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Productivity Apps for the Mac

Productivity Apps for the Mac

Are you a productivity junkie? Streamlining and simplifying workflows is kind of a hobby for a few of us on the Foojee team. We're somewhat addicted to productivity apps. We believe anyone can benefit from simplifying their flow via the millions of apps available to us as OS X (and iOS!) users. Today, we wanted to share with you some of our favorites!

While we may recommend certain apps or software, we also highly encourage you to do your own research. Read up on apps that interest you, read reviews, and decide if it’s the best fit for you before moving forward. If you ever have questions, we’re always here to help! You can reach us easily by leaving a comment at the end of this post!

1Password

1Password is arguably one of our favorites here at Foojee.  A bit more holistic, 1Password enables us to encrypt not only personal items, but also allows us to create multiple 'vaults' so we can separately store both personal and work data. Keychain, which is built in to the Apple operating system, is great and contains some of the same functions, but 1Password has the upper hand. 1Password stores all of your passwords, secure notes, credit cards and almost any other sensitive data you might have and keeps it locked in vault that can unlocked by entering a master password (hence 1Password). All of the vaults are encrypted for optimal security. It’s amazing to be able to enter all of your login information into one app and to update it whenever you have to create a new password and only ever have to remember one password in order to access everything you need. You can have multiple ‘vaults’ (I have a personal vault and Foojee vault for work) and it will sync passwords to your iOS devices.

$49.99 for Mac

Wunderlist

A fantastic organized way of keeping track of your “To-Do’s”, Wunderlist allows you to easily share lists with others who can then create tasks, assign them, or complete available to-do’s. The desktop app readily syncs not only with iOS, but also with the Apple Watch app. You’d be surprised how helpful the Watch app is especially when strolling through a grocery store. I don’t even have to take my phone out of my pocket, but that’s another story. Wunderlist is organized, shareable, mobile and beyond helpful especially if you’re forgetful! The shared lists are invaluable for working among teams (or for sharing to-do's between your spouse and yourself)!

Free

Messages

The unspoken hero of the Apple product world. Now that you can send and receive text messages (SMS) alongside iMessages on your Mac thanks to recent improvements to OS X, this app is more helpful than ever. Be sure to clean out your messages on your Mac from time to time. If you need to hold on to a certain conversation because it contains important information you can delete the thread on your Mac while the same thread stays open on your iPhone (and vice versa). The messages on your Mac are copies so you can delete them if you only need a specific thread on a mobile device. Another cool feature that some don’t know is that if you’re iMessaging someone (meaning you’re both using Apple devices) you can actually share your screen with them from your Mac. While not an everyday feature, it’s still cool to have!

Free (Built in to your devices)

Slack

Slack is currently one of our favorite apps. Our team tries to get together once a week, but sometimes it just isn’t possible or realistic to get everyone together when we’re spread out all over metro Atlanta visiting clients through the week. But we still need a quick, reliable, and non-invasive way to communicate with each other. If we’re totally honest, email just doesn’t cut it. Our inboxes are full enough without bombarding each other with internal communications. In comes Slack. It’s a messaging app for teams that keeps everything in one place and makes it all searchable. It’s free for as long as you want for an unlimited number of people. You can easily upload and share files, not to mention it’s emoji-friendly! There are a number of Slack integrations currently available and the list is growing everyday. We use it regularly. Just about the only time I don’t have a notification bubble from Slack is on the weekends. Think of slack as a hybrid between email and a messaging application, but it's simple, easy-to-use, and there are both OS X and iOS versions available.

Free (Upgrade Options Available Based on Business Needs)

iStat Menus

A great way to get more info from that white bar always at the top of your screen, iStat Menus allows you to customize the information shown. It can show you upload and download internet speeds, how your CPU is being utilized, calendar updates and more. For those of you looking to further customize your computing experience, this might be right up your alley. Just to be clear, this is one of the nerdier apps we'll recommend. 

