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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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          Published on October 16, 2018

          7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business

          7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business

          There’s nothing more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment you get by achieving your business goals.

          Gone are the days when you used pen and paper to take notes and manage your work day. As millennials are relying heavily on technology to manage almost everything from finances to their personal fitness, goal tracking apps are also becoming increasingly popular.[1]

          In this piece, we will shed some light on 7 such goal tracking apps that you can use to streamline your operations.

          I have handpicked these apps from a software rating web services site Best Online Reviews. Industry experts review software on these websites and help businesses to find the right solutions to meet their various, unique business requirements.

          1. Aha!

            Aha! is a California-based roadmap software provider and offers excellent goal tracking app that lets you define goals and objectives for projects. The app also lets you list out primary tasks and allows you to focus on them.

            Hosted securely on the cloud, the app offers enhanced communication tools for sharing updates through emails with select colleagues or the entire organization.

            Aha! is available on multiple platforms such as the web, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and starts from $59 per month per user.

            Available for Web

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            2. Asana

              Asana is one of the more popular project management apps available for businesses. It lets you organize all your team’s work, such as setting up and tracking goals, creating tasks, sharing files and notes, etc.

              Asana also allows your team to organize all their tasks and focus on urgent priorities. Moreover, the app offers a delightful user experience that makes task management simple and easy.

              Asana is available on multiple platforms from PCs and Mac to iOS and Android. Multi-channel adaptability makes Asana the perfect choice to track your goals anytime, from anywhere.

              Available for iOS | Android | Web

              3. Basecamp

                Basecamp is an excellent tool to manage all your team’s projects and keep your activities organized. It opens a new thread for every task and that task is visible by the whole team.

                With Basecamp, you can schedule tasks, add to-dos, discuss tasks by adding comments, add files and attachments, and much more.

                The app is available on both mobile and desktop platforms and costs $99 per month. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms and offers excellent multi-channel access.

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                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                4. Forecast

                  An efficient tool for successful task management, Forecast is also a popular goal tracking app. Apart from effective milestone tracking, the app also offers convenient status reporting.

                  Forecast uses project history to let you know the status of your current work. Moreover, it uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high-quality assistance. It is a robust app for small teams to track goals and time.

                  Forecast is available for free and comes with Android and iOS app support. The premium version of the app starts from $19 per month per user.

                  Available for Web

                  5. Wrike

                    Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management app that successfully manages projects from start to finish. It lets you create tasks, track work progress and retrieve reports with ease.

                    The app also gives real-time work updates and helps team members to understand their work priorities. A custom report builder helps you to generate in-depth reporting.

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                    Wrike’s premium version is available from $9.80 per month per user and is available on multiple platforms.

                    Available for iOS | Android | Web

                    6. Todo.vu

                      Todo.vu is a unique platform that delivers enhanced customer relationship management (CRM), task management, time tracking, and billing functionality in a single app.

                      According to Capterra, it’s an ideal app for freelancers and consultants, who are looking for tools to improve efficiency and transparency.

                      Although the app is free to use with basic features, the premium plan starts from $5 per month per user. The app also comes with calendar sync and task reminder functionality to keep you on track, always.

                      Available for Web

                      7. Flock

                        Looking for a tool to simplify task management? Try out Flock.

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                        Flock comes with enhanced goal tracking and additional features like instant messaging.

                        Moreover, Flock offers tons of integrations with tools such as Google, MailChimp, Jira, Dropbox, etc. It is a powerful tool that’s packed with robust features such as reminders, notes, polls and to-dos.

                        Even though you can use the tool for free, the paid version of Flock is available from $4.50 per month per user.

                        Available for iOS | Android | Web

                        Conclusion

                        Businesses need high-quality project management tools to streamline collaboration and operations. Enhanced goal tracking apps make it easy for your team to improve productivity by keeping its tasks organized.

                        But it’s essential that you choose an app that meets your unique business requirements. You can choose from the above-mentioned apps to streamline operations and improve the productivity of your team.

                        Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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