Fixing an annoying habit in Mac OSX Mail

While Macs may be more stable and be simpler and faster, they are not without their occasional flaw. One such flaw is the habit MacOS Mail has of pasting the entire email address into a field when you are performing a copy-paste action.

Fortunately, the solution is very simple. Here’s what to do.

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Launch Terminal. (It is in your Applications folder, or you can press Command-Spacebar and type “Terminal” to launch it.
  3. Once Terminal is running, enter the following command and press enter. 

    defaults write AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -bool false

  4. Quit Terminal
  5. Re-launch Mail.

That’s it! You should now be up and running. Test out the copy-paste feature and it should work without adding in the person’s name before their email address anymore.

Use the Square Cash card to simply Allowances, Family Finances

Square App provides simple and effective credit card processing for merchants and recently entered the realm of personal finances with a fury. Square’s first foray into the area of individual money management was the Cash App, a simple mobile program that allowed people to send money to family and friends quickly and easily. Most recently, Square introduced the new Cash Card, a debit card that allows individuals to access their Cash funds at any merchants that accept VISA debit.

The Cash Card is brilliantly easy to use. Simply load the card with money using the app, and then swipe it anywhere you would normally use a credit card. You can then track everything with the simple Cash App, and use your Cash Card as you would normally for daily purchases.

Always on the lookout for ways to improve my financial management, I recently took to using this Cash Card as my primary daily carry card. There were several reasons for this change.

First, I have total control over the card and can track usage easily on a simple-to-use app. Many other credit card apps have been bloated with extra functions I don’t need daily.

Second, the load-as-you-go methodology limits my losses in the event of having my card number stolen or hacked. It also tends to limit my spending and help keep me on an allowance.

Third, it has no interest or fees, making it free to use.

Forth, the card looks cool: it is a flat black with simple graphics that you design yourself. No other marking or labeling is presented on the card, making it elegant and an instant conversation piece. I consistently get comments on “what a cool card” it is.

Most amazingly, Square recently added the Card Boost, a free and frankly unprecedented reward program that provides cash bonuses for using your cash card. For example, Chipotle, Subway, Whole Foods and others give automatic discounts for using the card. While this isn’t terribly innovative or exciting, the Coffee Shop boost is. This boost gives a $1 credit toward each transaction at any coffee shop. I’m not sure who is paying for these boosts, but I do appreciate it every time I drive through my local Dutch Brothers.

Even with all of this goodness, I think there is untapped potential available from the Cash App/Card combo for families. Since anyone with a phone can download and use the app, theoretically anyone can get a Cash Card. This would allow children have to have simple payment card that parents can instantly send money to via the app, that is safe and does not have the issues associated with using a traditional debit or credit card. I have personally been using the Cash Card in my own family, and it has been incredibly convenient to send cash to family members that they can instantly access with their card.

At present, the only caveat is Square’s term’s of service which limit users to eighteen years of age. I suspect, however, as the Cash Card becomes more popular, Square may change that policy to accommodate children, and may even build-in a parent-child relationship into apps that allow them to link Cash accounts together. Overall, the Cash App card is an awesome financial innovation for individuals looking to simplify and control their financial life.

After having lived with the Cash card for a few months as my primary spending card, I have found only one issue, and that is at gas stations. Most of the time when you pay at the pump they usually pre-authorize $150 on the card regardless of whether or not you need that much gas. The workaround to this is to carry a separate card for gas, or to keep at least $150 on it when you go for gas, or to walk inside and pay inside. This, however, is a minor issue, considering how great this card is.

How to preserve your Google Docs after you leave your job

People who leave their jobs often leave behind many resources they had when they do. Sometimes, the loss of this information can provide problems later on. For example, if you need to look back at a past event on your work calendar to see when you did something you want to reference later on, perhaps in a resume. Once you leave a job, your google data is inaccessible to you forever. This post describes how to deal with those issues.

Note: Google frequently changes their protocols; this information is up to date as of 2018.

There are probably several areas you should consider saving:
– Your Contacts (if stored in Google)
– Your Calendars
– Your Docs/Files

Here’s how to do that:

Contacts Let’s start with the easiest.
1. In the sidebar, click “More” then click “Export”. vCards are usually the best way to get all the data for iPhone/Mac/Windows users, and for Google/Android you will want to use the CSV option.

