Mac Productivity Hacks (Part 1)

Date Published
November 9, 2022

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Mac Productivity Hacks (Part 1)

People love their macs, I know I do. Having been an exclusive Mac owner since 2009, I have used the operating system for all my personal and professional work. I have seen the mac evolve from osX to MacOS, going through every wild cat you could think of and every Californian and American landmark out there.

Operating on a mac has been so essential and a default part of my day-to-day routine, that it has taken a ubiquitous stand in my life, let’s just say operating on a mac is part of any job negotiation I might go through. You see it has been 14 years since my first WWDC and recently I found out that what has become a mind-muscle memory routine to me might be a “ureka” moment hack to someone else. So given my utmost advocacy to Cupertino, I decided to start a series of mac hacks. This is the first topic that is being completely emotionally led, no thinking, no planning, no brainstorming and no research. I will write what comes to mind, be it shortcuts I use daily, settings changes, or even apps and software to amplify the powerhouse that is the mac.

Copy/Paste Screenshots, Don’t Clutter Your Desktop

Many mac users are accustomed to the cmd + shift + 4 shortcut for screenshooting. This screenshoots a specified area on the screen and saves it automatically to the desktop. I use this shortcut multiple times a day, especially for brainstorming, saving clips for a later read, or working on a presentation, but it clutters my desktop and I end up wasting a few minutes at the end of the process or day doing some house cleaning. You see, most of the screenshots made are meant to be saved somewhere else, on a presentation, in a document, sent in an email, or saved in a specific folder, definitely not on the desktop.

Did you know that you can screenshoot and automagically copy a screenshot to be pasted anywhere you want without having it saved on the desktop? cmd + shift + control + 4 is the magic formula. Then you can use cmd + v to paste the screenshot literally anywhere.

Focus Modes

Ever since their introduction in iOS 15 as an obvious expansion to “do not disturb”, focus modes have climbed the list of “how did we survive without you” to number one.

Focus modes do as named, they allow a user to change and alter a few settings on all Apple devices seamlessly and simultaneously with just a tap on a mobile device (phone or tablet), a click on a mac, or even better according to your current location or time of day.


One of the two best Focus modes I have created are work and mindfulness. While in work mode, all app notifications get silenced, no calls or messages ping or ring, that is because during work mode, I am either working on an article or presentation and do not want any attention interruption. Mindfulness mode has almost the same features as work mode with a few discrepancies. In work mode, incoming from my direct family are allowed and do notify me, while in mindfulness mode, no calls go through. The second major difference is work mode is manually triggered while mindfulness focus mode is automatically triggered every morning at 7 am, right about the time I perform my daily 30 minute meditation, and speaking of 30 minutes, you guessed it, it automatically turns off and goes back to a normal state after that. It would take a whole article to breakdown the Focus Mode feature, I will try to cover different aspects of it in this series.

Spotlight Got Smarter

We all know and love Siri. I myself use Siri numerous times a day to trigger a shortcut be it turning on/off a light, air conditioner, lower or increase the volume, and many others. With MacOS Ventura 13.0 many of these daily habitual shortcuts we are accustomed to doing on Siri came to the mac via spotlight. By pressing cmd + space triggering spotlight to appear, you can type any shortcut and it will appear on screen and well, get triggered.


Hot Corners

Speaking of shortcuts. The fastest and most intuitive way to trigger a shortcut on Mac is Hot Corners. Thought these shortcuts are exclusive for mac productivity, they do come in much handy and once you start using them, you cannot go back.


Hot Corners shortcuts are primarily showing/hiding desktop, mission control, launchpad, lock screen, start screen saver, initiate a quick note in Notes, and putting the system to sleep. The next time you want to rush out of the office or want to hide the current screen contents from nosy colleagues, think of Hot Corners.

Apple Watch

Using an Apple Watch with the Mac is a match made in heaven. Whether you want to unlock your mac in milliseconds, and most of us do multiple times a day, or you want to accept a payment through Apple Pay on a Safari, or even unlock Passwords on Safari to automatically enter a username and password to any website, owning an Apple Watch saves a lot of the precious 9-5 time.


Setting it up is easy. Go to System Settings > Touch ID & Passwords > Scroll down to Apple Watch, toggle it on, and voila.


I truly hope you had a few “a ha” moments with this piece. I am as much an Apple fanboy as they get but my curiosity and compulsive need to always increase productivity and efficiency in my work and personal life have gotten me to install software and unscrew macbooks to the point of no return, but we won’t get into that today.

Let me know if you liked this article, better yet if it actually helped you adopt a new shortcut or hack. If you have any question or inquiry on how can your mac help you with your daily routine let me know, and i will surely add it to the next post in this series, until then, stay hungry, stay foolish!

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