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Things You Need to Know About Mac OS X Yosemite (OS 10.10)

Things You Need to Know About Mac OS X Yosemite (OS 10.10)

The newest operating system for Apple Mac computers, OS X Yosemite (OS 10.10), brings a slew of impressive new features. The free update boasts exciting steps forward for users, especially for those with other Apple devices in addition to their Mac desktop. Since this update makes the most of multiple Apple devices, it may seem intimidating. However, the newest features are designed to integrate seamlessly with the programs you already use, so moving forward should be a breeze. To make the transition effortless for you, here are the top 10 things you need to know about Mac OS X Yosemite.

1. Added Mail Functions

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    The new and improved mail client in OS X Yosemite includes an intelligent way to add text and shapes to images or PDFs. This eliminates the need for an extra program to mark up or annotate these types of files. Not only that, you can also sign PDF forms right in Mail. You can quickly use your trackpad to draw your signature with your finger, or even capture it using the camera on your Mac.

    2. Handoff

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      Perhaps the most talked about new feature in OS X Yosemite is the ability to “hand off” files between your devices. With Handoff, emails, documents, notes, reminders, and many other programs let you switch devices smoothly without needing to email yourself or remember a web address.

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      3. Screen Sharing and Airdrop

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        The new OS X Yosemite also integrates screen sharing using your Apple ID. With screen sharing you can share what is on any Apple device with any other Apple device. This means you can now pair your computer with your Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone wirelessly, just by entering your Apple ID. Additionally, Apple’s simple system of transferring files wirelessly between mobile devices now works with desktop too. Known as Airdrop, sending files between desktop and mobile is easy, even if an app or program doesn’t support Handoff.

        4. Access Maps Anywhere

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          On top of Handoff and Airdrop, one little-known tool that OS X Yosemite brings to the table is sure to be a real time saver. Maps, the desktop version of Apple Maps, now pairs effortlessly with your Apple mobile device. This means you can view directions you previously looked up on your computer using only your device on the go. This eliminates the need to save or email a copy of directions, plus you can view locations or directions you previously searched on any of your Apple devices connected to your Apple ID.

          5. Text

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            Another new exciting feature in OS X Yosemite is the ability to send and receive text messages. Similar to Handoff, you can read messages sent to your iPhone on your Mac (regardless of whether your friend uses Apple products). Impressively, you can click a number in Address Book, Calendar, Mail or Messages and your computer will automatically make a phone call using your iPhone.

            6. Phone

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              This powerful connectivity with your phone also works the other way around: if a friend calls your iPhone, you can answer it directly from your computer. Sure to maximize your productivity, OS X Yosemite also lets you start a call on one device and finish it on another. Plus, OS X Yosemite includes a way to merge two calls to start a conference call, and your computer rings with the same ring tones assigned to the contacts in your phone. Finally, clicking a contact on your computer from any program also brings up the option to FaceTime that friend instead of call. You can also answer phone calls from a friend with Apple devices with video, immediately converting any call to FaceTime.

              7. Spotlight

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                This OS update also brings impressive new features to Mac’s native search client called Spotlight. Now when you press that magnifying glass in the top right-hand corner of your screen, you will not only be able to search your files, applications and emails, you will also be able to find nearby movie showtimes, unit conversions, books, news, and even Wikipedia entries.

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                8. Family Sharing

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                  One new feature designed with families in mind seeks to make many things easier around the house. Family Sharing lets you set up one account with up to five other family members. Members simply agree to an email that makes them part of the group. Immediately, everyone in the group is able to access each other’s purchased music, movies, TV shows, books and shared information from apps. In addition, a family calendar is automatically set up in Calendar so each member of the group sees the same thing. Each member can edit or add dates on the calendar. iPhoto also lets users create a shared family photo album, and parents can set up alerts to control kids’ App Store purchases. Finally, the reminders app automatically includes a shared list for your family group. Each person receives alerts for a reminder set, and can edit or add reminders themselves. Especially for busy families, this stands to make scheduling and day-to-day life much easier.

                  9. Night Mode

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                    Another lesser-known feature with OS X is a new way to display your desktop. Perhaps most helpful for those in photo and video environments, you can now set the dock and menu bar to a “Night Mode,” making viewing the screen in the dark easier. Now there’s finally a way to make long nights of studying, emailing, or editing less strenuous on your eyes.

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                    10. Safari History

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                      Last but not least, some major improvements come to Apple’s newest version of Safari. Safari now lets you access your web browsing history from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch via iCloud. You can also view the open tabs and history from all of your Apple devices. In addition, the browser now plays videos from most websites without needing additional plug-ins.

                      Learn more about OS X Yosemite with Apple’s complete list of features.

                      Featured photo credit: Mike Deerkoski via flickr.com

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                      Alicia Prince

                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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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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