iStat Menus – A Dashboard To See What’s Happening On Your Mac

Some people just drive a car and don’t pay attention to anything but their speed (don’t wanna get a ticket!).

Others like to know their current & average gas mileage, tire inflation, remaining oil life, brake wear, temperature, battery charge level, and more. If you’re that kind of person, then you’ll love iStat Menus  for your Macs.

I’ve been using iStat Menus since at least version 3, and the folks at Bjango just released version 6 last week. I can’t image running a Mac without the most helpful components that sit in my menubar:

  • I use it to see if my CPU is getting slammed
  • I use it to see how much memory (RAM) is being used by open applications
  • I use it to measure my network connection and see if anything is using more than it should be
  • I use it to see how hot my MacBook Air is running
  • I use it for the advanced battery monitoring
  • And I really appreciate the granular customizations for time and date

Version 6 puts a little more polish on the interface and makes all my usual components look a little better.

But version 6 also adds a few more customization options for changing the color and background of the dropdown menus and items.

I also like that I can assign a hotkey to menus. For example, I like using iStat Menus to show the time and date because it offers more options for customizing how it looks. I also like clicking on it to quickly see the month and find a date. But now I assigned ⌃+⌥+⌘+D as the keyboard shortcut to quickly pull that down so I don’t have to move my cursor (hitting the shortcut again hides it or just hit the Esc key).

Version 6 also includes:

  • The ability to combine menus (I actually use iStat Menus to see things at a glance so I don’t see myself using this)
  • Weather (although I have several other sources for weather)
  • Reorderable (is that a word?) dropdown menus (I like this a lot to further customize the dropdown menus)
  • And the ability to add TWO lines to your time and date section (it gets really small!)

I do wish there was a way to sync my settings between my MacBook Air and Mac mini, although they do allow you to export and import settings. I like most everything set up the same on all my Macs, but there are some tweaks that are different depending upon the machine.

If you’re curious about what’s going on under the hood of your Mac, then you should try iStat Menus. A single license is $18, but the “Family Pack” is $25 and allows you to install on up to 5 Macs.

Tips, Notes & Links – Tunnel Bears and Text Edits

Tunneling with Bears

If you travel with a laptop, you’re probably carrying confidential and sensitive information from your clients (just consider your e-mail!). You need to get work done while away from the office, so you find the closest Starbucks or coffee shop and hook into their free wi-fi. But everyone else is using that open wireless network connection which means your confidential info may not be so confidential anymore.

That’s when you need to use a virtual private network (VPN) service. MakeUseOf just had a great piece on Tunnel Bear which I may have dismissed were it not for David Sparks talking about Tunnel Bear a couple years ago. Great service to check out if you travel a lot.

Accessorize for the Prize

Nice list of accessories from iDownloadBlog available for the newer MacBook Pros that only sport USB-C ports.

I’ve heard lots of good things about the Satechi USB-C Pro Hub.

Pro Tips for TextEdit

I don’t use TextEdit all that much since I live in Microsoft Word, but here are 9 “hidden” features in TextEdit – my favorite is the Advanced Search component.

The Outlook Looks Stellar!

I’m THRILLED to see Microsoft bake in more and more requested features to Outlook 2016 for Mac! They’re listening!!

The biggies look like “Send Later” and “Delivery/Read Receipts.”

Full list here.

(Gummy bear breakfast cereal picture courtesy of GRATISOGRAPHY by photographer Ryan McGuire)

TextExpander Discount To “Lubricate” Your Writing Process

I can’t remember exactly where I heard that quote but I love it because it appropriately describes what TextExpander can do for you every single day. Whether it’s your e-mail address, phone number, office address, courthouse, judge’s name, etc. there are things you type every day over and over and over and over. And if you are manually typing those things every single time, you are WASTING TIME!

Why not let the computer actually do something FOR you? TextExpander is one of those tools that is a NO-BRAINER.

My free TextExpander Webinar last month was a HUGE success and I’m thankful for everyone that logged in. And we’ve continued the conversation on TextExpander in the Small Firm Bootcamp Facebook Group (closed group for members of the Small Firm Bootcamp course – you can sign up here).

Even better, the folks at MacBundler are offering a 1-year subscription to TextExpander for only $19.98 which is half the regular price of $39.96. This is my affiliate link to the site or you can visit on your own and search for TextExpander. This is the best price I’ve seen for TextExpander, equivalent to the upgrade pricing if you owned an older version of TextExpander.

The subscription is good for Mac, Windows, and iOS since TextExpander now works across ALL of those platforms. Plus with the subscription all of your snippets sync across devices.