$18

TextExpander

The name says it all. TextExpander is a Mac typing shortcut app. The program allows you to save time and keystrokes by expanding custom keyboard shortcuts into your frequently used text and more. For example, if you’re prospecting to make sales you could create a TextExpander file where all you do is type in “!PROSPECT” and immediately a pre-formulated email paragraph populates with blanks ready for you to fill in custom info such as names and dates before hitting send. It saves you small amounts of time that compound to save you dozens of hours that can be better spent elsewhere. Really a lifesaver for those sending bulk emails with customization needs!

$45

Droplr

Droplr is a file-sharing tool for your Mac and social media needs. It allows you to drag & drop a file onto the Droplr icon in your menu bar. From there the file is uploaded to your Droplr account in the cloud and a link is automatically created and copied to your clipboard, you can then paste the link anywhere to share it. 24 hours after being uploaded, the files in your account will self-destruct allowing you to continue using your space without worrying about running over data limits (although there is a pro version that removes those worries).

Free

Soulver

Soulver is a calculator application that goes above and beyond the native mac app. This particular program allows you to do ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculations that are more like your typical, everyday problems. You can use words in your calculations, make easy conversions, and do calculations with stocks among a number of other great, easy-to-use features.

$12

Moom*

Moom is an app that lets you easily move and zoom windows using the mouse or your keyboard. It also allows window ‘snapping’ to enable multi-tasking. You can choose from preset window size and location options or you can use a grid to draw the desired size and location of your window. You can also input keyboard shortcuts to make resizing windows a breeze. *Moom is a fantastic app, but it should be noted that when Apple launches OS X El Capitan in a couple of months one of the big features they are touting is the ability to ‘multi-task’ and customize windows. This will allow you to natively have more control and functionality over the windows you’re using which could make Moom outdated or irrelevant.

$10

CopyClip

CopyClip is a great free app that allows you to improve control over your clipboard. It runs quietly in your menu bar and stores all that you have copied or cut recently allowing you to quickly locate those items and reuse them. I often get upset when I copy something knowing I’ll need it soon, and before long I’ve copied over it with something else without having the chance to paste the first thing somewhere. CopyClip eliminates that issue and allows me to go back to items I’ve copied and for which I still have a need.

Free

BusyCal 2

BusyCal is a calendar for grown ups. It has some powerful features including a customizable calendar view, an integrated info panel for quickly viewing and editing events, integrated To Dos that display in the calendar and carry-forward until completed, and more. The app includes a menu bar icon for quick access. You can also customize fonts, get a live weather feed and the list goes on and on. BusyCal supports iCloud, Exchange, Google Calendar and more so it should be compatible with what you’re already using and it can sync to your iOS devices. If you’re looking to step up your calendar game or put everything in one place, this might be for you!

$50

BusyContacts

BusyContacts is also a grown up version of contacts and (good news) it works with BusyCal! This particular app makes it easy to create and manage your contacts. Having BusyContacts and BusyCal 2 is almost like having a personal CRM solution to better organize your life. This app allows you to customize your views, tag your contacts, integrate with your social networks and apply smart filters when you need them.

$50

Quicksilver

Quicksilver is a utility app for OS X that allows you the ability to take care of common tasks quickly and without thought. Quicksilver is an upgraded version of Spotlight on your current Mac. While Spotlight knows how to find things, Quicksilver finds things quicker and then allows you to do something with it. You can just start typing in Quicksilver to get what you want instead of searching and clicking multiple times before getting what you wanted in the first place. Apple has recently touted coming upgrades to Spotlight so we will be interested to see what improvements they make compared to Quicksilver.

Free

CrashPlan Pro

If your computer were to crash right now and you had no back up, what crucial data would be lost? How many precious family photos and videos would just be gone? CrashPlan is here to solve that tension. CrashPlan runs in the background of your machine and backs up your data to an offsite cloud server. This way, if anything were to ever happen, you’d be able to revert to your most recent back up and you shouldn’t lose any of that important data. Foojee actually offers CrashPlan as a service and we cannot recommend this particular app highly enough!

 

If you have any questions about the apps above, just leave us a comment below! We'd love to talk with you!

