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Top 10 Mac OS X Tips

Top 10 Mac OS X Tips


    Ever watch someone who really knows how to use a Mac and OS X? Sometimes it just seems like magic how they can make windows move, images appear, apps launch, and all kinds of cool stuff—and their fingers never even seem to leave the keyboard. I can’t claim to know that many Mac tips and tricks, but I do have a bunch of tricks up my sleeve that you might find useful. Some of these are pretty common and a few a little obscure, but they will all do something great that you bring you a step closer to being a Jedi Master of your Mac.

    Yes, padawan, here are my top 10 Mac OS X tips:

    1. Shift-Click Maximize Button to Fill Screen

    You know the red button on a window is close and the yellow one is minimize and the green one is maximize, right? Okay, so you also know that some apps (like Chrome and Word) don’t fill the entire screen when you click the maximize button. Sure that’s find most of the time, but sometimes you actually want the window to fill the screen. Next time you want the current window to fill the entire screen, just hold down the shift key when you click the button. Poof! Big window!

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    2. Terminal Tricks—Purge

      One of the essential tools in a Mac Jedi’s toolkit is Terminal. Oh Terminal, such power you hold over the entire system. A lot of people are a wee skittish about using Terminal. All the horror stories of people typing rm * in the wrong place and wiping out their Mac will have that effect on people. Okay, fair enough, but here’s a simple command that will…well it’s pretty cool. The command is “purge” and it does one very simple thing—it frees up RAM on your machine. As your Mac is running and you’re launching apps, surfing the web, and all the normal stuff you do on your Mac, RAM (memory) is allocated to do that. Sometimes when an app has been running for a while it doesn’t release all the RAM it was given, even if it doesn’t need it any more. Before I learned this tip I would just reboot my Mac if RAM was running short (and I had quit all the apps I didn’t need), but with purge… Purge forces apps to release RAM they might be holding on to (that they don’t need). All you need to do is launch Terminal from your Utilities folder and type “purge” (no quotes) at the prompt and hit return. It’s 100% safe and can get back a bunch of RAM. I’ve gone from a few megs of few RAM to a couple gigs in a few seconds! (Important: While purge is running your Mac will be unresponsive for a minute. Don’t worry! This is normal and okay!)

      3. Launch Spotlight with Command-Space

      Looking for something? You know Spotlight can help you quickly find files, emails, look up words, even launch apps…but do you know that a quick tap on command-space will open up Spotlight on the menubar for you to start typing? Simple as that you can quickly type command-space then something like safari then return and launch Safari…and your fingers didn’t even touch the mouse! Want to turn that up to an 11? Then just download Alfred for free from the Mac App store and do all this and more! Once you do, don’t forget my 10 Awesome Alfred Tips!

      4. Drop Files onto the Dock to Open in an App

      I like to keep Preview as my default app for opening images. Preview is pretty fast and easy when I need a quick look at something (or just need to resize the image quickly), but when I want to edit an image I use Acorn. So how do I open an image in Acorn? You’re thinking, launch Acorn, go to the File menu… Nope, easier. I have Acorn on my Dock all the time, so all I need to do is drag and drop an image file onto the icon and … Acorn launches (or comes to the front) and the image is opened! This trick works with just about all apps and can save you a ton of time.

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      5. Custom App Stacks

        My dock was getting pretty cluttered. Lots of apps that I “needed”, but you know I didn’t use them all that often. So I made a custom App stack for them. This is a multi-step process:

        1. Make a folder somewhere (I made it in ~/Applications which is different than the system-wide Applications folder (see tip 7 for more on these directories).
        2. Open your Applications folder in another Finder window.
        3. You’re going to make aliases to your real apps in this step. Hold down command and option and drag an app you want quick access to and drop it in the folder you made.
        4. Repeat for as many apps as you wish
        5. Drag the folder with all the aliases to the right side of your Dock, just to the left of the Trash.
        6. Enjoy! That’s it. The folder will have aliases to all your apps!

        6. Remove Icons from the Menu Bar

        I know we like to have icons on our Menu bar, but sometimes it gets a little crowded. For some icons on your Menu bar (mostly System related ones), just hold down the command key, click the icon and drag it off the Menu bar! Come on, you don’t really need the volume/speaker icon there did you?

