Did you know there are over 100 million active Macs out there in the world?
This, of course, doesn’t include the plethora of iPad and iPhone users out there. We say that because, if we’re being honest, our iPads are often mini extensions of our MacBooks.
There’s a reason people create mini Apple suites in their homes. It’s wonderful when all our devices seamlessly connect. In these instances, we can view any file, document, or download from our desk, car, or commuter seat on the train.
Our advice is this: if you’re going to own a Mac, be a Mac professional. There are so many smart and intuitive integrations in these machines that it’s truly a waste if you don’t level up to some degree.
Whether you’re a first-time Mac owner or a veteran, we’d like to highlight seven key things everyone should know. From here, you can level up as high as you’d like.
Turn on the Spotlight
It’s important to know how to navigate around your Mac computer for all sorts of files, isn’t it?
Well, it’s as simple as hitting Command-Space. Once you do, you can type in a keyword, enabling you to search folders, files, documents, email, your browsing history, the Internet, and more.
It’s a quick and easy method, much like our friend Siri. You can investigate further on how to open the search bar on a Mac because there’s also the Finder, which will open a slew of additional doors for you to search through.
Sync to the Cloud
All Mac owners should sync to the cloud. It’s a backup to that worst-case scenario, should you ever damage your computer’s hardware.
Within the iCloud, you can store all your photos, movies, music, contacts, and other documents. If you work within Pages or Numbers, all your documents and spreadsheets will be saved, too.
Link to a Time Machine
If you have an external hard drive, all you have to do is plug it in to retain every file and document you create.
Once you’ve plugged in your external hard drive, here’s how to set it up:
- Apple Menu
- System Preferences
- Time Machine
- Select Backup Disk
It’s that easy! Then, every 24 hours your Mac will automatically store everything you’ve worked on that day. It’s foolproof for, again, that worst-case scenario.
This is a simple one, but something people who switch to Mac often overlook (or forget).
To take a screenshot, hit command+shift+3. It takes a while to remember; but the more you do it, the more you’ll remember it.
Then, the screenshot will save to your desktop. From there, you can open it in the Preview app to crop it, highlight certain elements, circle something, or place a red arrow.
It’s the easiest way to provide a “show and tell” to someone who needs a little bit of a visual aid.
Set up Your Entertainment Apps
Apple used to have iTunes, which housed all our music, movie, and TV needs. However, they’ve since split each of these platforms up into three different apps:
As a result, the user experience is far superior. Things are more streamlined, up to date, and faster.
We use Apple TV for everything; it’s where we watch Hulu, Netflix, and the rest, whether we’re in our living room or traveling with our laptop.
Then, when we’re out on the bike, we use the Podcasts app for an educational hour. And, of course, Apple Music is much like good ol’ fashioned iTunes. You just pay at a monthly rate now, instead of per download.
Use Your Calendar
There are so many new-fangled and pretty calendar apps out there. But, do you know what many of them do?
They sync to your iCal and use it as a jumping-off point to make your new-fangled calendar!
While we won’t besmirch any of the wonderful calendar apps out there, we tend to remain loyal to iCal.
It’s right there on our MacBook and our iPhone as an automatic Mac app. It always syncs. And, even if we want to go out and have an affair with some newly-developed app, we always know iCal will be there.
If you’ve ever called Apple Support to troubleshoot something, they may have asked you to install Malware Bytes. It seems to be the Apple go-to for anti-virus protection.
There’s a great, free version out there you can download. We have the app on our laptop and, every once in a while, we run it to make sure we’re staying clean.
Another area you want to check is what you’re allowing your system to download. We suggest the following steps:
- Apple Menu
- System Preferences
- Security and Privacy
- Select Mac App Store and Identified developers in “Allow Applications Downloaded From”
This is Apple’s Gatekeeper. It will give you the final say-so on what gets downloaded to your Mac, preventing anything from installing itself behind the scenes.
Become a Mac Professional Today
And there you have it! These simple steps will help you become a Mac professional in no time at all.
Once you start to learn a few keen shortcuts and navigate a few fun apps like iMovie and more, you’ll want to keep going down the rabbit hole.
Our Macs are powerful machines and there’s so much to learn.
As you continue to hone your skills, we invite you to keep coming back to visit our blog. It’s continually being updated, with your success in mind.