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HOT TOPIC Technology, Productivity Hacks, Tips and Tricks

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EnricoF

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My actually preferred productivity app for Mac:

Noteplan(mac only) - a calendar mixed with a notebook and a task manager, with an elegant and minimal interface. Being a fan of Bear Notes, i falled in love with minimal note-taking apps, but Bear unfortunately doesn't integrate with calendar. Notes in Bear are organized for tags, with a very clever system that also Noteplan has, but in NP you can also connect notes to calendar events. Also, clicking on each day in the calendar, you can edit the "daily note", which works as a journal but also as a task list and a markup editor, where you can put whatever you need, also images and links to files.
Usually each night, before sleep, on my iphone I create the entry for the next day with the "frogs I need to eat". The next morning the first I do is read that list and start working. Then, during the day, on the same note I add new info, notes, calls and everything that can help sort things up or recall informations in the future.
This process is sweet, I used to use at least 3 different apps:
- Things or Todoist for tasks,
- Google calendar for events
- Bear app for the daily journal, adding the date manually in the title
Some days keeping everything updated was pretty complex. With Noteplan is so much easier and it works!

Dynalist (Mac, Win, Linux, iOS, Android, Web) - For Workflowy aficionados who need more. Dynalist is a powered-up outline who could manage dates (syncs with calendar), tasks, tags and multi-paragraph entries (an ever existing limit in Workflowy). I'm using it for meeting notes, and I can create notes hierarchies very fast. In the end my notes all sorted up and easy to understand or be processed.

Noted (Mac, iOS) - Again another notebook (notebooks are my things) but this time this can record audio while you write and each word you write is a "bookmark" on the audio file. So you can move through the audio using each written words as an index. It syncs effortless and fast between Mac and Iphone, making it easy to use it from the phone in situations when your mac is not with you. It also can apply noise removal and equalization on the audio.
When I have a meeting with a client for a new project, I prefer to remember every single word of the session since writing notes I can miss some small but precious info. Noted is a precious ally in this, and it can record from your phone without even being noticed, than you could add written notes later when you scrub through the recording.

TwoBird (win, mac, ios, android) - a free, easy on the eyes, minimalistic email client. It allows you to reply emails with a single string UI, like a chat.


Other stuff (I'll probably add some more later):
send-anywhere.com
You know the time when you need an USB Pendrive to pass something to somenone and you don't have one with you? And the file is to heavy for email. So you start to try to share a folder on the local network but you use different OS and, well, shit!
Well, this tool can solve this:
1. you open the webpage,
2. drag the file you need to pass and it returns a code.
3. Your receiver opens the same website,
4. enters the code and the file starts to download!
Much faster than anything else, especially WeTransfer with its email based process.

And talking about WeTransfer...
Swisstransfer It's like WeTransfer but... the free version has a 50Gb (yes fifty!!) limit! Considering that wetransfer in the free version stops at 2Gb, this website is pretty useful
 

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Thinh

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Aug 11, 2018
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As @jmin and @MπR mentioned, get Alfred.

If you're on mac, and don't use Alfred, you're using barely 1/4 of the productivity potential of your machine.

This is the single, most important app on my mac, and the one I install first on any new mac machine. Once you start using it seriously, it is no more a nice app to have, it becomes a necessity.

Just to mention a few examples of what it enables me to do in just a few keystrokes (who has time to use the mouse?):
  • launch apps (duh)
  • search and browse files (this only makes it worth using Alfred. You never have to open Finder ever again, and it makes searching manually for files a thing of the past)
  • perform web searches on Google, Wikipedia, Unsplash, Icon databases, Font Awesome, SEO tools, PHP and Ruby documentations, YouTube, Twitter
  • get rid of bookmarks: I simply type "fastlane" and this forum launches
  • save and and paste everything I copied within the last week. I'm still baffled by how many people still live with only one level of clipboard history.
  • perform calculations and conversions
  • create reminders, google docs, calendar events
  • auto-expand dozens of text snippets I use all the time like email addresses, website urls, outreach emails
  • control Spotify
  • browse and find stuff in my Pocket account
  • ... and many more things, but I think you get the point.
I literally do all the things above in a few keystrokes.

If I can't use Alfred on my Mac, I might as well not use my computer at all.
 

