Mojave's new “Use Stacks” command lets you organize the items on your desktop with a single menu selection (choose View-->Use Stacks) or keyboard shortcut (press Command + Control + 0).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words… here's how it works:
It's that simple.
If your Desktop is a mess, burn that keyboard shortcut — Command + Control + 0 — into your muscle memory and start using it to turn your Desktop clutter into neatly organized stacks.
One last thing: If you're concerned about Stacks messing up your desktop icons, which you've so carefully arranged, you'll be happy to know that pressing Command + Control + 0 again will return your Desktop to its former arrangement no matter how disorganized or messy.
As you probably know, macOS Mojave (a.k.a. version 10.14) was unleashed by Apple a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been running pre-release versions since July while I worked on macOS Mojave For Dummies. (Click the book cover on the right to pre-order it from Amazon.com when it ships in early November.)
The point is that I’m intimately familiar with Mojave’s best new features already and can’t wait to share them with you.
But, before I tell you about these three great new Mojave timesavers, I feel obliged to offer my standard advice to Mac users before a major system software upgrade like High Sierra—>Mojave. That advice is:
Backup your startup disk.
Backup your startup disk. Again.
Test your backups by restoring files.
Check your High Sierra apps’ compatibility with Mojave at RoaringApps.com.
Install macOS Mojave.
Now that you’ve upgraded safely and sanely, here are three of my favorite new Mojave features guaranteed to save you time and effort every day.
Mojave Makes Screenshots Better (and Easier)
In the past, capturing your screen required memorizing arcane keyboard shortcuts like:
Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen.
Command + Shift + Control + 4 to capture the entire screen to the clipboard (rather than saving it as a file).
Command + Shift + 4 to capture a selection.
Command + Shift + Control + 4 to capture a selection to the clipboard (rather than saving it as a file).
Command + Shift + Control + 4 followed by the spacebar to capture a window or menu instead of a selection.
The good news is that while these shortcuts still work in Mojave (for those who, like me, committed them to muscle memory long ago), you don’t have to memorize them. Instead, just memorize Mojave’s awesome new screen-shooting shortcut:
Command + Shift + 5
This one shortcut to rule them all now offers everything all those other shortcuts offer and more. What do I mean by more? Here are some new features you’ll find in Command + Shift + 5:
Capture a full-screen movie.
Capture a movie in a selection or window.
5 or 10 second timer.
Choose the folder for automatic saves.
Show or hide the mouse pointer.
Here’s what you’ll see when you press Command + Shift + 5 in Mojave:
So teach your fingers this awesome new keyboard shortcut today—Command + Shift + 5 rocks.
Markup Tools Where You Need Them
In a related improvement, Markup tools (formerly available in Mail and Preview) are now available almost everywhere. Just look for the Markup icon — a pencil (or a marker) in a circle — which you’ll now find in the preview panes of Mojave Finder windows, in Quick Look windows, and the new screenshot interface as well as in apps including Preview and Mail.
The Markup tools let you add circles and arrows and text and much more to the current document.
For example, all of the annotations in the guide to Command + Shift + 5 above were created with Markup tools. Here’s what the Markup toolbar looks like in a Quick Look window:
I used to use a commercial utility for screen shots and screen movies (Snapz Pro), and a different utility (Skitch) for annotation. I no longer use either one and feel obliged to say, “Thanks, Apple! Nicely done.”
Smile, You’re on Continuity Camera
One other new feature I’m loving a lot is the Continuity Camera, which lets you use the camera on your iPhone (or other iDevice) to shoot photos or scan documents and then seamlessly use them on your Mac!
It currently works in the Finder and many of the Apple apps that accept typed input (i.e. Pages, Keynote, Mail, Messages, Notes, and TextEdit to name a few). The easiest way to determine if it’s available is to right (or Control) -click in a document or on the Finder’s desktop. If Import from iPhone or iPad appears in the shortcut menu, select the iOS device you wish to use and choose Take Photo or Scan Document.
If you right- or Control-clicked while working in a document, the photo or scan will appear at the insertion point
If you right-clicked in a Finder window or on the Desktop, the photo or scan will appear on the Desktop by default.
I’ve been using these useful Mojave tools and shortcut in my workflows for months already and they save me time and effort every day.
