The earliest "power user" tip or tool that you remember using on a regular basis

For me, it was using quicksilver .

I had started using macOS in 2003 and when I heard about this from Merlin Mann, I switched to being someone who does most of their computing using a launcher of some kind.

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Finder smart search for files less than 2 hours old that is kept in my favourites list in the finder.

Used (almost) daily for when I have to send a file to someone over email - makes the file really easy to find and attach.


Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes!


Putting CheatSheet on my Mac to learn (and eventually memorize) many keyboard shortcuts, not only for OSX system shortcuts, but for a lot of my favorite apps as well.

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AppleScript. I bought HyperCard in 1998 with the intention of using it to learn the basics of programming so that I could go on to learn more advanced programming languages and techniques and get into software development. I had heard of AppleScript before that, but it wasn’t until I messed around with the AppleScript stack in the HyperCard install that I began to understand the point of AppleScript. Once I got my head around it a little bit, I realized that I was far more interested in learning how to automate the apps I already knew how to use than I was in learning how to dream up and design new apps.

Finding Mac Power Users episode #7 on Launchbar. I’ve been an Alfred or Launchbar user ever since, and a loyal MPU listener since then, too.

Currently Launchbar, if you’re curious. I spend less time fiddling with Launchbar than I did with Alfred.

I’m also a Launchbar user. After the uncertainty of quicksilver, I used Launchy(?) and dabbled with Alfred but the model that they had for paying to unlock the full potential made me nervous for some reason.

Launchbar and TextExpander, added the same day not long after I started listening to MPU, which was not long after I got my first Mac in 2011 I think? not sure of the dates. I use Launchbar more than anything, even for snippoets though I have lots on TextExpander. I would say Launchbar is my most important power tool.

KeyCue > CheatSheet. I learned about KeyCute here on the forums.

The earliest power user tip I remember is using 4Dos as a replacement DOS shell, and later Take Command for Windows 95 and 98. I switched to the Mac in 2007, drawn in part by Merlin Mann’s and Gina Trapani’s enthusiasm over QuickSilver, and I still find Alfred (similar to QuickSilver) very useful.

I haven’t heard that name in a while. Thank you for that because I remember when she was working for lifehacker.

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the 4 keyboard shortcut for taking screenshot on a Mac.


One of the things I discovered when switching to the Mac in 2006 was the use of keyboard shortcuts. I know they exist on Windows, but I leaned more about them, and more of them, using the Mac. I use Alfred and enjoy the keyboard shortcuts that come with this app.

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I think she was the founder, actually, before selling it.

Regular expressions.

Adding this right now!

Power toys for Win95 (in my phase in the Microsoft desert between my IIc and iBook)

That was mine, too! (Also because of Merlin M!)

Merlin Mann was and continues to be someone who has an influence on how I look at life and productivity.

I sometimes go back to his site to see if there is anything new, but he’s made the transition to podcaster and is really knocking it out of the park.

I was a huge Gina fan, and I bought her Lifehacker book. That site IMHO has gone far downhill in content and topics!