Using the New Photos App on Your Mac

Back in March Apple rolled out a new addition to their suite of built-in apps for Macs, this one called Photos. Photos is ultimately the replacement for iPhoto and Aperture which Apple has not completely done away with, but rather announced they will stop updating those programs moving forward.

Photos is the answer to what many people have wanted to see for years by bringing continuity to the Apple photo family. Photos makes it possible to take a picture on any device and store it in your iCloud Photo Library automatically. Once a photo is stored in your iCloud library it’s then possible to see all your photos on any device at any time. The beauty is that none of the photos are stored locally on your devices. Instead of photos taking up precious space on your iPhone or iPad, they are located in iCloud, but can be previewed on your device and downloaded at any time.

The trade off is stop storing all photos on your device and store them in iCloud. Every iCloud account is allotted 5GB of space for free. For some people, that will be enough to store their photos, but for those using their iPhone cameras regularly, this limit can quickly be surpassed. The remedy is to pay a small monthly fee. You can quickly upgrade your iCloud storage space by paying a tiered monthly fee.

Tiered Storage Packages in iCloud

5GB = Free

20 GB = $.99/month

200 GB = $3.99/month

500GB = $9.99/month

1TB = $19.99/month

The tradeoff to not upgrading your storage package is that you will eventually run out of free iCloud storage and your local iPhone storage may also fill up. Then you’re left fiddling with 3rd party apps and integrations which will never run or work as smoothly as those made by Apple. Multiple members of our team quickly jumped on the iCloud storage packages in order to take full advantage of Apple’s storage offerings, but I have personally stuck with my 5GB of free storage and have had no problems so far. You can always wait to pay for the storage later, but by waiting you run the risk of prices increasing!

I’m a curator of photos more than I am a collector. I often go through my photo library and delete old, unnecessary photos. There are plenty of people who would rather just hold on to every image they capture or they just don’t care about going in to their library so the thousands of useless photos don’t bother them. They want to go back and get whatever picture whenever they want it. I, however, know that I’ll only want to look back at the best of the best so I’m constantly picking through my library which helps keep my storage requirements low.

One of the great things about Photos is that the organizational flow is almost identical to that of the Photos app on your iOS devices. You’ve probably been using Photos on your mobile devices for at least the last year if not longer. But now there is seamless integration between working with Photos on your Mac and and your iPhone (or iPad).

While the integration with iCloud Photo Library is great, for me, the integration with my MacBook has proved invaluable. Having every photo I take on my iPhone show up automatically on my MacBook, ready to be edited, uploaded, and shared has simplified my life. Using Photos on my MacBook, I can organize and edit my pictures, share them with family members or friends (from within the app), and upload them to Facebook or Twitter without ever leaving the Photos app.

Photos was designed to simplify your life and reduce the friction between your devices. It absolutely succeeds. As a first generation app, there are obviously going to be some things left to be desired, but we’re really excited to see how Apple continues to develop this new program and make it more intuitive and useful for everyday use.

Here are some of the features and limitations of Photos:

Cool Features

  • If you prefer to take most of your pictures on your iPhone, there’s now a way to sort between specialty photos and video. That includes things like panoramics, burst shots, slow motion and timelapse video. iOS already does this, but now you can do it on your Mac.
  • Photos now includes an auto-crop tool that analyzes your picture to figure out where the horizon is and adjusts it according to the rules of composition.
  • A new zoomed out view is also available for collections and years that makes thumbnails tiny. You can see the actual pictures by clicking and scrubbing down, similar to the functionality of iOS.

Limitations

  • If you’re an avid photographer who likes to shoot RAW or seriously edit your pictures, you’ll find Photos to be lacking as the native editing tools are minimal at best
  • If you want to email a photo then you’ll be redirected to external apps. Instead of the built-in mail tool, you’ll have to take an extra step to email photos. Not a deal breaker, but not as easy as it could be.
  • You can’t geotag photos (like you can on Instagram), but you can sort and search by where photos were taken.
  • Can’t edit videos in the Photos app, it’ll redirect you to iMovie

Final Word

Apple is always pushing the bar towards better, seamless integration and Photos allows us to do what we’ve wanted for so long that it’s hard to be overly distracted with the app’s shortcomings. 