Try ‘em… I think you’ll like ‘em!
This is a screenshot of my desktop…
These are screenshots
of my desktop enhanced by
the groovy (and free) Desktop Quote app…
You can change the quote anytime you like; you can set the duration before the quote changes automatically and randomly to daily, hourly, or custom; you can choose the font face, size, and style; and you can position and resize the entire quote block anywhere on your desktop.
Here's how to have quotes on your desktop:
Thanks to North Pole Software, for making this delightful little app (and for making it free).
*Quotable Quotes.txt contains the quotes seen above plus dozens more!
While I was updating macOS High Sierra For Dummies to create macOS Mojave For Dummies, I became curious about how many Mac users never use built-in technologies such as Launchpad, Mission Control, Dashboard, and others. So I created this survey which asks how often you use each of 7 technologies. It shouldn't take you more than two minutes to complete.
I've made my predictions, and placed them in a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar for safekeeping; I may reveal them when the survey is over.
Or not. We'll see. In the meantime, please click the Start button below to begin the (2-minute) survey.
“I’ve tried at least a dozen different chairs, balls, stools, supports, and pillows designed to reduce back strain at my desk. I’ve been using a prototype of Posture Keeper for months and it’s the first thing I’ve tried that actually works for reducing lower back pain, and the only thing I've found beside duct tape that actually does keep my ass in the chair.”
— Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus
Update: You can now order Posture Keeper via its Kickstarter campaign for delivery in December. Prices start at a totally reasonable $77. You can order yours here:
Please allow me to introduce you to Posture Keeper (www.posturekeeper.com), a “Lumbar Support System” with padded straps that looks like a backpack with its front half removed, and attaches to most chairs in less than 30 seconds. You strap yourself to your chair with Posture Keeper, and it prevents you from leaning forward or hunching over the keyboard.
Posture Keeper has an added benefit I don't think its makers have noticed yet. Or if they have noticed, they've chosen not to use it as a marketing ploy. The added benefit is that Posture Keeper helps you keep your ass in the chair.
Allow me to explain…
If you've ever seen me speak (or attended my webinar), chances are good you saw a slide like this one:
Which is why I was tickled to discover that not only does Posture Keeper help my body maintain proper posture while I work, it also has the added advantage of keeping my ass in the chair!
And, as the slide says, I believe the secret to getting stuff done is keeping your ass in the chair!
I’ve tried at least a dozen different chairs, balls, stools, supports, and pillows designed to reduce back strain at my desk. I’ve been using a prototype of Posture Keeper for months and it’s the first thing I’ve tried that actually works for reducing lower back pain, and the only thing I've found beside duct tape that actually does keep my ass in the chair.
I like to make videos. This page serves up a playlist with some of my recent favorites.
It starts with Episode 1 of my Drivin' with Dr. Mac series. When that episode ends, the second episode appears; then the third episode, and so on.
Drivin' with Dr. Mac has been discontinued (due to concerns about the safety of driving and shooting video at the same time as well as the mental health of the auteur).
Never fear, gentle viewer. I've already come up with a replacement—a new series called OutStanding with Dr. Mac. Watch its premiere episode below (but only after you enjoy all four episodes of Drivin' with Dr. Mac). 😜
Last year I wrote a blog post professing my love for keyboard shortcuts. It's a good blog post, so, every so often I have my automated social media assistant, MeetEdgar, repost it.
When MeetEdgar reposted it to Facebook the other day, I received a surprising response from none other than Bill Atkinson—an essay explaining how keyboard shortcuts came to be on the Lisa and Macintosh.
I'm stoked. For one thing, Bill Atkinson—the guy who created awesome Mac stuff like HyperCard, QuickDraw, and MacPaint (to name a few)—replied to my Facebook post. Thanks, Bill. You're a cool dude.
Second, I never knew that Doug Engelbart, who (among other things) invented the computer mouse, was the one who talked Bill into adding keyboard shortcuts to the Lisa and Macintosh "for power users."
OMG! Thank you so much, Doug!
And finally, learning that the inventor of the mouse advocated for keyboard shortcuts tickles me to no end.
One last thing: If you'd like to read the blog post that started it all, you'll find it here.
This is the inaugural episode of my new video series OutStanding with Dr. Mac.
I hope you enjoy it; I'll be back with another one before you know it!
