Vimeo and Twitter by simply going to System Preferences > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars and selecting which one you want. Boom.

          Facebook integration is coming soon (if you are into that sort of thing).

            After you add your accounts you can then use Twitter right in Safari and upload videos and pictures from iPhoto to Vimeo and Flickr.

            Take Note(s)

            The Notes app is new to OS X with Mountain Lion and it’s basically as you would expect; pretty much a copy of the iOS version. Oh, other than the fact that it’s basically a Rich Text Editor on OS X. You can insert lists (bulleted, dashed, numbered), align text, change to any number of system fonts, and much more.

             

            Another couple of nice touches are that you can add photos to a note by simply dragging them in to the current note. Pictures don’t currently sync with iOS, but maybe that’s coming in iOS 6. Also, you can organize your notes by folder on your Mac by going to View > Show folders list and then right clicking on the folder bar and choosing New Folder.

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              One last tip with Notes is that you can share a note via Mail or Messages by going to File > Share.

                Inline find in Mail

                Mail isn’t necessarily my favroite email application, but it has gotten much better over the last two iterations of OS X. A new addition is the inline search function in Mail. Simply go to a message and hit Command+F (⌘F) to enter inline search mode.

                  You will now have a tiny search box above your message and it works a lot like searching in a web page in Safari.

                  Tabs in the cloud

                  Something else that works surprisingly well for me is the new iCloud Tabs in Safari. All you have to do is sign into iCloud and enable Safari in iCloud settings. You can now see all of your open tabs on your other signed-in and enabled devices.

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                    See your groups

                    Another annoying trend (depends on who you ask) is how Apple is trying to make everything look like the real thing (Skeuomorphism). This can be a problem when you want to see all of your data and not some little tears of paper or a page flipping, but I digress.

                    In contacts you can get your groups back by simply going to View > Groups or ⌘1. Also, in Calendars you can see your calendar lists by going to View > Show calendar list.

                      What are some tips you have picked up over the last couple of weeks with Mountain Lion? If you have any, make sure to share them with us in the comments.

                      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.

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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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