How to Best Improve and Increase Productivity When You’re Using a Mac

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Who doesn’t want to be more productive? Whether it is your first job or you’re a veteran employee, a young entrepreneur or a professional, or a tenured business executive or a business owner, maintaining and increasing productivity is probably included in your day-to-day goals.

To some of us, productivity simply means getting the job done on or before the deadline. Meanwhile, others define it as the ability to do more within a set period of time. One may also wish to be productive enough to finish their tasks as efficiently and quickly as possible, so they can do other things to the time they saved.

Regardless of the reason why you are looking for ways to improve and increase productivity when you use a Mac then you’re off to a great start. Macs are among the user-friendliest computers on the market today and a macOS has a number of neat features that can help you achieve your productivity goals. Check out these top Mac tricks to increase your productivity:

  1. Trackpad Gestures

If you have a MacBook, you probably already know how to scroll up and down and left and right-click using the Trackpad, but do you know of other gestures that can let you launch certain features and programs without having to click on anything?

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Listed below are some of the Trackpad gestures that will save you time and help you accomplish tasks more efficiently:

  • Open and close Notification Center with the two-finger swipe.
  • Open Launchpad with the three-finger and thumb claw-pinch.
  • Show Desktop with the three-finger and thumb reverse claw-pinch.
  • Go back and forward in your browser, Calendar, and QuickTime with the two-finger swipe.
  • Search word definitions, preview a link in the Safari and activate Quick Look with the three-finger tap.
  • Rotate image in Preview with the two-finger rotate.

These are just a few gestures that you can start with. You can check out this guide from Apple for others helpful tips.

  1. Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are not exclusive to Windows. There are quite a number of hefty keyboard tricks on Mac, too! These shortcuts reduce your dependence on your mouse or Trackpad and allow you to launch and activate commands with simple key combinations. Some of the most helpful ones include the following:

  • Control + C, X, or V to cut, copy, and paste.
  • Command + Tab to activate the built-in app switcher.
  • Command + Shift + 3 to take a screenshot.
  • Command + H to hide the current window or app.
  • Command + Option + H to hide windows or apps in the background.
  • Command + W to close an active window.
  • Command + Option + W to close all windows in an app.
  • Command + Q to quit an app.
  • Command + Option + Esc to force-quit an app.
  • Command + Option + D to show and hide the Dock.

Aside from these popular keyboard shortcuts, you can also create your own keyboard shortcuts to make navigation faster and more convenient.

To create keyboard shortcuts for an app, simply go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts. Next, pick your own key combinations for your desired commands.

  1. Dictation

Too tired to type? There’s a Mac solution for that. MacOS has a reliable built-in dictation feature that recognizes practically everything English — even phrases like period, comma, next line, or next paragraph. If you have adequate English-speaking skills, whether in U.S. or U.K. accent, you can take advantage of this feature to accomplish writing at a faster rate.

To enable Dictation, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation. Turn it on. You may also choose the language and the keyboard shortcut to launch it. By default, you may also begin dictation by pressing the Function button twice.

  1. Sign Documents

If there’s an electronic document that you need to sign, you can save time by signing the document, digitally, right there and then. There is no need for printouts and scans.

To sign a document, open the PDF file. Once in Preview, click on the Briefcase and then go to the signature icon. Choose Create Signature. Make sure the Trackpad tab is selected. You can now use your finger or stylus to sign on your Mac’s Trackpad. Once you’re satisfied with your electronic signature rel=”nofollow”, save it. The Preview will remember your signature and even sync it with your other Apple devices through iCloud. You can now drag your saved signature to the document. Resize if necessary.

  1. Preview Files

This is actually a very simple feature that is known by a lot of Mac users. When in Finder and you have a highlighted file, press the Spacebar to preview the file. This works for photos, music, QuickTime videos, and TextEdit documents among many others. This can be extra helpful if you need to move or delete files. By getting a preview, you will know it’s really the file you’re looking for. Furthermore, you can press the Up and Down keys to preview other files once the feature is activated.

Macs are generally reliable machines, and to help maintain that reliability, you might consider using third-party cleaning tools such as Outbyte macAries. Before using any tool, make sure it aligns with what your system needs.

Do you have any more Mac tips for productivity? Share them with us in the comments below!

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