OutStanding with Dr. Mac replaces my previous video series, Drivin' with Dr. Mac, which was yanked off the air (by me) for being too dangerous and (more than likely) unlawful.
This episode features a useful tip for survival after Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference this week.
It’s Episode #3 of Drivin’ with Dr. Mac!
This post is adapted from Chapter 1 of my eBook, Working Smarter for Mac Users.
The Keyboard System Preferences pane lets you create keyboard shortcuts for menu items that don’t have them by default,
While I use the $36 third-party automation app Keyboard Maestro to do this (and many other tasks), you can add your own keyboard shortcuts for free using nothing more than the Keyboard pane in System Preferences.
1. Launch System Preferences.
2. Click the Keyboard icon.
3. Click the Shortcuts Tab.
4. Click App Shortcuts.
5. Click the little +.
6. Choose an application from the drop-down Application menu (Microsoft Word in the illustration above).
7. Type the menu item’s exact name in the Menu Title field (Word Count…in the illustration above).
8. Type the shortcut you wish to use for this item in the Keyboard Shortcut field (Control + W in the illustration above).
9. Click the Add button.
Now, when I press Control + W while using Microsoft Word, the Word Count dialog pops open instantly. I’d estimate this is at least twice as fast as reaching for the mouse, pulling down menus looking for the command (it’s in the Tools menu, in case you were wondering), and then selecting Word Count.
Drivin' with Dr. Mac Episode 2:
A two-minute video that could double your productivity!
Welcome to the second episode of Drivin' with Dr. Mac, a two-minute discourse that could double your productivity in two weeks or less!
Snippets rock. Read the post to learn why...
Instead of copying and pasting, reformatting, checking links, and reproducing the whole newsletter in a blog post every week, from today forward back issues of my newsletter will be available in the Newsletter Archive instead of being posted in their entirety. This is much easier for me each week while only adding one additional click for you.
Here's where you'll find back issues of Working Smarter Newsletter 2.0:
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 1
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 2
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 3
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 4
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 5
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 6
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 7
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 8
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 9
- Newsletter 2.0: Issue 10
One last thing: If you enjoy my newsletters, please consider sharing them with others who might benefit.
I just made a little public service announcement about World Backup Day (March 31).
If your data isn't backed up redundantly, or wouldn't survive a fire, theft, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster, please take two minutes to watch it.
There is one more thing... I also lifted the backup lessons from my 10-hour Working Smarter for Mac Users course and created a 1-hour standalone course on backing up properly.
I call it: Working Smarter for Mac Users: The Backup Course.
In Issue 4 of Working Smarter for Mac Users Newsletter 2.0 you'll find information aimed at helping you become a raging thunder lizard of productivity.
First up: A look at the mouse I love (and a few of the reasons I love it), followed by a short public service announcement about typing skills.
Then: A gruesome reminder about redundancy, and why it's such good thing when it comes to storage and backups.
Finally, we'll end on an upbeat note with a link to a James Clear essay that reveals, "one simple trick that doubles your chances for success."
Welcome to issue 3 of my Working Smarter for Mac Users newsletter.
Here's what I've got for you this week:
- Two useful utilities at a nice price (free).
- A recommendation for a pervasive spelling and grammar checker that's free but worth paying for.
- Two ways to make Siri pronounce a name properly.
- A chance to win one of five free scholarships to my Working Smarter for Mac Users course.
Let's dive right in:
A pair of free yet useful utilities
Last month I wrote a column for MacObserver.com about a pair of free yet useful utilities I'd been testing:
I recently started using a pair of useful and free utilities—Rocket and Vanilla—that I heard about on one of my favorite podcasts for nerds, Mac Geek Gab. Both are Mac apps created by a guy named Matthew Palmer, who describes himself as "a full stack software engineer who loves to make things for people."
I don’t know Matthew, but I can tell you that his two little apps are elegant and useful. They remind me of the olden days, when freeware and inexpensive try-before-you-buy software was the rule rather than the exception it is today.
Both apps offer free and pro versions. The free versions of Rocket and Vanilla are both exceptional and useful, and both can be unlocked to provide even more useful "Pro" features for five bucks or less.
While Rocket is fun and will save you time if you're a fan of the emoji, Vanilla is truly useful, hiding all those menu bar items you don't need right now, and bringing them back when you need them.
