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Tag: Productivity (page 2 of 14)

How to Make the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar Useful

All of the good ones are taken.

That’s how I feel when it comes to keyboard shortcuts on my Mac. Between Keyboard Maestro and app shortcuts in System Preferences, I have used up all of the easy to remember shortcuts. Enter the MacBook Pro and the Touch Bar. When used with BetterTouchTool and Keyboard Maestro, some commonly used shortcuts are just a tap away.

BetterTouchTool allows you to configure the TouchBar on a per app basis, and also globally. You can configure TouchBar buttons to execute certain system commands, and also to type keystrokes. That last part – typing keystrokes – is huge. If you trigger a Keyboard Maestro macro with a keystroke combination, you can map that keystroke combination to a Touch Bar button via BetterTouchTool.

For example, check out my “End Call” Touch Bar Action in the screenshot below:

You can see I’ve mapped my “End Call” Touch Bar Action to the Option-Command-H keyboard shortcut. Over in Keyboard Maestro I’ve set up a macro that is triggered by that same keyboard command. The macro hangs up the VOIP software phone on my Mac, so I don’t have to hunt down the VOIP application to end a call.1 With the combination of the BetterTouchTool Action and the Keyboard Maestro macro, I press a nice red phone button on the Touch Bar, and the call ends. I have a similar Touch Bar button set up for answering calls.

In future posts, I’ll break down some more Touch Bar layouts to show what I’ve done with the Touch Bar, such as adding Markdown bold and italics buttons for use in my firm’s case management system, and more.

BetterTouchTool currently is sold under a “Pay What You Want” model, with a minimum price of $4.99 and a suggested price of $8.99. It’s sold directly from the developer’s website.

BetterTouchTool

  1. Even on my iMac, I typically keep apps spread between several Spaces. I didn’t want to have to hunt down the VOIP app, or tab between open apps, to go to the app and end a call.

10 Ways I’m Using the iPad Pro

I’ve been using an iPad Pro for more than three months, and while my MacBook Pro is my workhouse, the iPad Pro has found an essential place in my workflow. Since I’m a couple of years overdue on posting a numbered list, here are a ten examples of how I use it.

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Voicemail to OmniFocus, via Keyboard Maestro

voicemail to omnifocus with keyboard maestro

Like many of you, I get deluged with voicemail messages, which is almost like a double whammy, because our phone system sends my voicemail messages to my email inbox. I’ve recently come up with a way to create a new OmniFocus task that contains the date and time of a voicemail message, allowing me to sort my messages in OmniFocus based on the time received. The OmniFocus task also contains a link back to the voicemail message (but see below for a glitch that may be unique to my phone system).

I put this system together thanks to Keyboard Maestro. I’m barely competent with Keyboard Maestro, but I was able to pilfer bits and pieces of other macros (and an AppleScript) from the Keyboard Maestro forums, and couple it with a good deal of tinkering.

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Apple Watch Q&A – Improve Your Office Workflow

I recently sat down for a question and answer session about the Apple Watch. That Q&A is up on my firm’s website, and does a pretty good job of identifying what I like and don’t like about the watch. For me, the two biggest benefits to the watch are the ability to quickly get information into my system, and to quickly review information and get on with what I’m doing. I don’t use the watch as a tool for generating work. Instead, it “greases the skids” and helps me get work done on my other devices.

How Can the Apple Watch Improve Office Workflow? Q&A with Attorney Evan Kline | Katherman, Briggs & Greenberg, LLP


Apple Watch – the Ultimate OmniFocus Capture Tool

I’ve been progressing through the MacSparky OmniFocus Video Field Guide, which has giving me some “ah-ha” moments. I’d already known how to use Siri and the Reminders app to get tasks into OmniFocus with my voice, but I’d fallen off the wagon and hadn’t used that method in months. When the Field Guide covered that method, it hit me like a ton of bricks – since you can add reminders to the Reminders app with your watch via Siri, you also can add tasks to OmniFocus the same way.

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