In today’s blog post we will be discussing MacOS and some useful tricks to keeping up productivity using this operating system. The following tips are written with the most recent MacOS version in mind, MacOS Sierra. Most of these tips should still work with older versions, but keep your OS version in mind as you read this.
1: You can use Siri on your computer
If you’ve read our last tips and tricks post regarding iOS devices, then you already know how incredibly useful Siri can be. She works mostly the same way on MacOS, but requires just a little bit of setup. First, you’ll need to go to System Preferences and enable Siri. This should be easy, since she has her own category in the Preferences window.
You can run Siri at any time by holding the Command key and Space bar for a few seconds, then ask Siri a question or give her a command the way you usually would. Mac laptops almost always come with a built-in microphone, so Siri should be able to hear you if you just talk out loud. This is still new functionality for MacOS Sierra, so keep in mind that Siri still has a few bugs to work out.
2: Sync your Desktops and Documents with iCloud
As an improvement to Apples iCloud software, you can now sync your desktop and documents folder between multiple devices. This one is very straightforward, as if you have iCloud set up on your machine the rest is handled automatically. To access your files from another machine, simply go to iCloud.com, log in, and open the Desktop folder. Just another layer of file protection and backups!
3: Quick Filter in Apple Mail
In a recent update for Apple Mail, you can find a new icon at the top of your inbox that will allow you to filter your inbox based on some quick options. These include filtering by Unread, flagged, CC: Me, To: Me, mail with attachments, etc. A small addition, but a useful one all the same.
4: Smart Suggestions in Apple Mail
Another excellent addition to the mail software added in MacOS El Capitan was Smart Suggestions. This will check your email for names and events and prompt you to add them to your contacts or calendar as you read the associated message. This can easily streamline the process of keeping your schedule up to date, and I personally find it very useful as I can be more than a little forgetful of dates and times.
5: Two-Factor Authentication
Passwords are vital to the security of your files and systems, but with the chaotic nature of cybersecurity it can be hard to tell if you are properly protected. The new Two-factor authentication system, added in El Capitan, adds an extra layer of protection. In addition to typing in your password, the software will use one of your other apple devices, such as your iPhone or iPad, to approve authentication of your computer as you log in. It works similarly to keychain and password-saving software you may have seen elsewhere. If you don’t have an apple device handy for this system, you can use a similar system which sends a code to your phone when you try to log in that you’ll need to access your computer.