If you don’t have TextExpander yet, I strongly recommend picking up a 1-year subscription from MacBundler. And then start with something simple like your e-mail address. My “official” e-mail address is but I never, NEVER type it all out – it’s not very long but it takes a few extra seconds each time to type that repeatedly throughout the day. I simply type “bc@” (without the quotes) and it IMMEDIATELY expands out my full e-mail address. Start as simple as that, then add your office phone number, your office address, etc.

And for a Pro Tip look into the “inline search” function which is wonderful when you start getting too many snippets to remember all the time.

Let me know if you have any questions – always happy to talk about TextExpander!

Tips, Notes & Links – Apple Notes and Preview Tips

1Fix for 1Password

If you use 1Password (and you most definitely should) and you purchased it from the developer (AgileBits) then you may have received an error message this past week. I got it on both my Mac mini and MacBook Air but fixed the problem quickly and easily by manually updating the application. The error message was a result of a “perfect storm” of several factors described on the AgileBits blog and appleinsider blog.

The process is fast and painless – just follow the directions in this post from AgileBits complete with a video.

If you purchased 1Password from the Mac App Store then you were not affected.

A Note is a Note is a Note is a Note


Good tips from @AppAdvice on workflows using the Share menus in macOS and iOS for Apple’s Notes app.

I find myself using Notes more and more because 1) it’s built in, 2) it’s quick, and 3) I know that I can get access to my notes immediately from my Macs, iPhone and iPads.

Yes Evernote works the same way but it’s too bloated for quick notes.

I find myself using OneNote more than Evernote these days, but still not the best for quick notes.

Drafts is fantastic but just more than what I need for quick notes.

I used Simplenote before Notes got better in iOS 9.

Preview for More than PDFs…

Great list of tips for using Preview on your Mac from MakeUseOf.

My faves:

#3 – Create a New Image from Clipboard

#10 – Turn Image Backgrounds Transparent

See If You Need some USB-C

David Pogue really, REALLY loves the DART-C USB-C laptop charger. And even though I haven’t gone all USB-C yet (it’s only a matter of time), I think I love it too!

Here is his review of the DART-C.


Make it STOP!

(Dinosaur head business person picture courtesy of GRATISOGRAPHY by photographer Ryan McGuire)


FREE Webinar “Magic Text Creation for Busy Lawyers” with the Amazing TextExpander (Thurs., Feb. 23, 2017)

Do you type?

Do you want to save valuable minutes every day?

If you answered “Yes” to both questions (who wouldn’t???) then read on …


It amazes me how many lawyers actually CHOOSE to perform extra, manual, senseless work that the computer can do for them. Valuable minutes are wasted every day typing the same repetitive keystrokes. TextExpander tangibly and practically improves your daily efficiency and your overall practice. (Just ask Neil Tyra of The Law Entrepreneur!)

If you type everyday, and you long to be more efficient, then you can’t afford to miss a FREE webinar this Thursday (Feb. 23, 2017) where you will learn EXACTLY how to incorporate the indispensable TextExpander into your practice.

This FREE webinar is hosted by my good friend Ernie Svenson (aka “Ernie the Attorney”) who also offers the fantastic Small Firm Bootcamp course. I’ve been working with Ernie on cooking up a live Small Firm Bootcamp event offering hands-on workshops on items like TextExpander. We’ll provide more info on the live Bootcamp soon, but for now just sign up for the FREE webinarMagic Text Creation for Busy Lawyers” and you’ll be on the mailing list to learn more.

I’ve spoken about the remarkable benefits of TextExpander before in November of 2012. Planet10Tech was gracious to record the presentation but so much has changed and improved in the last 4 years that you need to attend the FREE webinar this Thursday (Feb. 23). I’ll show you exactly how to incorporate TextExpander into your practice.

If you’re repeatedly typing the same things every day like e-mail addresses, client or judges’ names, thank you e-mails, date & time stamps, etc., then you are LITERALLY WASTING TIME!!

We’ll start off with simple snippets in TextExpander and then dig a little deeper into constructing complicated documents and designing form fields. And lastly I’ll share a gaggle of valuable tips & tricks to ensure you’re getting the most out of TextExpander. And like past webinars, we’ll keep answering your questions for as long as you’re asking them!

Sign up for the FREE webinarMagic Text Creation for Busy Lawyers” and I’ll see you there!

Tips, Notes & Links – Microsoft Office Alternatives (or not) and a Powerful Pointer on PDF Printing

Microsoft and Mac Make a Lovely Pair…

Great list of Microsoft Office alternatives from MakeUseOf to answer the question I still continue to get: “What can I use to edit Microsoft Word documents without buying Microsoft Office?”

