Great Mac Utilities

Pruning the Menu Bar on My Mac

You’d think that with a 27 inch iMac I’d have plenty of space up on the menu bar. The trouble is, I have so many applications which want to put an icon up there, I’ve run out of space. Sometimes I just get a bit blind to all of the icons and can’t remember which one is supposed to be for which. Some of them are quite similar. The icon for KeySmith is just the same as the one for Hotkey which is a new app I downloaded today. I don’t know if I’ll keep it, but I’ll give it a try and see what it does. It can be a bit of a problem when you have so many utilities on a computer doing all sorts of amazingly useful things. The difficulty is it can be hard to remember which applications do what. Sometimes I find myself doing something manually which I could easily get done quicker if I’d only remembered the shortcut key or the exact app to do it better. I was half tempted to get the latest Bartender app. I had it before and it got lost in upgraded computers over the years. Wouldn’t too expensive at the upgrade price. Just not that sure about how much I need it.

A Full looking menu bar.

Hook it all Together

Something like Hook is amazingly powerful for the features you get to connect all of your documents, text, webpages and everything else together. It’s just a case of remembering to use it. Obviously if you’re into studying then is going to be something where you are creating projects and needing to link things together. So you have more opportunities to use Hook.

It’s a fairly good interface although I think I can improve it by making keyboard shortcuts to fit on top. I could use KeySmith to create a shortcut which then runs the keyboard shortcuts to do specific jobs with Hook. Instead of having to activate Hook and then use another keyboard shortcut to either collect the link or to paste the link I could do it with one keyboard shortcut. Maybe I could even find a way to use Better Touch Tool instead of a keyboard shortcut to get things started.

Keysmith Macro for Hook

This activates Hook and grabs the link. The other Hook connects it to another item.

Sharpening the Axe

It’s all about spending the time working out what you do and how you do it, so it can be streamlined. I obviously need to spend more time at my Mac doing my stuff and thinking about it. Sometimes I’m spending more time using iOS on the iPhone and the iPad. This is because I’m sitting down on the sofa rather than being in front of my iMac on the desk. I like to think of the Apple ecosystem as one complete system. It’s all one big place for me to go and do whatever I need to do. I love it when I can start something on one device and complete it on any other device. This is why I’m so fond of Drafts as my text editor of choice. There are some things it doesn’t do I can find in BBEdit, but Drafts gets updated and improved regularly. I could even send the developer a request for some functionality which he could consider adding to benefit all users. Sometimes what I need could be added by myself using the actions and learning a little bit of JavaScript. It’s possible I could find someone who already knows how to do JavaScript has already created something which I could re-purpose for my own uses. I understand some scripting and programming concepts, but if it’s not something I do every day I forget and then I have to relearn. I still get a bit of a buzz when I learn something new on my Apple eco system which saves me time and brain energy. There’s a certain type of nerdy satisfaction to be had being a pro computer user.

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