Mr992

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Nov 29, 2016
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I had some software that allowed me to move Windows around on the screen at the touch of buttons. It was great but is depreciated now. Winsplit I think. I’d love to find something similar.

Windows key + up/right/down/left does this.

Also check out powertoys by Microsoft. It does some nice extra stuff for power users. https://github.com/microsoft/powertoys

EDIT: Magnet does the same thing for Mac. If you use a Mac, it's a must own app.
 
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ZF Lee

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For Fastlaners who are still stuck with using freemium products like Google Drive....

GOOGLE DRIVE PROBLEM 1:
- Once you right-click and press 'Download', you'll be shown two options, asking if you want to leave the page or not (cancel).

Intuitively, of course you'd click 'cancel'- but that will make your file zip download disappear!

Solution:
CLICK LEAVE- and somehow your download gets going

Very stupid UI mistake on Google's part- and it appears they still haven't fixed it, despite numerous angry posts on their support forum:

Apparently, even if you pay for more premium versions of Google Drive, this problem stays the same.

GOOGLE DRIVE PROBLEM 2:
It apparently has a cap on how big of files you can download.
Either zipping goes on forever, or the pop-up alert box disappears after loading close to completion.

To make your waiting-time for zipping and downloading not an utter waste of time, you can:

a. Use a download manager like IDM (has a few days' trial) or JDownloader2 (has free and premium)
(I use the latter- but it also has a certain cap unless you get premium)

b.Use another browser besides Chrome (e.g. Firefox or Internet Explorer- I used FireFox)

SIDE RANT:
When people on your support forum are ANGRILY saying they'll pick another better product than YOUR product, listen the f*ck to it and act on it! But apparently Google doesn't- hence why DropBox and the others are raking in money.
 

ZF Lee

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Botsociety for planning chatbots copywriting (for messaging platforms like Messenger & WhatsApp)

You can create quick dialogues between the bot, and hypothetical prospect answers.

I was tried this out for my first chatbot copywriting gig, and I really liked how you can check the flow demo, instead of putting up with clunky Microsoft Word crap.
But it caps out at 30 messages per design for the free plan.

I had to be satisfied with just coming up with a Microsoft Word draft for the client.
I didn't feel like paying for the subscription- as I don't usually do chatbot work.

But definitely, chatbot copy CAN be a good niche to entrench into for freelance copywriters.
 

RazorCut

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RazorCut

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Two PC programs I couldn't live without that I have been using for years.

SnagIt. Just a brilliant piece of software if you need to do any form of screen capture including long web pages, video and screen recording. Simple, quick and something I find I use constantly if I'm at the PC.

34216

The second one is Clipmate. It's like an archive database for every copy paste you ever do.

That includes Text, RTF, HTML and images captured in Bitmap format. Everything is saved in the database and is totally searchable. I use a fraction of its capabilities but it has a spell check, you can use it for editing and case conversion etc.

Because it works as an extension of Windows Clipboard it literally works in every program that runs on your PC.

34217
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Love that. Thansk ZF

@Primeperiwinkle

I was going to look into it on Monday lovie, after I learned a bit more about PPC but thank you for tagging me. xx

And don’t tell them about Snagit! It’s my wand of power with which I can capture information in the blink of an eye and then put it somewhere else! Muahahahaa! ;)
 

FBA-N-SEO

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Somebody mentioned I should post this tool in this thread as well:

Title pretty much says it.

I found this tool called ImportYeti. I had no idea things like this existed but apparently have for a long time now. Pretty much the US makes import records public information and you can find out who uses who as a supplier.

I feel like importing products is a ton easier now. I just search a company and then find their suppliers and reach out to the factory.

I'm in the fitness industry and sell a lot of weight plates and other fitness gadgets. Not only have the few companies I've interacted with been a lot cheaper than my current suppliers (I think I'm going straight to the source instead of through trade groups) but from my samples the quality seems a lot better too.

I've been on a bender trying to private label a lot of the products I retail to juice my profit margins. I've been selling tons of lacrosse balls for myofascial self release. A few quick searches and I found the supplier:

GLADIATOR LACROSSE -- Import History -- ImportYeti

CHUAN QI PRO -- Export History -- ImportYeti

The cost is literally 1/3 the price of what I was getting through my distributor and I get to sell branded product.

