Re-enable the Mail Plugin/DEVONthink on Mojave

If you use DEVONthink on your Mac and have recently updated to Mojave, you may have noticed a disconnect between the application and Mail. This is down to the new security features that have been implemented in Mojave and requires just a little intervention on your part to remedy. It’s quick and easy. 

1 - Go to System Preferences -> Security and Privacy and enable full disk access for DEVONthink.

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2 - Install the Mail plugin from the Add-ons within DEVONthink

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3 - Enable the Mail plugin by opening Mail -> Preferences in the screenshots below

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Enabling AutoFill Passwords with 1Password on iOS

Enabling AutoFill Passwords with 1Password on iOS

In this years WWDC, Apple announced app autofill - an API that will allow credentials to be filled in to applications in the same way as they are in websites - pretty sweet. 

Recently, the team at 1Password released version 7.2 of their 1Password application and this leverages the API beautifully. Once AutoFill Passwords is enabled for both iCloud Keychain and 1Password, it doesn’t matter where the password is stored, you can fill it in directly from the interface you are using which as many of you will know, is a real time-saver. 

To enable the feature, you must be using iOS 12. Once you are running it, simply head to Settings -> Passwords and Accounts

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Flick the toggle switch to enable AutoFill Passwords and then select the applications that you wish to enable the feature for. As you can see, as well as iCloud Keychain, I’ve enabled it for 1Password too. 

Now in the screenshot below, I’m attempting to log back into the Amazon application. It’s already suggesting the 1Password credentials that I have. If I press the key to the right of the password suggestion, it will list all credentials for Amazon that are listed in both iCloud Keychain and 1Password. 

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This is great and, even if you don’t use 1Password and rely on iCloud Keychain, it really leaves no excuse for using the same, weak passwords on multiple sites. Get secure people! 

Voice Messaging with iOS

Voice messaging on iOS - it’s great!

Now that Siri shortcuts are here, I don’t seem to be as embarrassed by my own voice anymore! (For a public speaker, that’s a bizarre statement, I know). To that end, I’ve started using Voice Messaging on iOS a lot more. 

It’s not a new feature, it’s been around for a long time, however it’s one that I’ve never been keen on using. Thankfully, the popularity of voice assistants such as Alexa and the HomePod means people aren’t as conscious of using their voices to carry out certain tasks as they once were. 

Voice messaging in iOS is easy. 

1) Launch the Messages app

2) Either create a new conversation, or select an existing one if there is a thread open. 

3) Tap and hold on the microphone icon that is to the right of the text input field. 

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4) If you are happy with the recording, then swipe up in the Send bubble (I don’t know if that’s the official term, but it will do for me). 

5) Not happy? Don’t swipe up in the Send bubble, simply swipe back across to the left and tap the screen. This exits the recording mode. Tap and hold the microphone button and re-record. 

Syncing Macros with Keyboard Maestro

Syncing Macros with Keyboard Maestro

Those of you who regularly visit my blog can’t fail to have noticed that I’ve been reasonably quiet over the last few months! It’s been a busy time, that’s for sure, with lots of work, involving both coaching and consultancy. This has led to a change in my setup and workflows and I can’t wait to share some of this with you - which I will, in good time. 

One of the main changes has been moving into a new office space. No more camping out on the kitchen table when working from home - I need room and, most importantly, separation from my young children so as to maximise my work time. 

I picked up a refurbished iMac for the office, so as to keep my MacBook Pro for travelling and delivering workshops and I think there may be at least fifty different posts I could write about working from two different machines! 

One of the first things I’d noticed was the sheer number of Keyboard Maestro macros that I had developed over the last few years on my MacBook Pro. So many! Some are as simple as keyboard shortcuts for applications, others are more complex that will run a script automatically at a given time. It’s fair to say that I didn’t fancy re-creating these, so I started looking at the easiest way to export them in bulk and transfer them to my new machine. 

This process is easy enough, however I quickly realised that as soon as I created a new macro on one machine, I’d need to export/import it onto the other. 

