7 Ways to Improve Mac Productivity

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Apple wants their computer user experience to focus on productivity and ease of use. The end result is that Macs are some of the easiest computers to work with. With every release, Apple strives to enhance workflow and productivity. Unfortunately, many users don’t know about some of these tips. We wanted to bring to you a few handy techniques that will go a long way in improving your overall Mac productivity.

  1. Clear out the clutter

We tend to let a lot of unnecessary files pile up on our system. Macs become sluggish over time as they run out of disk space, sometimes refusing to work if the hard drive is completely full. In order to keep your computer in good health, periodic cleanup is a must. We often accumulate hundreds of photos, videos, and other documents that hog valuable disk space. So get in the habit of deleting unused files from your Mac.

Most users find it a daunting task to manually remove unnecessary files. Don’t worry! You can use cleaning tools such as CleanMyMac 3 which does a fantastic job of rummaging through your files and getting rid of things you don’t need.

Cleaning utilities can also delete unwanted system files and unnecessary iPhoto backups freeing up precious storage space. Remember to clean your system before you complain about a slow Mac!

Check out CleanMyMac3 here if you’re interested.

  1. Productivity Apps

There are plenty of third-party apps aimed at enhancing productivity. Install these apps on your Mac and watch your productivity soar. These apps help cut down on scheduling and planning so you can be organized and focused on your work. Try these apps before you give up:

  • TextExpander- create custom phrases that expand into longer phrases. Helpful if you do a lot of typing
  • Evernote – Powerful notetaking application
  • Wunderlist- Keep track of lists, reminders, things you need to do, all synced across every device you own

These applications enable you to get your work done on time. If you are someone with an endless backlog, these apps are your best personal organizers.

  1. Get Quicker With Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts allow you to perform common tasks in a fraction of the time. Knowing your keyboard shortcuts optimizes workflow and improves efficiency. You can open files, quit applications, switch between tabs, and  so much more through keyboard shortcuts.

Here are some to get you started:

Command-C — Copy text

Command-V — Paste text

Command-X — Cut text

Command-Z — Undo last action

Mac OS X also allows you to create custom shortcuts which enable you to perform your tasks quickly. Open System Preferences -> Keyboard and select Keyboard Shortcuts where you can customize shortcut keys for different functions. The more keyboard shortcuts you learn, the more productive you’ll be on your computer. It can be a daunting task but it’s worth it in the long run.

  1. Sync With iCloud

iCloud is yet another powerful tool used to accelerate your productivity. You can save tons of time by using iCloud efficiently to sync your files across multiple Apple devices.  You can pull up files on any of your iCloud enabled Apple devices.

You get 5GB of storage space for free on iCloud, but you can pay to upgrade and get more if you need it.

iCloud syncs your iCal and Reminders too. Using iCloud allows Apple fans to be more productive across devices– a change on one device syncs across everything you own.

  1. Search With Spotlight

Spotlight provides a quick and easy way to locate files on your Mac. The service indexes your system and can pull whatever file or program you need from your hard drive. You can access Spotlight using the Command + Spacebar shortcut. Locating files on a Mac has never been so easy; there’s no need to spend time searching through your system for minutes on end.

  1. Use Folder Labels

Organizing your files into folders and categorizing them improves efficiency. Sounds simple but hardly does anyone does this religiously. OS X offers a way to color code your folders making it easy to find what you’re looking for. For Example, you can label your documents that are “In-progress” as yellow or label  extremely important documents as red.

Mac provides 7 colors to label your folders so that you can prioritize your files and work efficiently. It’s a simple but effective way to organize your system.

  1. Automator

Automator is an immensely powerful tool that hardly anyone knows about. Automator is a graphical frontend to AppleScript, meaning it provides an interface that makes a scripting engine less daunting. You can convert files between formats, rename groups of files, edit images, add keynotes to slides, and more with Automator.

The program helps to automate repetitive actions and save you time. Users create “automation recipes” that execute whatever action you want to perform. For example, you can rename large groups of files that would take hours to rename by hand. Automator’s got your back. The tool is incredibly powerful and learning how to use it will make a huge difference in your productivity.


Using these methods will do wonders for your workplace productivity. Using these simple tricks can speed up your workflow significantly.

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About the Author
Divya Palaniappan is an engineer and an avid techie who considers information worthless unless verified. When she isn't wracking her brain over machines she loves spending time in her garden.

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