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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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        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

        Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

        Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

        So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

        Joe’s Goals

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          Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

          Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

          Daytum

            Daytum

            is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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            Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

            Excel or Numbers

              If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

              What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

              Evernote

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                I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                Access or Bento

                  If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                  Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                  You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                  Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                  All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                  Conclusion

                  I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                  What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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