And I respond by saying the very fact they are asking about MICROSOFT WORD documents reveals they should make the professional investment in Microsoft Office … and today that means a subscription to Office 365.

But I do like the mention of Microsoft Office Online at which is FREELY available with a FREE Microsoft account allowing anyone to use Microsoft Word in the browser (similar to Google Docs). And this gets even better if you have a subscription to Office 365.

And if you want to stick it to the man and not pay Microsoft then download the FREE Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel apps and subscribe to Office 365 from inside one of those apps. You won’t save any money, but Apple gets 30% of what you pay 🙂

And by the way, if you have one of them new-fangled MacBook Pros with a Touch Bar AND you’re a Microsoft “Office Insider“, you can start using it with Office apps.

Don’t Be A Paster Hater…

Great write-up on how to use Alfred as a clipboard manager from @thesweetsetup.

I used LaunchBar for several years which is very similar to Alfred and was terrific. But like @thesweetsetup article I stopped using it when Spotlight got so much better at launching applications and finding documents.

A few months ago, however, I did need to find a good clipboard manager and found EXACTLY what I needed with Paste from

Paste has a beautiful, minimal, graphical interface that I can search when needed. The best part is that I can either paste exactly what’s on the clipboard (with all the formatting), or I have a shortcut (Shift + ⌘ + V) that pastes the plain-text of whatever I’ve copied (you have to install the Paste Helper utility separately).

I plan to post a video review of Paste here very soon.

A Perfectly Practical PDF Tip

Great PDF tip from Jonny Evans, the Apple Holic at Computer World.

I use the PDF dropdown in the Print dialog ALL THE TIME but I’ve never taken the time to customize the list. So next time I’m doing some research and saving web articles as PDF files I’ll automate the folder location where I save them.

Smarter Safari Surfin’

Always smart to skim through Safari tips since it’s an app that we use every day. After all, more and more of what we do is inside a browser instead of standalone software.

I was familiar with most of these tips although my favorite by far is the Reader View. If you’re not using this on your Mac, iPhone & iPad, then I don’t know how you can tolerate web pages today that throw gobs of ads and videos and cyber-detritus at you.

And another great list from MakeUseOf on Safari extensions. I try to keep my extensions to a minimum so my Safari overhead is low, but I couldn’t use Safari without extensions from 1Password or OneNote (which has largely replaced the use of the Evernote extension).

(Bunny picture courtesy of GRATISOGRAPHY by photographer Ryan McGuire)

My Wireless Keyboard Never Needs Batteries or Re-Charging!

Last month, BGR posted about my favorite wireless keyboard: the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750.

I actually use the black Logitech K750 for my Windows machine in my office, but there is a lovely silver version specifically for Mac … complete with the Alt/Option & Command keys.

I’ve been using the wireless Logitech Solar K750 for close to 6 years and it has been fantastic. AND I’VE NEVER HAD TO REPLACE THE BATTERIES!!!!

Two “solar” panels above the Function keys work with ANY light source. I’ve never used it outside, so the lamp and overhead light in my office (and presumably the light from my multiple monitors) keep the thing running all the time.

You can download Logitech’s “Solar App” if you want to track the battery life, but I rarely open it. A little sunshine button on the keyboard launches the app.

There’s also an on-off switch on the keyboard if you need to preserve battery life (I never turn it off).

The Logitech Solar K750 is a full-size keyboard, complete with a number pad on the right so make sure you have enough room on your desk. This is better than the OLD wireless Apple keyboard that came with iMacs. The rounded backs on these OLD wireless Apple keyboards were round and held two AA batteries, WHICH I HAD TO REPLACE SO OFTEN!!!!

The NEW wireless Apple keyboard (what Apple calls the “Magic Keyboard“) released in October 2015 does NOT use disposable batteries, but rather an internal rechargeable battery that is charged via a USB-to-Lightning cable.

Apple does sell a full-size keyboard WITH a numeric keypad but it is wired.

The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 (black/Windows or silver/Mac) NEVER has to be re-charged OR have its disposable batteries replaced.

This is NOT a Bluetooth keyboard, but comes with a teeny-tiny USB receiver that Logitech calls the Unifying Receiver. And while you must give up a USB slot, the Unifying Receiver is kinda amazing – it can connect up to 6 devices on one receiver. I actually use it to connect BOTH the Solar Keyboard AND the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX and it works great.

A couple of other interesting Logitech keyboards:

(Post contains affiliate links to Please feel free to visit Amazon separately.)

I Use Tabs in Finder Because I Like Tabs in Safari

I can’t use Safari without Tabs, and now I can’t use Finder without Tabs. I’m constantly accessing multiple folders in Finder and if I had to open a New Window every time I’d go crazy.