Give the app a shot. Take a picture on an iPhone, get on your Mac and edit the photo immediately in the Photos, then wake up the iPad and post the edited photo to Facebook. All without ever having to transfer files manually or go out of our way to make any of it happen. Apple will do the heavy lifting for you.

If you have any questions about Photos or have run in to any hiccups as you’re using the new app, reach out with a comment below or shoot us an email. We’d love to help however we can!

Help Us Welcome Terrance Gaines to the Foojee Team!

If you look up “techie who is always the go-to guy when anybody has a question about gadgets and gizmos” in the dictionary, Terrance's face would appear.

Born and raised in Indianapolis but now living in ATL with his wife and two beautiful girls, his passion for technology has evolved from a thing he shares with family and friends, to working in IT, to helping people discover the best technology has to offer on his tech blog BrothaTech.com

2015 BrothaTech Headshot.jpg

What do you do at Foojee?

Apple Product Expert

What did you do before Foojee?

Mobile Device Management at Georgia State University

Which app could you not live without?

Evernote hands down. It’s open on all my devices everyday all day

Coolest place you've ever been?

Montego Bay, Jamaica. They have the best beaches and I don’t swim in any water where I can’t see my feet.

What do you do for fun?

Play with my kids and I’m starting to get back into gaming. I really want to take up drones as a hobby in the near future

So...what are your plans for tonight?

Catch up on Orange Is The New Black on Netflix with the Mrs.

What’s your favorite apple?

I crisp Granny Smith

Help Us Welcome Kevin Norris to the Foojee Team!

From Oregon Trail to OS X, Kevin (K.No to us) is all about the Mac and has a knack for evaluating the latest iOS app. For years Kevin worked in partnership with Foojee during his tenure at Apple as a Business Specialist. In 2014 he decided it was time to make the switch. He out-kicked his coverage when he landed his wife Cherise and has taken on her love for movies. Their weekends in Suwanee consist of bowling, Alabama Football, Braves Baseball and hanging out with their black lab, Toby! Enjoy our Q&A with him below!

What do you do at Foojee?

I work to ensure that our clients’ Apple technology functions at optimum capacity so that they can focus on what they do best. 

What did you do before Foojee?

I worked in partnership with Foojee as an Apple Business Specialist in the Atlanta market.

Which app could you not live without?

1Password 

Coolest place you've ever been?

Cancun, Mexico. Got tackled by a 20 foot wave.

What do you do for fun?

Bowling and smoking Daniel in table tennis.

So...what are your plans for tonight?

Got a hot date. I married her 3 years ago.

...Favorite apple?

Am I allowed to say anything but Foojee?

Help Us Welcome Daniel Kosmala to the Foojee Team!

Meet our newest team member Daniel Kosmala! As Director of Marketing, Daniel is the first hire outside of our typical mold. While helping us out with product support, he is leading the charge for Foojee as we continue to grow and set our eyes on new heights.  As a marketer, he is reviving and breathing life into all of our social media efforts as well as reworking our website, evolving our digital strategy and setting us up for future success. 

On the weekends you can find him playing pick-up basketball and spending time with his wife. We're thrilled to have Daniel, and can't wait for you to meet him if you haven't already. We thought it'd be fun to introduce him to our clients and friends with some Q & A. Enjoy!

NicoleandDaniel

What do you do at Foojee?

I am the Director of Marketing, which means I am only in charge of running our Twitter account. Nothing else. (That's mostly a joke)

What did you do before Foojee?

I worked for a nonprofit called Radical Mentoring and wondered how all the guys at Foojee managed to dress so well.

Which app could you not live without?

Wunderlist. I have a terrible memory so having readily accessible 'To-Do' lists for work, groceries, home, etc is invaluable for me. Just ask my wife how helpful this app has been in getting me to complete projects around our home.

Coolest place you've ever been?

Excellence Resorts Playa Mujeres. It was unreal.

What do you do for fun?

Hang out with my wife, watch movies, eat with friends, and I love playing pick up basketball.