I know what you’re thinking as you read this - it’s true, I can be amazingly thick at times. Of course an application as advanced as Keyboard Maestro is going to have some form of real-time synchronisation available. 

This is how you set it up:

1 - Open Preferences within Keyboard Maestro on the source machine (this will be the machine that has the most up-to-date version of all of your macros)

2 - On the General tab, select the option for syncing Macros

3 - You will be asked whether you wish to create a new file, or open an existing one. As this is the first machine of the pair, select Create New and choose a location to store the sync file. This needs to be a cloud storage provider in order to allow the file to be read from the different locations. As I use iCloud Drive, I created a folder called Keyboard Maestro Macros and stored the file in there. 

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4 - On the secondary machine, check the box for Sync Macros and this time select Open Existing. Navigate to the sync file and click OK. You will be warned that all of your macros will be overwritten. No bother, just accept. 

Now, whenever you make any amendments to your Keyboard Maestro macros on one machine, they will be replicated to the other. 

Creating Focus with Freedom

How I Focus with Freedom

Maintaining a level of clear focus within the workplace (and indeed, at home) can be the single biggest obstacle that you need to overcome if you want to be the most productive version of yourself that you can be. Whenever I deliver a training workshop, there are always delegates that tell me it’s almost impossible to work for a given period of time without being interrupted. 

This isn’t just dealing with interruptions from other people though. The majority of interruptions come from our technology

I’m as guilty as anyone of this. The lure of the latest message, or the email that I’m missing out on can tempt me away easily from the piece of work I’m doing (especially if it’s something I really don’t want to do!). I’m a human being after all. 

That’s why using an application like Freedom is vital for me to get anything done on my Apple devices and as it’s now a part of my toolkit, I want to share how it works with you. 

Freedom is an application that runs on your macOS or iOS device (Windows too if you have to use a PC for work) and it can block applications and websites for a given period of time. It sits in the menu bar on macOS for easy access at any time. 

Devices

When you take out a subscription, you are able to install Freedom on multiple devices. I’ve got it installed on all of mine (four) and I can start a session on any device, from any device - which is very useful. Sometimes in my office, I have my iPhone, iPad and iMac connected at once and I don’t want to have to start a session on all three devices. Clicking the Freedom icon in the menu bar, selecting All Devices and starting a session is quick and easy. 

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Sessions

Sessions can be started on the fly, or if you are lucky enough to have a routine for work, you can schedule them to start automatically. You can define the length of time that the session will run for, which blocklists will take effect as well as the devices that will be affected. If you want to schedule a single session for later, click Start Later or, for recurring sessions, there is an link for that too. 

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Blocklists

There are two Blocklists created by default - Block All Websites and Block Desktop Apps. It’s very rare I’ll block all sites as, quite often, I need to carry out research as part of my work. Therefore I just use a couple of custom blacklists instead, that stop me from being to access any Social Media sites. 

You can manage which Desktop Apps will be blocked in a session by selecting Manage Blocked Desktop Apps from the Freedom menu bar and selecting the installed applications that you wish to be filtered. I do use this, as there can be some applications, or games, that may tempt me a little too much when I’m trying to get stuff done. 

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Locked Mode

You can Lock a session, which means that you cannot override the settings at all once a session has started - this is a must if you have problems with your willpower! Let’s be honest, without this option, if you want to just turn Freedom off for your machine once a session has started, you can do so very easily. This takes that further level of temptation away. 

I love Freedom and can’t recommend it enough. You can use it on a free trial to see if it’s suitable for you. The trial gives you 7 sessions. Other pricing options include a Monthly plan, at $6.99 per month, a Yearly plan at $29 per year and a Forever plan, at $119 that does at is says - gives you Freedom forever, including all future upgrades. 

Black-belt members of Think Productive’s Productivity Ninja Academy get 40% off of the Yearly/Forever plans. As a Productivity Ninja, I create some of the content within the Academy so come over and see what’s available!