        7. Get to your Library Folder

        One of the “improvements” in Lion was to hide your Library folder from you. Okay, I get it. You shouldn’t need to muck about in your Library very often, but hey sometimes you do. Sometimes you need to clean out stubborn files or something. Here’s the easy way to get to your Library folder (and the Applications folder from tip 5 too). With the Finder active hit command-shift-g and you’ll get a Go to folder: window. Just put “~/Library/” (no quotes) and click Okay. That’s it. For tip five use ~/Applications/ instead.

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        8. Finder Sidebar

        Since we’re talking about the Finder, I’m sure you noticed all those folders and items on the left side of your Finder windows (if not go to the Finder and from the View menu and select “Show Toolbar”). You know you can add your own folders there right? Yeah, just drag any folder to the side and that’s it. Now the cool part isn’t just that you now have one-click access to that folder, but anything you drop onto that folder will be copied or moved there! Nice!

        9. Take a Screenshot

        Ever need to take a screenshot of something on your screen? Maybe it’s an error, maybe it’s just a graphic, but you need it…but how? Easy. Command-shift–3 will take a picture of the entire screen and command-shift–4 will let you select a part of the screen or a window. Of course if you want to step things up, just download Skitch for free and crank up your screenshots a few notches.

        10. Control the Apps that Launch at Startup

          You know after a while your Mac seems to be taking longer and longer to finish starting up. Oh you see the Desktop okay, but then app after app loads. You have control over this. Just go to System Preferences -> Users and Groups. Then look for the Login Items button. Yep those are all the apps that launch for me. But if I get tired of waiting for one app or another to start, I just select the app from the list and click the “-”. Gone! Faster startup here I come!

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          These are just a few of the tricks I have up my sleeve. I’m sure you have a few you’ve picked up over the years, so…

          What are your favorite OS X tips? Share them in the comments below.

          (Photo credit: Question Mark on Mac Keyboard via Shutterstock)

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          Last Updated on August 16, 2019

          10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

          10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

          The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

          Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

          Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

          In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

          1. Cal Calendar

            Cal Calendar has recently appeared on the market of mobile applications (Android, iOS). It is the brainchild of the development team of Any.do that features impressive functionality and well-thought-out design.

            The application comes with many great features, including support for Exchange and Google Calendar, widgets, voice recording, and many more.

            Cal Calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

            Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

            What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

            Cal Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

            Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

            Available for iOS and Android

            2. Google Calendar

              Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

              Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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              Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

              The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

              Available for iOS and Android

              3. Jorte Calendar

                Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

                The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

                Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

                For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

                A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

                Available for iOS and Android

                4. Business Calendar

                  Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                  The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                  You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                  The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                  Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

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                  Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

                  Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                  A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                  Available for Android

                  5. aCalendar

                    aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                    Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                    Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                    When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                    Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                    The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                    The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                    Available for Android

                    6. DigiCal Calendar

                      DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                      With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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                      Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                      The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                      Available for Android

                      7. SolCalendar

                        SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                        The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                        Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                        Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                        Available for Android

                        8. Calendar

                          Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                          A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                          Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                          Available for Desktop, iOS and Android

                          9. Today Calendar

                            Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                            The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                            If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                            Available for Android

                            10. Calendar Widget: Month

                              Sometimes people do not need a heap of calendar applications. They would prefer to have one efficient calendar widget.

                              Calendar Widget: Month perfectly fills this niche and meets all the needs of a modern user. It has some features of an ordinary calendar, but the real great thing about this software is that it has 80 or more themes in its library.

                              The design of the application is great; the themes are perfectly tuned. There are options for almost any theme of your smartphone. The only drawback is the fact that the widget memory is not too large, and you should be ready for it.

                              This simple calendar widget was created in the image and semblance of widgets from Yahoo. The widget window displays one calendar month with the ability to go to the previous and move to the next one.

                              If you need a simple and affordable calendar to plan your tasks and affairs for one month, this widget is ideal for you. Calendar Widget: Month is so simple that it does not even have Google Calendar support.

                              At the moment, it does not have the function of connecting any third-party calendars and services. Developers allow the possibility of introducing support for Google service as an addition to the widget, if users request to have this opportunity.

                              Available for Android

                              Our Verdict

                              Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                              Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                              Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                              The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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