It’s no secret that Apple’s Mac is the king of computers. (And it’s no secret that we are huge fans, being that we developed a Mac-centric app and everything.)
Maybe that’s why, according to Statista, 5.3 million Mac computers were sold worldwide between July and September 2018 (yes, just in a three month span).
The geniuses behind Apple’s technology continue to lead the way in innovation, efficiency, and clean design. And the Mac is a powerful machine, capable of much more than the average user would even realize.
That’s kind of the beauty of the Mac—it’s able to keep things uncomplicated and uncluttered for the laymen, but dig in deeper and there is a whole other dimension of proficiencies that a user can spend endless time trying to discover and remember.
In some more tech-savvy groups, mastering the Mac’s shortcuts and stretching its legs is a badge of honor, earning you the unofficial title of “Mac power user.”
Are you interested in joining the ranks of Mac’s most resourceful users? We can help get you there, but you’re going to have to put in some work, too.
One Step at a Time
Before you can run, you need to learn to walk, right? The same goes with ramping up your Mac skills.
If you happen to be new to the wondrous world of the Apple Mac (welcome!), or just have been more of a passive or restricted user in the past, it’s a good idea to get the basics of the device down pat.
First, you need to identify your own personal needs and what apps or programs you’ll be using the most. This will help narrow down your areas to focus on so you don’t become overwhelmed with information.
We are firm believers in exploring user guides, even if they feel daunting or text-heavy. Luckily, our friends over at 9to5Mac show you how you can access or download Apple’s official user guides. You can check it out here.
Do Your Research
Trust us, becoming a Mac power user is not something you want to attempt to achieve using the good old trial and error method. After all, you’re dealing with a very intelligent machine and you wouldn’t want to inadvertently do something you can’t undo—especially if you’re not sure what you even did in the first place!
Instead, it’s wise to look into different websites, blogs, and even podcasts dedicated to the topic as you start to wade into the Mac power user pond.
It’s important to note that you likely can’t do one major cram session and emerge a Mac power user. Rather, it’s an ongoing education that expands and shifts depending on the particular apps you are using and as iOS versions are updated.
The Mac Power Users Podcast by Relay FM has been helping Mac users get the most out of their machines since 2009. Self-proclaimed geeks Katie Floyd and lawyer David Sparks have been leading the charge for nearly a decade, with Stephen Hackett now filling Katie’s Apple-savvy shoes since the beginning of the year.
This weekly show provides expert tips, workflows for various tools, productivity hacks, and details on all devices—yes, your iPhone and iPad, too.
They even have a very engaged following that is vocal on the show’s message boards and social media. You might find helpful commentary exploring those pages a bit as well, so they basically provide a support group for macOS users.
Ready to take an audio deep dive into Mac Power Users? Listen to the podcast’s more than 460 episodes by clicking here.
Speaking of David Sparks, he’s also put his expert knowledge into a visual aide (digitally, of course) for you to consume at your own rate.
He and Brett Terpstra released two volumes of an eBook, 60 Mac Tips, which include hours of screencasts, videos, and commentary to help you learn the tricks of the Mac trade.
According to David’s site, the second volume includes “tips on macOS, Siri for the Mac, using the keyboard, Spotlight, Automator, Safari, Mail, Apple Notes, Apple Photos, Terminal Tips, and third-party apps. After reading and watching these tips and tricks, you’ll be more efficient on your Mac than ever.”
You can grab both volumes of the book either through iBooks or by downloading via Vimeo (which also includes closed captioning in you need to watch on mute). Just be aware that this route will cost you a little—each book rings in around $20. However, that’s a small price to pay to the Mac gods to be able to be as efficient and effective as possible on your device.
When all else fails, reading is still a useful learning tool.
There are endless websites, blog writers, and guides to help you navigate the worlds of Mac and iOS—you only need to type your desired terms into your Google search bar to see the plethora of resources at your fingertips.
Another great tool on the World Wide Web is Reddit, the U.S.-based website that is half social news aggregation, half user discussions. As the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” Reddit’s millions of sub-communities are broken down into separate post threads, which users can upvote or downvote depending on relevancy, helping to allow the top posts to rise to the top.
There are a number of Mac and iOS channels to browse on Reddit, and they can be very useful places to pose questions when you’re looking for honest and timely answers.
In the Mac community (r/mac) on Reddit, a person asking for power user tips was met with this top-rated post: “IMO the biggest thing is the same regardless of the OS you use. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for the programs you use. Tapping a key is always faster than navigating with a mouse. Doing this is probably the biggest productivity increaser.”This is the first lesson in being a Mac power user: the mastering of keyboard shortcuts. Click To Tweet
As a Mac-power-user-in-training, we have to assume that you know how critical it is to your productivity to always track your time!
How can you squeeze the most out of the powerful machine without squeezing the most out of yourself? If you thrive on being efficient and intentional, then you need to look at where you’re spending your time and the websites/apps/activities that may be holding you up.
That’s why Timing makes tracking on your Mac easy and automatic, and allows you to set your own organizational system and rules to fit your needs and desires.
Obviously we make it our goal to know everything there is to know about the Mac and iOS updates, and we work hard to adapt Timing to encompass and collaborate with all of Apple’s new features and enhancements.
In fact, we even offer guidance for Mac power users on how to optimize the Timing experience. Everything you need is laid out on this page: Timing for Power Users.
We commend you for working to become a Mac power user! We’re here to support you at every step.
Our advice is to not get frustrated if you feel like you can’t memorize all the shortcuts and tricks that macOS has to offer—we’d be shocked if you could! Simply start listening, watching, and reading everything you can and then put what you learn into action as you go about your daily Mac activities.
As with everything, practice makes perfect, and the more you implement these hacks into your life, the more they will become second nature.