There’s no doubt you can use your Mac like a pro. But you might not be taking advantage of some features and functions that can help you to use your system more efficiently. Continue scrolling to learn the best tips to boost your productivity when working on a Mac.
A dual or multiple monitor setup can enhance your productivity. With this, you don’t have to waste time arranging and sorting app windows. Instead, you can focus on finishing the tasks since you have double or triple the space for those windows.
However, you might encounter a Mac not detecting second monitor issue, and to fix the problem, you must ensure the monitors are supported by your Mac model and the cables are in good condition.
Spotlight search is a valuable tool that comes in-built with macOS. This tool quickly searches for apps, documents, downloads, etc. You can use it by pressing Command + Spacebar and then typing the description or name of what you need to find.
But search is one of many functions you can use Spotlight for. You can also do quick calculations, unit conversions, currency conversions, etc. This will save you a lot of time as you don’t have to launch Siri for the tasks or open Safari to ask Google for the answers.
Decluttering the desktop must be on top of your list when trying to be productive. A cluttered desktop will distract you and prevent you from focusing on the tasks. So organize your desktop and stack the folders and files neatly to find what you need quickly.
Memorize Keyboard Shortcuts
If you memorize keyboard shortcuts, you can quickly get around your Mac without vigorously moving the mouse. Some shortcuts to keep in mind are Command + ~ to switch between different Chrome windows, Command + Tab to switch between apps, Command + C to copy items, etc.
You can view all the keyboard shortcuts and even personalize them by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.
Taking a screenshot has become a regular affair, especially if you are working from home and trying to explain things to your colleagues. This is because screenshots are much more comprehensible than mere words.
Learning the keyboard shortcut for taking screenshots will save you time and effort. So press Shift + Command + 5 to get the options, and you can choose whether to capture the entire screen or part of it.
Set up Focus mode
Focus mode is a function on your macOS that eliminates distractions while working. The modes are customizable, and you can limit the type of notifications you prefer.
The modes are synced across your Apple devices so that people trying to contact you know whether you are working, driving, or sleeping. Go to System Preferences > Notifications > Focus.
Utilize Mission Control
Mission Control is a standout feature of macOS and enables users to open all the windows on a single screen. In addition, you can quickly switch between apps or windows. Thanks to this tool, you can catch a bird’s eye view of all the desktop spaces, open windows, and applications in Split View or full screen.
Don’t Forget to Sync Data
Syncing data is another productivity tip that Mac users overlook. You can access your files across your Apple devices by turning on sync. So whether you are working from home or any remote location, the files are available on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
iCloud makes it easy to sync data across Apple devices, so whatever you need is readily available. Go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and turn on syncing.
Create Separate User Accounts
If you use your Mac for personal and work purposes, it is best to create separate user accounts. This way, things will remain compartmentalized, and when you sign into Slack during work hours, you will not get irrelevant notifications from other messaging apps.
Navigate to System Preferences > click Touch ID and set up a different fingerprint for each user so you can switch quickly.
Expand Screen Real Estate
The screen space you have for your tasks depends on your device. For example, MacBook Air users may wish they had more screen space, but iMac users may not complain.
You can use the Split View feature to split the screen and use two apps side-by-side.
You can use your iPad to extend your system’s screen if you don’t want an external monitor. Turn on the Sidecar function and keep both devices side-by-side. Connect via Bluetooth, and you’ll have more screen real estate to work with.
Custom Trackpad Gestures
The trackpad on your Mac device is a secret weapon for boosting productivity. You can use different gestures on the trackpad to rotate, zoom and scroll. You can also add customized gestures to help you finish tasks quickly.
Go to System Preferences > click Trackpad and set up your work’s most valuable gestures.
Increase Battery Life
Apple claims that MacBooks can last for seventeen hours after being fully charged. But this is rarely the case when you’re using it for web browsing, word processing, emailing, gaming, etc. You can preserve battery life by dimming the screen as low as possible, turning off Wi-Fi when not in use, closing tabs or programs you are not using, etc.
Instead of Typing, Dictate
Typing is excellent, but it can quickly tire your fingers. Taking advantage of the dictation function can speed up your writing while saving your fingers exhaustion.
The dictation function is a standard feature that comes with every Mac.
Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple menu > click Keyboard > Dictation. Switch on the feature, and then wherever you need to enter text on your system, press the function (Fn) key twice. Alternatively, you can click Edit and then Start Dictation.
You’ll see a microphone symbol on your screen when macOS is listening for spoken input. When you wish to stop dictating, click Done.
Use Text Replacements to Type Quickly
Typing standard or common bits of text can be tiring (and monotonous!).