2. Save the file it outputs to your desktop.
3. Then import it BACK into your phone or contacts app. (On a Mac, this is as easy as dragging the file over the CONTACTS icon in your Dock or just double clicking it. On Windows/Google, look for IMPORT in the file menu.)

Side note: this does NOT work for people in your contact DIRECTORY. If you want to save people into your contacts before you do this, and they are listed in the directory and note saved to your contacts, you must first save them to your contacts list. To do this:
1. Open the contacts app on your Google account.
2. Search for the person you want.
3. Next to their name in their card, click the Person icon to add it to your contact list.

Calendars This is a bit trickier, since most of us have different calendars we are subscribed to.
1. In Google Calendar (on the web) look at the sidebar and find the calendar you want to export.
2. Click the three dots next to that calendar. Then select “Settings and Sharing.”

3. In the top box, click “export calendar” and it will immediately download a .ics file to your computer with all of your calendar data in it for that calendar.
4. Repeat this process with any other calendars you want to download.

The process for restoring this depends on your paradigm of how you want to store it. If you just click it the file will automatically upload into your default calendar on most devices. I personally like to keep work/home/etc separate, so I created a NEW calendar in my PERSONAL google account that I called “archive.” Then I imported that data into the archive calendar.

Docs Docs, Sheets, and Slides pose particular problems with long-term storage outside of your work account. If most of these were created in your organizational google plan, you will not be able to access them once your account is deactivated/deleted by your IT department after you leave. You can try to change ownership, must most companies have blocked that option. So what should you do?

I found the best way is to use Google Back-up/Sync app on my desktop computer.

1. First, download and install that app on your personal device, but log-in to with your personal gmail account.

2. Then, create one big folder in your personal gmail account. I called that folder “Sync,” but you can call it whatever you want.

3. Share that share file with your work email address.
4. Log into your work account and accept the invite.
5. Then, drag all of your work docs that you want to save into the sync file.
6. Back on your personal account, right-click the Sync folder and then click “Add to my Drive.”

You should notice at this point that Google Back-up and Sync app is now downloading all of your docs and data onto your personal laptop. If that is happening, success!

One caveat: if they go into your account after-the-fact, and see that sharing, they can disable it and you will loose everything anyway. However, most of the time they just disable your account in Google Admin without looking at it, so they don’t notice it. However, if you have any critical items to save, I suggest you back that up with by duplicating the file onto your hard drive manually. That is much more time consuming, but may save you some headache.

Hopefully this post helps explain the process for saving your data from Google! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or comments!

Personal Productivity- which desktop OS is better for Leaders?

One long-standing debate amongst those of us with computers is that of “Mac vs PC.” While this usually starts as a friendly bit of banter, it can often become heated, and invariably ends up with someone also advocating for ChromeOS or Ubuntu or some other operating system for their computer.

The variety of operating systems that are available for a computer provided needed options for those of us who need something different. However, when one looks at computers merely through the lens of leadership, this is quickly decided. Here’s why:

Leaders need to have devices that enable them to do work, but without being overly complex or time-consuming in the set-up, maintenance, and management of the device. They should be ubiquitous, meaning that they should be able to share information easily with others. They should be fast and efficient, able to do most things really well. In short, your OS should be:
– Easy to use
– Fast
– Minimal maintenance
– Plays well with others
– Gets the job done.

Few leaders have need for niche products. Complexity is usually antithetical to simplicity and effectiveness. So unless you are in a profession that requires complexity, it is better not to go there. You should spend your time leading people, not fiddling with your computer.

When you look at it through the leadership lens, Ubuntu quickly fails this test. So, too, does Chrome, which plays well with others within the Google ecosystem, but does not do as well with anyone else. That leads us back to the Windows vs Mac argument.

It is true that Windows computers can do anything and everything. They are the undisputed winner in that arena. But, saying they can do anything doesn’t mean that they do it easily, or well. In my extensive work on Windows machines, I have found them to be very capable, with tons of features… but mostly these are features that 95% of people never use. That this leads to a level of complexity that really slows you down or gets in your way.

Mac computers can do 95% of what the PC computers can do, but they do it better. Interfaces are more obvious, more uniform across applications, and faster to use. Applications are designed with people who want simplicity and effectiveness as the yardstick. They work and play well with others. In Apple parlance, “they just work.”

This “it just works” philosophy is the reason why I recommend leaders seeking to buy a computer look at the Mac first. It really is the best for leaders.