So...what are your plans for tonight?

My wife is a night shift nurse and she works tonight so it’s looking like making myself a burger, watching some playoff basketball or cleaning up the house.

...Favorite apple?

The kind you can make into a fried pie. Yum.

Video: ACEs Conference New Orleans 2015

It's been a while since we've posted blogs regularly and in that time we've gone through a number of exciting changes. One change you may have already noticed is that we hired three new people to join the Foojee team! With the year getting into full swing we knew we wanted the team to spend time together bonding. Recognizing that our crammed schedules may not be changing anytime soon, Lucas decided it would be beneficial to bite the bullet and head out for two days. Part fun, part learning, we traveled to New Orleans in mid-May for the 2015 ACEs Conference. For the majority of the team, this was their first trip to Louisiana! Above is a highlight reel of our trip!

The tagline of the ACEs Conference is "For Consultants By Consultants". The conference wasn't necessarily about Apple or their products, but more of an opportunity to dive into the managing and consulting parts of our business. Some of the topics included building your business, crafting your brand, getting vulnerable with clients, and more. On top of all we learned, we got an invaluable chance to network with people in our industry from all over the country. The free time spent out with other consultants and our own team members was invaluable and made the entire trip worthwhile. We're already working to take what we learned and experienced in New Orleans to refine who we are, what we do, and how we do it.

Besides learning and networking we also got to spend some time exploring the riverfront and French Quarter in New Orleans. One of our top priorities was to eat some fantastic cajun food accompanied by plenty of laughter. We had an incredible trip and can't wait for the next Foojee team adventure!

 

 

Help Us Welcome Mónica Cottrell to the Foojee Team!

Meet our newest team member, Mónica Cottrell! Mónica has been with us for almost a month now and she has been incredible. Pitching in from her first day on the job, she brings unique perspective and touch to the team that we didn't have before and we could not be more excited to work with her. Having done some traveling in her years, Mónica always has cultural and culinary insights to help the rest of us refine our tastes. We've come to see that while she loves her Chinese (or Thai) food, she's just as happy with a smoothie.

When not serving our clients or asking great questions, Mónica loves hanging out with her husband, Michael. We're ecstatic to have Mónica on the team, and can't wait for you to meet her if you haven't already. Without further adieu, here's our Q&A. Enjoy!

 

What do you do at Foojee?

I am an Apple Product Expert.

What did you do before Foojee?

I worked with Teach for America teaching 10th grade Biology in the South Bronx. Before that, I was a trainer at Apple. If you go even further back, I was a professional ballet/modern dancer in NYC.

Which app could you not live without?

Foursquare! My husband and I live by this app on date night so that we can find the right places to go.

Coolest place you've ever been?

Tahiti. The lagoons are crystal clear and the beaches are beautiful. The fruit stands on the street are out of this world.

What do you do for fun?

I love to explore, dance, and eat good food. I love to be a part of the city in happenings with We Love ATL, Streets Alive, and the Indie Craft Experience.

So...what are your plans for tonight?

I’m gonna go home, order Chinese food and watch cartoons with my husband.

...Favorite apple?

Pink Lady.

We're Hiring a Mac and iOS System Administrator

We're looking for an Apple-esque sys admin to join our team. We're especially excited about this next hire, as it will be the sixth person in the company! Right now, Lucas and Brandon are doing most of the advanced implementation and support for our business clients. You would be both managing current, and spearheading new server-based and MDM projects alongside Brandon as Lucas continues to focus on the growth of the company.

Environments you would be responsible for range from 5-person companies needing in-person monthly maintenance visits, to large enterprises needing a 2500 iPad or Mac rollout. We work together on a lot of these projects, but each person has their deliverables they are responsible for.

Position Specifics

With each person that joins our team, we look forward to how they can influence the rest of us, and make Foojee’s offering even stronger. While we love to hire based on character and core values, we also need a certain baseline skill set for this position, of which we’ve outlined below. (We do need to make money with the mad skills we have, after all).

These are the skills we’re looking for:

  • Extensive OS X Troubleshooting.

  • Familiarity with OS X Server and Open Directory.