Did you know your Mac can do the hard work on your behalf? Type the agreed-upon shortcut, and your system will expand it to the full string of text.
Text replacement can be set up by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text. Then, click on the plus icon and start creating shortcuts for commonly used texts, such as your home and office address, regularly used phrases, etc.
These text replacements will be applied across all the applications on your system, wherever there’s the option to input text.
Again, make your Mac work for you instead of wasting time running common searches from scratch.
macOS allows users to save their searches in Smart Folders. These are virtual folders, and the results within them are regularly updated.
You can run a search in Finder by using the search box. Then, apply the filters you want. Once your search is set up the way you want, choose the Save option. Finally, you can give your Smart Folder a name to quickly access it from the Sidebar.
Enable Hot Corners
No, do not think that the Hot Corners functionality will increase the temperature of your Mac. Instead, they allow users to swiftly explore different parts of macOS and automatically accomplish tasks by moving the mouse cursor.
Open the Apple menu to switch on Hot Corners and click System Preferences, then Mission Control and Hot Corners.
You’ll see a drop-down menu listing actions you can assign to the screen’s four corners. Each corner can have a different action assigned, like opening the Control Center, putting your device to sleep, starting the screensaver, etc. Then, hover the mouse cursor on any corner, and the action will be accomplished.
Access Emoji Quickly
Emojis are limitless and can help you express your feelings when words fall short.
Moreover, emojis save you from typing an entire sentence. So if you wish to explain yourself better, start using emojis. For instance, if something confuses you, send a confused-looking cloud that will let the recipient know you need more explanation.
It is also possible to use multiple emojis in a single text. Select and copy the emoji using Command + C. Hold the Command key while clicking and pasting so you can paste the emoji one at a time. To paste them, press Command + V.
Sign documents via Preview
Thanks to the Preview app, Mac makes it easy to sign electronic documents. So you can forget about downloading documents, printing them, signing them, scanning them, and then sending them back to the sender via email or other messaging apps.
With Preview, you can insert your signature in the document. You can do this by opening Preview > going to the Preferences tab from the menu > selecting the Signatures tab > adding a new signature.
Your system’s camera will activate once the signature capture is turned on. Write the signature on a piece of paper and place it in front of Mac’s camera. Ensure the signature is aligned with the blue line in the left viewer area. Choose the Accept option to add the signature to Preview’s list of signatures.
Then, you can insert your signature by opening a PDF document > clicking Tools > Annotate > Signature. From the menu, select your signature, and a crosshair will be seen on the screen. Drag the crosshair, so the signature appears on the document, and then you can resize the signature.
Finally, remember to save the PDF.
Use Productivity-Boosting Apps
You can install productivity applications to take your efficiency to the next level when working on a Mac. Some of the best productivity apps are:
- Alfred – This is an all-round booster for Mac users and includes snippets, hotkeys, automated workflows for repetitive tasks, clipboard history, intelligent search features, and more. Alfred is a single tool that can significantly boost your productivity.
- Password Managers – LastPass and Keeper, are examples of password managers you can use to stay efficient. A password manager will keep everything on track, and you don’t have to waste time remembering or looking for your passwords. They will be stored in a single place. You do not have to go through the process of forgetting and resetting your passwords. Also, a password manager ensures you have access to the accounts and apps you need while ensuring their security.
- Todoist – Todoist is an organization and note-taking app with notable features like task creation, browser extension, and interactive boards. This app allows you to stay on top of your projects and be more organized.
- Hazel – Hazel is another impressive organization tool that automatically organizes files on custom rules created by users. For instance, you can set the tool to move untouched items from a folder to another folder named action items if you need to address them soon.
- Backblaze – No need to lose your sleep over restoring data if your system has crashed or is stolen because Backblaze is an inexpensive, automated way of backing up your MacBook.
Otter – Do you hate typing?
Then, Otter is the app for you. It is a note-taking app with an intelligent voice-recognition system. Use the app to keep notes during meetings, transcribe conversations, and more.
- Cold Turkey – This application completely blocks apps or websites from running. The app is designed to boost self-discipline. So if a game or app makes you procrastinate and lose focus from work, strictly block it. Assign X minutes to entertainment apps so they don’t distract you while you finish tasks.
These are helpful tips to give your productivity a boost when you are working on a Mac. Keep these in mind to finish tasks quicker than before and augment your efficiency. The time you save can be utilized elsewhere, such as hanging out with friends or finishing the Netflix series you wanted.
Also, if your device is eligible, upgrade to Ventura to take advantage of productivity features like Continuity Camera, Stage Manager, and more. With this software update, Apple has indeed taken user productivity seriously.