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How to Make Your Mac Workspace More Productive

How to Make Your Mac Workspace More Productive

New Years resolutions like losing weight and quitting an addictive activity are the normal resolutions we are always expected to make, however, these quintessential resolutions are the most prone to fail. One resolution that can come with the most benefits is living more productively, as it can give you more time with family, work, and free time. One great place to start is the place you spend the most time at: your Mac. Here are a couple of tips on how to make your workspace a more productive one.

Give It a Good Cleaning

magican

    As a blogger, I find myself loading my Mac with tons of photos, videos, and documents involving articles I have to write and meet deadlines for. After a couple of months of doing this, I end up with a Mac that is sluggish, filled with junk, and just in need of a good cleaning. To ensure that your Mac works to the best of its ability, you must ensure that the useless files are cleared out periodically.

    If you find this task a bit daunting, like I do, then seek refuge in an application whose job is to clean out your Mac. One application that I always recommend is Magican: this application goes through your Mac and presents you with a list of files that may not be necessary for the way you use it. Along with all of your applications, you are able to look through and choose what you want to remove, which is a quick and easy way to delete more than you probably would have been able to do without pulling your hair out. Plus, since it’s free, there’s no reason not to at least try out the application.

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    Download MagicanHow to use Magican File for find any files on Mac

    Loading Your App Arsenal

    One easy way to add a bit of productivity to your Mac is to add a couple of applications that you can incorporate into your work day, or even when you are simply getting errands out of the way. One key to productively incorporating any application into your Mac is to ask yourself a couple of questions first: Will this application be one that will solve a problem or make something easier for you? Does it seem like an application that is complicated to get started? Are you willing to pay this price in the possibility that it wouldn’t be an app that works well for you? Going through this checklist will allow you to pick an application that isn’t a waste of megabytes and allows you to just jump in and get started. Below, we have a couple of suggestions to get you started:
    • Evernote: Keep notes, documents, and more in one area. Clean up your workspace and transfer receipts and important papers into Evernote
    • Dropbox: Save files and easily transfer them in one application
    • TaskMate: Your task/to-do list readily at hand
    • iClockr: Time keeping for freelancers and workers alike
    • Deadline: View iCal events in your menu bar

    Hook Your Mac Up

    icloud

      Switching from your Mac to your iPad and then to your iPhone to get things done can be a bit time consuming. You may feel that it’s necessary when you have your email in one place, a document in another, and a spreadsheet on a third device, but this doesn’t need to happen with Mac.

      If you have iOS, Mac has provided a perfect way for you to connect your life on your various gadgets easily: this is done through iCloud, a cloud service that allows you to easily have certain productive aspects of your mobile life automatically added to connected devices instantly. No shared WIFI network or extra connection needed.

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      SEE ALSO: How to set up iCloud on all your devices

      Currently, this is widely implemented in Calendars, Contacts, iWork documents, and more. Also, various applications like Smartr for example, are hooked up with iCloud. This prevents you from having to put in the added effort of creating multiple calendar events or contacts, and also allows you to work on documents when away from home.

      SEE MORE: 5 Third-Party Apps That Work With iCloud

      Calibrate Me Please

      One nuisance that comes with working hard on your computer is that you must remember to have a charging cable nearby for when the battery starts to run low. When typing or working at your computer for a long period of time, doing power-intensive activities, this can feel more frequent than you may have thought. It’s also more noticeable when you find yourself with an un-calibrated battery.
      Don’t be surprised if you don’t know what this means—you’re not alone.
      calibration

        Battery calibration means that you are setting your battery status to become more aligned with its actual capacity, which can sometimes become offset with active use. Calibration is very easy to do, and you may have found yourself accidentally doing this from time to time. Simply use your Mac’s battery until it gets to the point of shutting down on it’s own. When this occurs, connect to the charger and allow it to charge fully without powering on. You’ll know when the charger light turns green.

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        Go to System Preferences -> Display -> Calibrate

        SEE MORE: How To Calibrate a Mac Display

        Extend Your Office

        So you’re typing away at a report or article and then you’re interrupted by something that makes you leave your work station. It can be anything from having to drop the kids off at practice to even a road trip, but it means time away from your desk. How do you extend your office, outside of the actual office space? You can make sure that all of the email addresses that you actively use are connected to your mobile device.

        You may have shied away from this out of fear that the frequent emails would run up your phone bill, but you can simply switch “Push”, where an email is brought in each time a new message comes in, or “Fetch”, where your email is checked at a certain interval set by yourself. Simply go to

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        “Settings” > “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” > “Fetch New Data” > Turn off “Push”

        and set the fetching interval. If you have certain email addresses that don’t normally have a lot of emails, then simply go to the “Advanced” page of “Fetch New Data” and set according to the address. By doing this, you never have to worry about missing a vital email when you’re away from your desk.

         

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        40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

        40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

        Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

        There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

        Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

        It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

        Productivity apps to help you get things done

        1. OmniFocus

        This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

        Download it here.

          2. Forest

          Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

          Download it here.

            3. Things

            Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

            Download it here.

              4. 30/30

              Recently covered here at Lifehack

              , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

              Download it here.

                5. Any.Do

                A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                Download it here.

                  6. PocketLife Calendar

                  This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                  Download it here.

                    7. Asana

                    We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                    , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                    Download it here.

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                      8. ToDoist

                      This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                      Download it here.

                        9. FlowTasks

                        From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                        Download it here.

                          10. Calendars 5

                          This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                          Download it here.

                            11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                            A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                            Download it here.

                              12. Due

                              A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                              Download it here.

                                13. Checkmark 2

                                I use this app

                                for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                Download it here.

                                  14. TeuxDeux

                                  Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                  Download it here.

                                    15. Wunderlist 

                                    Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                    Download it here.

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                                      16. Nirvana

                                      For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                      Download it here.

                                        17. Priorities

                                        An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                        Download it here.

                                          Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                          18. Productive

                                          With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                          Download it here.

                                            19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                            You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                            Download it here.

                                              20. Streaks

                                              This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                              Download it here.

                                                21. Remember The Milk

                                                Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  22. Day One Journal

                                                  When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                    23. Evernote

                                                    Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      24. Pocket

                                                      You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                      Download it here.

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                                                        25. Sync.Me

                                                        This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          26. Droplr

                                                          One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            27. Dropbox

                                                            Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              28. iDolly 

                                                              In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                              Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                29. Soulver

                                                                It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                  30. Captio

                                                                  A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    31. Drafts

                                                                    A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                      This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                      Download it here.

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                                                                        33. Doodle

                                                                        This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                          I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                            A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              36. GoodReader

                                                                              This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                37. LogMeIn

                                                                                Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                  38. 1Password

                                                                                  There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                    You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                    All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      40. Truecallers

                                                                                      Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                        Reference

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