5 Simple macOS Tips to Streamline Your Workflow

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If you're a Mac user, there's a good chance you use it to handle most of your everyday tasks, whether at work or home. It's also possible you're running macOS; an even better chance is you aren't using it to its full potential and getting more done with less effort.

Nobody wants to waste too much time doing something they could've otherwise handled with a few keystrokes on their device. One of the best things about using a Mac is that macOS provides features and customization levels to streamline workflows. 

Most of these features and customizations are only easy to spot if someone points them to you. In this blog post, we’ll run you through top Mac productivity tips that streamline your workflow so you can have more time for other tasks.

Optimizing macOS to streamline your workflow

Every Mac is powered by a macOS operating system. macOS is designed explicitly for the Mac hardware and has a suite of apps and features you can easily customize.

Many of these features and shortcuts can help streamline your workflows. Below are five simple macOS tips you can implement to streamline workflows and get more done on your Mac computer.

Implement Smart Folders and Tags

Smart Folders and Tags work on your computer to save time searching for documents. Instead of manually saving documents in a specific location, Smart Folders will automatically categorize and display those files. 

They'll automatically gather files based on the criteria you set. You can then use tags to label the documents and make them easily recognizable in the clutter of other documents on your device.

There are numerous Smart Folders you can use to improve your document organization on Mac. For instance, you can create Smart Folders with a list of files and come up with criteria for the items you want in the folder. It could be set as the date when the file was opened or the contents of each file. The idea is to make it easier to locate each file whenever you need it.

Here is how to set up Smart Folders on your device

You can set up a Smart Folder in macOS by right-clicking anywhere within Finder. Then proceed to:

  1. Choose a file.
  2. Select New Smart Folder or Tag.
  3. Specify your criteria, such as file type or date modified.
  4. Click Save and proceed to enter a name and location for your Smart Folder.

Setting Smart Folders on your Mac with Tags per document type makes it easier to find what you need. They also help you get more storage on your Mac by sorting documents and reducing clutter.

Use Hot Corners

Hot Corners is a MacOS feature that lets you streamline your workflows in Mac and improve your productivity. This useful macOS feature saves you time by allowing you to run several actions. 

However, Hot Corners isn't enabled by default in macOS—you need to manually set it on your Mac to enjoy the magic of its display. It turns the four corners of your device’s display into shortcuts to quickly launch apps.

Once enabled, glide your mouse into one corner of your Mac to trigger a pre-assigned action. For example, you can lock your screen or zip straight into Launchpad. 

Setting up Hot corners on your Mac involves the following simple steps:

1. Open the Apple menu on your Mac.

Mac-menu

2. Select System Preferences.

3. Select Desktop & Screen Saver.

Mac system preferences

4. Click Hot Corners.

Mac hot corner

After clicking on the Hot Corners, you can easily assign and modify the functions assigned to each. If you want to use any Hot Corners, click on the pop-up menu and select an option. It could be either Launchpad or even the Notification Center.

Useful keyboard shortcuts

MacOS is equipped with numerous keyboard shortcuts that make your work easier. They are primarily keys or a combination of keys you can press on your Mac keyboard to perform a given task. This option saves you time and is often faster than using a mouse.

Keyboard shortcuts also streamline your work in various applications because they are universal. One keyboard shortcut, such as copy and paste, still applies in a Word document or a web browser.

 Here is a look into some of the common and most helpful keyboard shortcuts in macOS:

  1. Screenshots: Command+Shift+3 for full screen, Command+Shift+4 for a specific area, and Command+Shift+5 for an array of screenshot tools.
  2. Quick app closure: Press Command+Q to swiftly bid farewell to an app.
  3. Immediately lock your screen: Control-Command-Q.
  4. Forward delete hack: Function+delete to delete forward.
  5. Restart your Mac without saving open and unsaved documents: Ctrl–Cmd–Power button.
  6. App juggling: Command+Tab to juggle between apps.
  7. Emergency Exit: Command+Option+Esc for a forceful app shutdown.

Clear cached files

Have you ever wondered why clearing cache files on your Mac feels like giving it a fresh new start? Well, it's not just about tidying up; it's about optimizing its life. Your Mac often stores various cache files to streamline its operations.

But with time, data and cache files pile up on your Mac, often slowing things down. Some of the cache that piles and eats up on your Mac include:

  1. Browser cache: This is cache downloaded to your Mac when you visit a website.
  2. Application cache: This cache stores data from the apps you use on your Mac.
  3. System cache: It contains macOS service files that allow your Mac to run faster.

Clearing it up makes your Mac more efficient, paving the way for streamlined workflows. It also helps your Mac in many other ways, such as:

  1. Privacy shield: If you share your device with someone else, clearing cookies keeps your browsing life private. It ensures no one snoops on your history or accesses your accounts and logins.
  2. Speedy surfer: Cookies tend to clutter, slowing down your browser's efficiency. Clearing them out occasionally boosts your browser's speed and smoother performance.

How to clear the browser cache on a Mac:

  1. Launch Safari and navigate to the Safari menu at the top.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Proceed to the Privacy tab and click Manage Website Data.

Use iCloud Drive for file sharing

Remember the days of emailing yourself files to access them elsewhere? These were days when you could lose a lot of time sharing documents across devices and ultimately messing with your workflows.

iCloud Drive is a much-needed solution that allows you to carry files wherever you go. Using iCloud syncs all your documents across devices and also comes with robust security and privacy features. 

The best part is that setting up iCloud Drive on your Mac is more accessible and will help you transform how you work on all your Apple devices. Here is how to do it:

  1. Open the Apple menu.
  2. Go to System Settings.
  3. Click on Apple ID.
  4. Choose iCloud.
  5. Tick the box next to iCloud Drive.

Clearing out items from iCloud:

  1. Sign in to iCloud via your web browser.
  2. Access your Drive and spot all the unwanted files.
  3. Click the trash can icon.

Remember that iCloud is available on all Apple devices and comes with 5GB of storage for free. Upgrading to iCloud+ gives you more Mac storage and enhanced security and privacy features.

Final thoughts

Apple creates hardware and an operating system that assures users of a smooth experience through perfect integration. Streamlining workflows on your Mac through macOS means eliminating unnecessary work-related tasks to improve efficiency.

You can easily undertake it on your Mac by implementing the above-shared tips and making it work even better. Reviewing your macOS regularly is always a good idea to ensure it operates optimally.

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About the author, Y Samphy

Samphy is a facilitator, blogger, consultant, personal productivity coach, and lifelong learner. His writing and ideas here focus around productivity and self-improvement.

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