Why Your Productivity Apps are Making You Less Productive

Organization - Power UserThe tools we use today, will not be the tools we use in the future.

I LOVE technology. I love cool apps and gadgets, but there is a frenzy happening in the market for the next app that is going to change your life and all you have to do is buy this or subscribe to that.

Often these tools can really help us. We know this by our friends and family telling us all about it, so then we HAVE to have it. Every one of my clients who come to me for help, are wanting to be more productive and know how to use the tools their people tell them about. Often though, I have to put on the brakes a little with the apps and gadgets, at least at first.

Everyone can be more productive with their technology by keeping things simple and really understanding how your current tools work.

What I mean is before getting some app to clean up duplicates and clear out your downloads folder, you need to understand what is going into the downloads folder and what to do with them, RIGHT THEN! Right when you download them. When you know this, you never need an app to do the job for you, and you always know where your files are because you put them there.

Being a “power user” isn’t about knowing all the apps and shortcuts, but about knowing how to utilize what you have in a fast and efficient way, and knowing how to exploit those things to your advantage.

Let’s take the downloads for example. Here is a video that shows you ways you can download files more efficiently, and how to clean up your Downloads folder if it’s a mess. This also applies to any other folder you have that is a mess and needs attention.

If you’ve found this helpful, please share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Soon I will be creating a video course for becoming a power user so this is just a taste. Feedback and suggestions are encouraged!

8 Signs That Tell You When and What to Upgrade on Your Mac

8 Signs

“Do I need a new computer or can we do something to this one to make it faster?”

The first conversation I have with a client almost always starts off with this question followed by a statement of frustration. This includes: “This thing is soo slow!” “I keep running out of space!” “My email is not working right” or a combination of all three and others.

Lost momentum means lost profits. A slow computer is the #1 killer of productivity, creativity, and momentum or “the zone” that those of us who create content or manage businesses crave. Whether you write songs or blog posts, manage your own finances or a fortune 500 company on your computer, we can all agree that your computer being slow or locking up is a serious buzzkill.

There are a number of things you can look at on your computer to find out what is holding you back, making you want to claw your eyes out or throw the computer out the window.

These are the things I look at to find out what what we need to do to get you happy, productive, and consequently making more money!

Why You Should Ditch Your Keyboard and Pick Up a Mic

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“I wish I could just speak what I want to write instead of typing it. This is taking sooo long!”

I don’t think I’ve met anyone who hasn’t had this experience at some point or another.  So when I show my clients how they can dictate on their Mac for free, it’s always a big WOW! This works really well and has saved me lots of time, especially when I’m converting my hand written notes to digital.

How to:
If you have a Mac with the operating system Mountain Lion or Mavericks, open up your favorite word processor or the Notes app and double tap the fn key on the bottom left hand corner of your keyboard. If you have never done this before a message will pop up that looks like this.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 12.26.55 PMThe key difference between Mountain Lion and Mavericks’ dictation is the option for Enhanced Dictation. Enabling Enhanced Dictation will allow you to dictate without an internet connection and also allows you to talk much longer and it’s more accurate. If you don’t see the option for Enhanced, you’re probably running Mountain Lion. If nothing happens when you double tap the fn key, you’ll need to upgrade your operating system from the App Store. If you need some help please reach out to me through my contact page, or leave a comment below.

Once you hit OK and it has finished downloading any necessary components, you’ll see this microphone appear where you were about to type.Screen-Shot-2014-04-14-at-12.27.35-PM

Now all you have to do is start speaking! When you’re finished, tap the fn key once or click the Done button.

Comparison:
There is one big name when it comes to dictation that you may have heard of, Dragon Dictation. You may have downloaded it for your iPhone before Siri came out. They make a really great app for your Mac that has a ton of great features, like converting a recording of a meeting to text. Generally, Dragon is going to be more accurate than the built in dictation on your Mac, but you’ll have to pay $199 to get Dragon.

If you’re interested in reading some comparisons between Dragon and the built in dictation, here’s a good article.

You can buy Dragon Dictation here. The reviews on Amazon say it’s a little buggy. I think it’s worth looking at either way.

Try this out and let me know what you think!

Question: Have you used dictation software before? What do you think about it?

Why You Should Delete All Your Music

iTunes Trash

“I keep running out of space on my iPhone and my Mac, what do I do!?”

This is a question my clients ask me all the time, especially music lovers. If you have a lot of music you I’ll show you how you can free up the space it takes up, and still have it on your devices.

Many of us want all our music with us to listen to whatever we want at the drop of a hat. There is a service called Spotify you can subscribe to and listen to just about every main stream album out there, but some of us already bought a ton of music and don’t want a monthly subscription like that. One of my clients, Wally, is like that. Here’s a short synopsis of what we did and how we were able to get over 700 Gb worth of music on his iPhone and other iOS devices using iTunes Match.

How to Find Something On Your Mac… Fast! [Video]

This video is about Spotlight, my favorite utility that comes on your Mac. Spotlight was created to be a lightning fast search for anything on your Mac whether it’s an application or something that you wrote in a letter but you can’t remember what you named that file or where you saved it.

In this video I show you 3 main things you can do with Spotlight:

  1. Learn not just how to search for a file and open it, but to have Spotlight show you where that file is saved in so you can move it, rename it or whatever you need to do with it.
  2. Find out how you can do simple math in Spotlight.
  3. Do very specific searches using conditions like NOT this and what kind of file to search for.

This is the first of many weekly Tips and Tricks videos to come out.

Question: What would you like to see more useful tips and tricks on?