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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 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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