5 Best macOS Tips for a Productive Life

Tricks for a productive life

Abhinav Chandoli
Mar 17 · 5 min read
Photo by Linus Mimietz on Unsplash

Apple’s macOS is one of the most intuitive, simplistic, and elegant operating systems around. One can’t disagree that macOS is one of the most efficient and easy-to-use operating systems around. Because Apple always puts its focus on making the operating less complex, easier to use, and clean interface.

The macOS Big Sur update makes macOS stand out even more. However, there’s a lot of functionality in macOS one can unlock that’s not quite obvious to everyone. Try out these few tips and tricks to make your experience on the macOS more functional and productive.

Signatures in Preview

Not many people know that we can do a lot of things with the preview option in macOS. One such thing is Signing your PDFs or anything that can be signed right in the preview option using your trackpad. So, whenever you’re asked to e-sign a contract, documents you can do that using preview very easily.

All you need to do is open whatever document you want to sign using the preview option. Then select tools in the menu bar, from the drop-down menu click Annotate, select Signature next manage signature or create a signature, and then it will give you options to create a signature using the trackpad, camera, or an iPhone. Then if you select trackpad you can create or sign your signature how you do on normal paper. It’s shame that not many people know about this.

Hot Corners

The Hot Corners feature is one of the most underrated features of the macOS. It allows you to launch actions by simply placing your cursor just by placing your cursor in one of the corners. To enable this feature, you need to go to screensaver options in the settings and click Hot Corners. From there you can configure what you want macOS to do when you place your cursor in one of your corners.

You can choose actions like LockScreen, notification center, Desktop, application windows, and a few other actions. For example, if you configure the top right corner of the screen to lock the screen, now whenever you place and leave your cursor in the top right corner, macOS will lock the screen. It’s simple yet effective once you configure it to your liking.

Tip: If you select an action for a Hot Corner while holding the Option key pressed, that action will only launch if you press the Option key and move your cursor to the corresponding corner. This way you can avoid unwanted triggers!

Trackpad Tricks

Photo by John Smit on Unsplash

Apple unlike Windows by default disables the use of tap to click on the trackpad instead you have to physically press the trackpad to initiate click action. You can enable this feature in the trackpad section of the settings. This feature could not only increase the longevity of the trackpad but also takes less time to tap rather physically click.

Another trackpad trick is the three-finger drag, this feature is also disabled by default for some reason. Instead of dragging the window by physically clicking the trackpad, this feature helps you drag your windowed applications easily with a 3-finger gesture on the trackpad. This feature is hidden deep in the accessibility settings, you can find this by selecting pointer control options and then enabling it from trackpad options. From there you can choose the three-finger drag option from the drop-down menu.

Configuring Dock

macOS Big Sur’s Dock is visually refreshing and easy to use. But you have to make it your own so that you can work productively. The first thing to do is disabling the recent applications section, which makes the dock more usable and clutter-free. You can disable it from the Dock & Menu bar section of settings by unchecking the “Show recent applications in the Dock” box.

Another thing about customizing Dock is to remove unnecessary applications from the dock and adding the apps that you use on a daily basis. You should also enable automatically hide and show Dock from the Dock & Menu Bar settings. Enabling it will give you more screen real estate than before to work with. You should also try resizing the Dock size to your liking or based on what application you are working with.


Finder, the file explorer of macOS, finally got some much-needed additions with the Big Sur update. Even so, there’s some hidden functionality that can improve your experience a lot. The first thing you should do is organizing your favorites section. If you want to add something to the sidebar, you can do that by going into finder preferences and drag & drop your favorite options into the sidebar.

Then in advanced settings, you should check the box to show all filename extensions. Also, you should configure the search action in finder to search only in the folder, which not only uses fewer system resources but also finds things quicker because it only has to search for few things in a given folder than searching that thing in your entire disk.

You should also consider switching the view of the folders and files in Finder to list, which can help you efficiently navigate between your folders without you even touching the trackpad or mouse.

Other tips like Cmd+Shift+Period to show or hide hidden files in finder. Holding option key to hide shadow while screenshots. Removing spotlight from the menu bar and adding volume controls to the menu bar. Enable Automatically hide and show the menu bar.

Some of the above tips also work on older versions of macOS like Signature in preview and a few Hot corners actions. I hope these tips and tricks will make your life more productive than before. Let me know your favorite tips and tricks that you use daily. Thank you for reading.

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Abhinav Chandoli

Written by

An Introvert, a YouTuber, a nerd, and a gamer. Writing about technology, science, and games. Contact: abhinavchandoli2@gmail.com

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Abhinav Chandoli

Written by

An Introvert, a YouTuber, a nerd, and a gamer. Writing about technology, science, and games. Contact: abhinavchandoli2@gmail.com

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

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