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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 January 13, 2020

                      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

                      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

                      Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

                      Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

                      Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

                      1. Lumosity

                      This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

                      Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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                      Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

                        2. Fit Brains Trainer

                        This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

                        Free.

                        Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

                          3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

                          Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

                          First four games free, then $13 a month.

                          cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                            4. Brain Fitness Pro

                            The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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                            Buy for $3.99.

                            5. Happify

                            If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

                            Free to use.

                            Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                              6. Clockwork Brain

                              You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

                              Free.

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                              Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                                7. ReliefLink

                                Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

                                Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                                  8. Eidetic

                                  Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                                  Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                                    9. Braingle

                                    Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                                    Free.

                                    Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                                      10. Not The Hole Story

                                      If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                                      Free.

                                      Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                                        11. Personal Zen

                                        This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                                        Free.

                                        personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

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                                          Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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