While this might not be a preference I still thinks its something that every productivity nerd needs to think about.
First I wanna give credit to Nick Campbell for showing this in a screencast.
I’m constantly browsing the web looking for stuff I need to find in order to get other stuff done. Even though the web is a great place to find stuff its also a place full of distractions! That could be distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Digg, or whatever… In order to keep myself from constantly wanting to look at those sites to see if there is anything new I simply don’t let myself be exposed to anything that links to them.
So instead of filling my bookmark bar with distractions I put in things that are actually useful! Those things are:
The beauty is that I don’t even need to see those all the time (press ⌘-⇧-B to hide your bookmark bar). Keeping the bookmark bar hidden makes you so much more focused. And when I wanna see Instapaper I can simply hit ⌘-1, or if I see something I wanna read later I just hit ⌘-2.
And when I really wanna to YouTube I just hit ⌘-L, type “you” and hit enter…
- David Pedersen
Recently I’ve moved to a new flat and took my old (2006) white iMac work. It has only 3GB of memory (maximum for this model) and since it became my main coding machine (2x24” baby! I’m too lazy to carry an MBP now), I’m trying to keep as little additional apps running as possible, which means I got rid of Quicksilver/Launchbar/Alfred/whatever-I-was-trying-out-at-the-moment, but being the keyboard person, I had to find some alternative.
Behold, poor man’s launchbar:
1. Assign opt-space (or whatever Launchbar-style shortcut) to “Move focus to the Dock” in System Preferences
2. Create Applications stack by dragging Applications icon from Finder to Dock
3. Check it out by pressing your shortcut. It works failry well, even if Dock has focus on some other icon, you can type (just like in Finder, try “app”, unless you have App Store on the dock, then you might end up better typing “appl” :-) to switch focus. You can also type to navigate through apps (and subfolders, like Utilities) and, of course, use cursor keys.
Have your own preference pane setting, tip, or trick to share? We would love to feature it on the site! All you need to do is send a short description of the hows and whys, along with a screenshot to laying it all out for our readers, to either FValletutti@me.com, or by clicking the “Submit Your Preferences” link at the top of the page.
This is how I setup OmniFocus:
Setup an Apptivate shortcut for OmniFocus and configure the following preferences :
I use CMD + “-” as the shortcut.
This way you get all the powerful features of OmniFocus, but also a quick minimalist way of showing you current tasks.
I also use the custom setup Shawn Blanc shared on CMDComma.net a few days ago. Here’s how it looks!
This is how I prefer to have the toolbars in iWork windows:
There is no need to use either iWork’s toolbar or format bar. To the best of my knowledge, everything is accessible from the menu bar and the Inspector.
I try this approach with all applications on my Mac. If there is a toolbar, I ask myself: am I really using this?
The principle benefit is the reduction in visual clutter; a document’s window just shows you little more than the document’s contents. There is also a gain in vertical screen space. The Inspector sits on the side, accessible but out of the way, and takes up none of the screen’s height.
I recommend thinking briefly about whether your toolbars are being put to good use — especially if you use the smallest MacBook Air.
(If you feel so inclined, compare this to the latest Microsoft Office. For example, Microsoft Word for Mac.)
- Douglas Hill
A few weeks ago, I decided I really wanted to store as much data as I could on my Dropbox account, and as far as plain text notes, I was facing a dilemma. It was either Simplenote, which is external to Dropbox but syncs to Notational Velocity, or PlainText (iOS), which stores its data in your Dropbox folder but doesn’t sync with Notational Velocity (the most amazing note-taking app for Mac, if you haven’t heard).
Well, I actually figured out a way to sync Notational Velocity with PlainText, via Dropbox. Here’s how to do this—assuming you already have NV and Dropbox installed on your Mac.
First, you’re gonna need to change the file format and the location of Notational Velocity’s data. To do this, go to the Preferences and choose “Plain Text Files” under the “Store and read notes on disk as:” popup menu. Once this is done, move all the notes from the Notational Data folder (the default NV data location) into the PlainText folder that is located in your Dropbox.
Voilà! You now have your notes wherever you go—on your Mac via NV, on your iPhone or iPad via PlainText, and from any other computer via Dropbox (since your notes are now stored as .txt files).
This one was posted on yesterday’s contributor Ramy Majouji’s own blog. I thought it was appropriate for the concept here so I am utilizing the reblogging power of Tumblr. Enjoy.
This technically isn’t a Mac preference, but it’s an important one. I turn off email notifications in Twitter. It keeps me from fretting about who new is following me today, and it keeps my inbox a little less stuffy.
There are a couple of reasons why I chose these specific appearance settings. First, I hate cluttering my menu bar. Second, I am a keyboard shortcut feand. I use keystrokes to do all sort of things on my Mac (you’d be surprised how much I can do without a mouse).
The default settings don’t make Alfred transparent enough for my taste, so I went ahead and customized them. Everything is hidden: the menu bar item, the hat on the Alfred window, and even the preferences icon in the Alfred window.
How do I access Alfred? Keystrokes. Alt + Spacebar to toggle the window, and Command + Comma within the app to show the preferences. Tab key to navigate between results. Enter key to choose a result. Boom.
Let me spend a second to explain: One would think, given the amount of real estate it takes up and time it spends showing on your screen, that the Desktop would be one of the earliest targets of customization on a new machine. Actually though it strikes me as exactly the opposite. To most users the Desktop seems to be a static, non-configurable object in the best case, and a storage bin in which to place any temporary or unsorted files in the worst. Filling up the Desktop with files seems unreasonable considering that 98% of the time spend looking at the desktop one will not be looking for the cat picture you thought was so cute or the funny powerpoint presentation your mom send you. Instead to me the Desktop is similar to a real desk, space on which I will only surrender to whatever I am working on right now and do not have (yet set up) a special workplace for. Any other files I have to take action on go into To Do, while those I do not intend to decide only later what to do with are going into the standard Downloads folder.
For this reason I set up the Desktop (⌘J) with a relatively small icon size, labels on the right side and quite some space between each item. Also any files are sorted by the date they were last modified. This way the desktop keeps its clean look even when working with some new files, and via the automatic arrangement show the most recent files up top.