A (perhaps) shocking confession
I have a confession. I have a spelling and grammar checker called Grammarly running 24/7 and use it on almost everything I write on my Mac in any app, including Word, Ulysses, Mail, Safari, and pretty much every other app in which I write more than a few sentences.
I used the free version for a while, then decided to try the Premium tier for three months at $19.98/month ($59.95).
I completely expected to go back to the free version after my three months ended unless Premium was terrific...
But, it is—at least it is for me.
When the renewal notice arrived a few weeks ago, I ponied up for another three months without hesitation. And, when this quarterly subscription expires, I'll almost certainly pop for a full year so I get an even lower price ($11.66/month; $139.95/year).
Why do I find Grammarly Premium worth paying for?
Well, for one thing, I'm a professional writer. It's my nature to take spelling and grammar a bit more seriously than most people. And, I really hate making mistakes, especially in public.
While I don't always obey Grammarly's suggestions, I do feel a whole lot better knowing my prose is almost certainly free of any obvious spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.
Here's what a flagged word looks like in the web-based editor I use for these newsletters (from Active Campaign):
The little red "1" in the lower right corner alerts me that there's one error in this block of text; the error is highlighted in pink.
When you hover the cursor over the error, you see your options—Add to Dictionary, Ignore, or See More here.
I like Grammarly 'cause it's unobtrusive, yet it catches almost all of my spelling, grammar, and syntax problems before they can embarrass me.
Teach Siri to Pronounce Any Name Properly...
It always irks me when Siri mispronounces a proper name. And it irks me even more when Siri mispronounces my surname.
"Calling Lisa Luveeetus"
"Calling Allison LeeVeeTes"
"Calling Jodie Levitt-Us"
(If you're curious, it's pronounced, "love-I-tis.")
So, I took it upon myself to figure out a way to teach Siri to say LeVitus properly. It was most definitely a rabbit hole, but, in the end, it was worth it.
My solution was to edit my contact record on my iPhone, scrolling to the bottom of the record, and clicking "Add Field."
I added a new field called "Pronunciation Last Name" and typed "love-i-tis."
It worked pretty well after trying a few different pseudo-phonetic spellings, but last week I read an article at iMore.com by Lory Gill, which described a much faster and easier way to get Siri to say a name correctly.
The next time Siri mispronounces a name, just say, "You're pronouncing the [first/middle/last] name wrong," and you'll see something like this:
Listen to each option, and then tap to Select your favorite.
Win one of 5 scholarships to Working Smarter for Mac Users!
Finally, last but certainly not least, I'm trying something new to celebrate and publicize the grand opening of my Working Smarter for Mac Users course, I'm giving away five full scholarships valued at $499 each.
I encourage you to enter and hope you'll share it with your friends. As an incentive, you'll receive three additional entries for each friend who enters.
The contest ends March 31, and the winners will be announced on April 2.
That's all I've got for you this week, but I've got plenty of good stuff planned for you in upcoming issues.
All the best,
The Working Smarter Newsletter V2.0
By Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus
Issue 2 • March 5, 2018
Welcome to the second issue of the Working Smarter Newsletter, V2.0.
This week we start off with an interesting idea by James Schramko about the difference between effectiveness and productivity.
Next up: Last week's Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves column for The Mac Observer was all about the Reminders app and why I find it so useful on all my devices. If you forget stuff, you ought to read it. 😜
After that: A pair of Rants & Raves columns from late last year. Last fall I carried an iPhone X in one pocket and an iPhone 8 Plus in the other for months before sitting down to write my two-column real-world test of iPhone X vs. iPhone 8 Plus.
Spoiler alert: The excellence of the iPhone X camera (and the ability to send animated talking poop, unicorns, and more) made it a clear winner, at least for me.
Last, but definitely not least, reader David C. submitted a tip about one of his favorite utilities, KeyCue, which helps you remember keyboard shortcuts. Even though it's not my cup of soup, given my love of keyboard shortcuts, I'm surprised I had forgotten all about it.
Let's dig in!
Productivity vs. Efficiency
I recently began reading a fascinating book that a friend recommended: Work Less Make More, by James Schramko.
