3 Mac tips to boost your productivity

One of the reasons for the success of the Mac was its being the first mass market operating system to support the way most people think – visually. Approximately 60-65 percent of us think in images, and that’s why these three tips will make most Mac users subtly and yet effectively more productive.

Tip 1: Change folder icons

You keep everything in folders, right? If you use the default folders then they all look the same. Thing is, you can change them.

  • Select the folder
  • Tap Command-I (Get Info in the menu)
  • Select the image you want to use as a folder icon, and tap Command-C (Copy).
  • Now go the folder Get Info window you selected earlier, tap on the folder icon in the window and then use Command-V (Paste) to replace the folder icon with the image you chose.

Here’s how Apple explains it.

You don’t have to use your own folder designs – there are literally thousands you can download for free online. I like these Warhol designs I found at Icon Archive.

Sites for free folders

Icon Archive


Tony Mac

Deviant Art

Please let me know if you find any more great sources of folder designs.

Tip 2: A smarter Sidebar

I’ll cut the chatter on this. What is the folder you most use – the one you look for most often?

  • Find it in its enclosing folder (just open it, press Control while tapping the icon to find out where it is).
  • Now select the folder and drag it over to your Finder Sidebar into Favourites or iCloud.
  • A small line will appear below it, drop it there.

Now you should see that folder you use so often made available to you quickly and easily in your Sidebar. Opening that folder is now as easy as opening the Finder, selecting the folder and tapping to open it. Easy as pie.

You can repeat this for all the folders that most matter to you.

(To remove a folder just drag it out of the Sidebar – it won’t harm the original folder, as what’s stored there is an alias, not the original. It just helps your Mac find that content).

Tip 3: Take it to the top

Go back to the folder you need most often in its enclosing folder and drag it to the Finder Toolbar while pressing the Command key. You can now put an alias to that folder in your Toolbar, giving you a second way to access it fast. And yes, once again, you can repeat this for all the folders that matter to you the most. (Want to remove it? Select it while pressing Command and drag it out.

Try these three tips for a while. I promise they will make you more productive.

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Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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