I like to use one SINGLE Finder Window, and then I open multiple locations/folders in Tabs.

I used TotalFinder from BinaryAge for years as a Finder add-on that gave me Tabs and other wonderful options. Unfortunately, with the introduction of the super-security-feature System Integrity Protection in El Capitan, the developers have thrown in the towel.

It’s a shame because TotalFinder was amazing (why doesn’t Apple let me sort the Finder with folders on TOP???). There are great alternatives to TotalFinder but I value simplicity and prefer to stick with native OS X features whenever I can.

Starting with Mavericks, Apple finally built Tabs into Finder although I didn’t start using them until TotalFinder was unstable in El Capitan.

It’s not perfect, and I can’t sort folders on TOP(!!!!), but the native Tabs in Finder work well for my needs.

Finder in Mac OS X to create new tabs instead of windowsI first go to Finder > Preferences and click “Open folders in tabs instead of windows” so that any folder I double-click opens as a new Tab.

But I usually stick with the ⌘ + T shortcut to launch a new Tab, just like in Safari (there’s also the “+” on far right to click open a new Tab). In the Finder > Preferences pane, I also set the default path that opens when I create a new Tab – I selected Dropbox under “New finder windows show:” dropdown.

You can click and drag a tab to re-position. I cycle through Tabs using Shift + ⌘ + [ to go left or Shift + ⌘ + ] to go right (just like in Safari).

To close a Finder Tab, I use the ⌘ + W shortcut (again, same as in Safari).

The Definitive Guide for Lawyers that Want to Use Macs in their Law Office

Three years ago I was honored to write “So You Want an All Mac Office?” for the fantastic Attorney at Work blog. The post continued to rack up hits over the years so the editors asked if I would architect an update.

It was published last week: “Still Want an All-Mac Law Office? What You Need and How You Can Do It.” I discuss why lawyers are using Macs, which Mac you should purchase, and a list of software you can run.

But it gets better because I reached out to four Mac-using lawyers to ask how they used their Mac, why they chose the Mac, and what helps them make it through the day – “Lawyers Who Use Macs: Why They Do It and How.” Their answers are incredibly helpful to any legal professional that’s considering the switch from Windows to Macs and how to do it successfully.

Here's a graphic, courtesy of MyCase, that I included in the piece. This was drawn during the 2014 ABA TECHSHOW session titled, “The Business Case for Going All Mac.” (Click the graphic to enlarge it.)

Here’s a graphic, courtesy of MyCase, that I included in the piece. This was drawn during the 2014 ABA TECHSHOW session titled, “The Business Case for Going All Mac.” (Click the graphic to enlarge it.)


If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me with any questions.

Clicking A Button With Your Spacebar

Clicking a button with a spacebar

It’s the little things that can make a big difference. When a dialog box pops up asking me to click a button (such as Cancel, Ok, Save, etc.) I hate having to take my hands OFF the keyboard, move over to the mouse or trackpad, move the cursor to the right place, and then finally click the button.

I know, it’s a small thing, but even just taking that 1 or 2 seconds to perform that action gets annoying if you have to do it 40 or 50 times a day.

In the Windows world, you can use the Tab key to circulate through the different buttons, and when the right one is highlighted, you can hit the Enter key to “select” or “click” the button.

It really annoyed me that this wasn’t a default in Mac OS X, but I was happy to find a fix hidden in the Keyboard Shortcut Pref Pane.

Go to Systems Preferences > Keyboard > and select the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Down at the bottom under “Full Keyboard Access” you select “All controls.”

Keyboard shortcuts

Once you make that change, you can now use the Tab key to switch the “focus” to another button in the dialog box. The main difference from the Windows world is that you don’t use the Enter/Return key to “click” the button – that will “click” whatever default selection has been programmed into the dialog box, which is usually in the blue color.

Instead, the button with the “focus” will be ENCIRCLED in a blue color, and you’ll need to hit the SPACEBAR to actually “click” that button.

Document save dialog box for Mac OS X

So in the example above, the “Save” button is the default selection, and hitting Enter/Return will automatically “click” that button, even without the use of the Tab key.

The “Don’t Save” button is encircled in blue, and I could use the Tab key to place the “focus” on “Cancel.”

If I hit the spacebar now, I will click the “Don’t Save” button. Or I could hit Tab to shift the focus to “Cance” and then hit the spacebar to click “Cancel.”

I haven’t found this to cause any problems or conflicts with anything else in Mac OS X, and I think it’s a great setting to change to shave off those extra seconds during the day. You will use this more than you think!!