Since I love the concept of working less and making more, I'm about halfway through it already. But, a brief passage on page 1 of Chapter 1 caught my attention immediately.
As you know, I've been obsessed with productivity my whole life, and I became even more obsessed with it when I learned I have ADHD.
Here's how Schramko begins his discussion of how to work less:
You need to shift your thinking about doing less and feeling totally okay about it.
And, the best way to change your focus is to increase how effective you are.
Notice I didn't say 'how productive you are.'
He goes on to explain that being productive while doing the wrong things won't help you reach your goals; being productive at the right things is what he considers being effective.
If you've read Working Smarter for Mac Users or taken either course, you know that I agree wholeheartedly with this philosophy,
I'm just not sure about his semantics. I think of being productive as "working on the right things (i.e., Most Important Tasks) without procrastinating."
That sounds suspiciously similar to Schramko's concept of being effective.
In spite of our linguistic differences, I think Schramko and I agree more than we disagree when it comes to doing more work in less time.
My conclusion: One man's effective is another man's productive.
Like an Elephant, Reminders Never Forgets
In last week's episode (Episode #267) of Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves at The Mac Observer, I discussed my love affair with the Reminders app.
Here's a taste:
I remember my father saying, "the older you get, the more you forget," when he forgot about something. He sometimes used a little calendar/notebook, but he often forgot to use it.
I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been doing what I do for the better part of three decades. I’m sad to say dad was probably right. As the years have passed, I’ve learned to use my Apple technology to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Why Reminders Rocks…
There are several reasons the Reminders app on macOS, iOS, and watchOS is the near-perfect assistant to my ever more forgetful wetware. The biggest one is that it’s completely pervasive. Whenever I need to remember something, Reminders is a click (or tap) away, on my Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, one of which is always close at hand (especially the watch).
For Photos (and Videos): iPhone X or 8 Plus?
Late last year I wrote a pair of columns about my experiences toting an iPhone X in one pocket and an iPhone 8 Plus in the other for several months. If that's of interest, here's where to read both parts, which include a handy table of current iPhone models including sizes and weights in Part I and my thrilling conclusion in Part II.
For those who aren't inclined to click the links below, here's a picture from Part II that I think is worth at least 1,000 words:
Spoiler alert: Not that I'm a Consumer Reports fan, but I was happy to see that its review came to the same conclusion as mine:
A Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet on Demand: KeyCue
Reader David C. recently wrote me to recommend an app called KeyCue (19.99€), saying:
"KeyCue is a macOS app that reliably displays keyboard shortcuts for the currently used application by merely holding down the ⌘ key—one of the first apps I add to a new Mac."
I still think my way—printing a cheat sheet with the shortcuts I'm trying to commit to memory and taping it to my display—is better. But opinions are like noses—everyone's got one. So, for those who prefer an "always available" keyboard shortcut cheat sheet, KeyCue is 19.99€.
Such a Deal!
One more thing before this issue draws to a close...
I want to make you an even better offer this week. I thought last week's offer of 75% off was pretty good, but some of you still resisted. So I'm going to sweeten the pot one time, for one week.
As you may recall:
- The S.R.P. for the course is $499.
- The Grand Opening special price is $249 (50% off).
- Your special Insiders price was $124.75 (75% off).
Are you ready for the lowest price ever?
- Your extra special Insiders price until March 12 is just $99 (80% off)!
Just enroll by Monday, March 12 and use coupon code reader80 at checkout to pay just $99 and save 80%. This offer will NOT be repeated so if you want to get in before the price goes back up, enroll today!
And that's all I've got, but I'll be back before you know it… Stay tuned!
All the best,
P. S. There is actually one more thing. Since I want to help as many people as possible with my Working Smarter for Mac Users course, if you're unable to afford even $99, please reply to this message and request a partial or full scholarship.
By subscribing to this list you've demonstrated to me that you're interested and eager to learn about being more productive on your Mac. And, I want you to succeed more than anything. Even money.
So, if you really want to take the course, and you really can't afford $99, I want you to have it and will work something out for you if I can.
P. P. S. If you know someone who might enjoy and benefit from my occasional musings, here's a link you can share so they too will receive all the delightful freebies and useful tips and hints you enjoy as an Insider:
...or use the buttons below to share this newsletter via your favorite social medium.
Thank you again for your support!