  • Familiarity with basic scripting, and command line administration in OS X.

  • Intermediate experience with networking including firewall configuration, DNS, and DHCP.

  • Extensive iOS Troubleshooting.

  • Familiarity with at least one MDM, and an understanding of iOS’s MDM features.

Beyond these, we hope you’re as hungry to learn, because that’s a big part of our job. I mean, have you checked iOS’s and OS X’s annual changes lately?

What it's like to work at Foojee

It turns out that we love our jobs. It’s got its challenges and its perks, and while it's hard to explain in a bullet list, we want to give you an idea of what this position will look like.

  • Remote work from home (or wherever) about 30% of the time.
  • On site work at the client’s office the rest of the time. (We meet weekly at Roam for our team meetings, too.)
  • You’ll do lots of driving. Don’t worry, we try to schedule meeting times that avoid traffic, and we get to listen to podcasts like Serial and The Talk Show between appointments.
  • You’ve got to love people. That’s one of our core values. We are here to serve.
  • This doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert, but just know that you’ll also be in front of people quite a bit.
  • Sometimes we’re called to fix problems, and sometimes we’re called to create amazing solutions. You should feel comfortable with holding the weight of our clients’ problems and being able to deliver a confident solution.
  • We are only as good as our people. We believe each one of us makes our own impact on the company. So we do a lot of listening, debating, and reiterating to improve on our company's approach and processes.
  • We're a small business, so things can move quickly, and sometimes we need to band together to get something done, even if it's outside of our typical role.

How to Apply

We love cover letters, and examples of environments or projects you've done in the past. If you think you're the right fit for this job, not just any job, let us know by sending an email to sysadmin@foojee.com.

We're hiring our next Apple Enterprise Specialist

We’re excited to announce that we’re looking for our fifth team member, an Apple Enterprise Specialist.

We love what we do, and our customers know it. So we’re looking for someone who appreciates a challenge, likes to be recognized for his or her accomplishments, and wants to be a part of something that improves lives.

So what is it like to work at Foojee? It’s challenging and exciting. We get to work at a place where we enjoy our teammates and we're constantly improving our craft. While we work closely together on all projects, we'll rely on you to be independent, self-motivated, and disciplined to deliver your part of the project.

Our Enterprise Specialist will be focusing primarily on SMB, enterprise, and education related projects. These projects will involve intermediate networking, OS X Client, OS X Server, and iOS deployments. You’ll be using OS X and iOS management tools like JAMF Software’s Casper Suite, MaaS360, AirWatch, and MobileIron.

We’re currently doing about 70% of customer work on site, and 30% of work remotely for both residential and business in Atlanta and a few parts of the southeast. Our remote work is performed from either our home offices or Roam, a co-working space with multiple locations in Atlanta. We’re looking for someone who can communicate clearly over the phone and in writing, since it's a significant part of what we do.

While our clients rely on us heavily for our technical chops, our top notch customer service and desire to do things the right way are what make our team so great.

Please send an email to jobs@foojee.com with the following:

  • Why do you want to work in Apple IT?
  • What is appealing about working at Foojee?
  • A description of a solution that you have put together for a customer in recent past, and what made the solution right for them.

Also, include these two writing samples:

Scenario: A client of ours just submitted a new ticket. The only line in the email states that her VPN is not working, and she needs it to access her files remotely. Assume your schedule is currently free, and you have her AD username and password on file. Use any resources you have to assist her.

  • Sample 1: Reply to her via email setting expectations of when someone will be able to assist her, and any other questions you may need that will help you resolve the issue.
  • Sample 2: Explain to us, in writing, your troubleshooting steps to resolve her issue. Explain the reasoning behind each step you would take.

Features:

  • Full Time.
  • $45,000 – 55,000 annually.
  • Health benefits available for you.
  • Phone and computer reimbursement.
  • Progressive work environment.
  • Work with a team that loves doing what they do.

System Requirements:

  • At least 2 years experience with support of Apple products.
  • OS X client certification.
  • OS X Server and/or MDM certification preferred.

Is it you? Let us know.