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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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        Published on September 20, 2018

        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

        In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

        Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

        In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

        Minimizing Tabs

        Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

        Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

        Incognito Mode

        Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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        1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
        2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
        3. Download extension New Incognito Window

        This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

        Save Webpages as PDF Files

        Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

        Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

        Open Recently-closed Tabs

        Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

        One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

        The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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        Solve Mathematical Problems

        Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

        For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

        Play Media Files

        Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

        In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

        Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

        With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

        Stay Focus(e)d

        Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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        Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

        With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

        This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

        Grammarly for Editing

        Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

        You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

        Loom

        There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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        There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

        With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

        Chrome Calendar Extension

        No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

        Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

        Final Thoughts

        Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

        Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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