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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.

                      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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