Am I the only one whose mind was blown by this? Is everybody already using tools like this?

Also, they say they get their information straight from the government, but I don't know how. Any ideas?
 

RazorCut

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Somebody mentioned I should post this tool in this thread as well:

Title pretty much says it.

I found this tool called ImportYeti. I had no idea things like this existed but apparently have for a long time now. Pretty much the US makes import records public information and you can find out who uses who as a supplier.

I feel like importing products is a ton easier now. I just search a company and then find their suppliers and reach out to the factory.

Thanks for posting. Wow! That actually would scare me if competitors could find my suppliers that easily.
 

rollerskates

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A major way to cut down on distractions--turn off notifications on phone apps. The ONLY app I allow notifications for is when I have sales and customer inquiries. I use social media apps, but I don't allow notifications on them, even though they're for business. Not seeing a sea of red every time you look at your phone will cut down on stress.
 

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Mirkonik

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On the Mac I use a tool called BetterTouchTool (folivora.ai - Great Tools for your Mac!), that let's you set all kinds of gestures, Keyboard Shortcuts, TouchBar manipulation (can actually make it pretty useful), automatic resizes of windows (similar to Windows when you move your windows to a site to make it half the screen or full width). It's really awesome in my opinion.
 

BizyDad

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For Chrome/Gmail users, Boomerang is great extension to bring an old email to the forefront if someone hasn't replied to it. You can also schedule emails to go out at specific times which can be helpful.

I also enjoy the Trello integration with gmail to easily save emails as "to-do's" on Trello boards. Super easy to save emails on desktop or phones.
 

Redwolf

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Some of my list is obvious, some is not. It got way longer than expected.


Chrome:

In settings - Ask before displaying external images
Useful if you know it's just a tracking pixel and you want to fly under the radar.. or don't want to view bloated emails.
1602805334632.png

Gmail: Drag and drop an image onto compose window body and it inserts it INLINE (obvious) however, if you drag and drop onto the bottom toolbar it ATTACHES it.


TabCloud
save groups of tabs
TabCloud
1602807012491.png

MailTrack
See if/when your email was read or a link clicked
1602807080146.png

LastPass
Password manager + never reuse a password, the #1 reason accounts get "hacked"
1602807395028.png


Gorgias Templates
Stop tying the same email to every customer. Use templates. Also supports typing one word, hit tab, and it'll auto fill.



Windows

Hacks, Tips and Tricks


ALT + 26 on the numpad is the right arrow. →

WINDOWS KEY + SHIFT + S = quick screen grab

WINDOWS KEY + R = run box
In that box type:
shell:sendto - access your "right click → send to" shortcuts

Get Quick Launch back:
Right on the taskbar → Toolbars → New Toolbar
Copy/paste this: %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Then "Select Folder"

You can download Windows for free, just need a license when installing. But good to have a version on USB ready to go.


FREE Programs
Another vote for Microsoft's PowerToys

Captura
slick open source screen capture software

Aerial by cDima
Apple TV aerial screen saver (not productive, but cool)

AutoHotKey
Powerful keyboard remapping and macros

SublimeText
The best text editor. Folks who like Notepad++ are unenlightened ;)

SFTP for SublimeText
Automatically save your file to your web server when you do File→Save without having to manually upload via FTP or web portal

Photo resizer by RW Designer
Phenominal, powerful JPG photo resizer. Can be scripted and batched and integrated into right click menu if you put the shortcuts in your "Send to" folder.
1602809915690.png

Macrium Reflect
Do a proper backup clone of your boot drive, and if it ever dies, nothing is lost, can keep using Windows without reinstalling or anything.

ReNamer by den4b
Powerful file renaming software

SuperFinder (or SuperFinder XT) by FSL
Powerful file search and file content searcher

Beyond Compare by Scooter Software
File comparing with line by line diffs, great to use when you're copying/updating code files and want to see what is different.

ZeroTier One
Add any computer on the internet to your local network easily



PAID Programs
PdaNet
Use your Android phone's internet plan on your computer with your USB cable. Unlimited phone data? Congrats your PC now how unlimited data.





Other:
My stupidly long Amazon Music coding playlist.
All music without lyrics, good for concentrating
Amazon Music
 
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