Increase Productivity With macOS

Series One

Screen Sharing
Did you know that every Mac has a built-in screen-sharing function for Mac to Mac? It comes with the operating system. It’s a hidden feature so you will have to use Spotlight to find it.
Simply press Command + Space Bar to bring up the Spotlight search function.

It will look like this:

Select Screen Sharing and a box will come up that looks like this:

From here, you can put your AppleID, the person you’re trying to connect to’s AppleID or if you know the IP address, input the IP where it says Connect To.
And gets better: the Mac uses your iSight camera’s microphone to provide your audio to the recipient.
For those times that you need to work on that PowerPoint for that upcoming meeting but also need to watch the Webinar that’s starting in five minutes. Meet Picture-in-Picture!
Picture-in-Picture is a feature embedded in macOS that allows you to multitask with your work in one window while a floating, adjustable, sizable window appears to hover above your current work. And when you’re done, you just snap the window back in! It’s as simple as a click!

To activate, just double right-click over the video you want to pop-out. Select Picture-in-Picture.

As you can see here, the YouTube video has popped out and is now a floating adjustable window that hovers above while a Word document is in progress. To end the session, simply click the x in the corner.
Requirements: macOS Sierra and later

Status in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has a Status feature (also sometimes called Presence) that lets people know your availability.  This feature works automatically, but you can also control it manually if you need to:

To access it, click on your portrait in the top-right of Teams, and then mouse-over your current status to see your available statuses. 

If there’s a meeting going on in your calendar, Teams will auto-update your status to “In a Meeting,” or to “On a Call” if you’re on a Teams call.  If you’re idle for a period of time, it will auto-update to “Away.” 

You can manually choose a different status if you want to override the auto-chosen status.  Just be sure to click on “Reset status” when you’re done to let Teams go back to automatically updating your status. 

Lastly, you have an option to “Set status message” to let people know what’s up, such as “On a lunch break, back at 1pm.” 

Take Meeting Notes in Microsoft Teams

A new Teams feature is the ability to take Meeting Notes:  A single shared note-taking space that lives inside a Teams meeting can be used to track agendas, decisions, and assign action items.

Once you’re in the meeting, go toMore options  > Show meeting notes  in your meeting controls. If you have not taken any notes yet, select Start taking meeting notes.

Otherwise, start typing your notes. Use the controls at the top of the panel to format and lay out the text. To add a new note, select Add a new section here. Use @mentions to draw someone’s attention to a specific note or assign an action item.

In a recurring meeting, the notes persist from meeting to meeting. Each meeting becomes a new section in the notes.

There are some other features and limits of these meeting notes, for a full description see this link:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/take-meeting-notes-in-teams-3eadf032-0ef8-4d60-9e21-0691d317d103

Teams on your phone or tablet!

You can get all of the same great connectivity and collaboration options from Microsoft Teams not only on your computer but also on your Android or iOS device!

Simply go to your App store, look for Microsoft Teams, install, and log in as you would from your computer.  You’ll find you have access to all of your chats, teams, and the ability to join Teams meetings with one touch, including the ability to participate in screen shares and other features!

While some features aren’t natively available in the Teams app, you’ll find many of the ones you need all the time are available or are available via a separate app (such as the “Planner” app, which allows you to interact with all of the Planner tabs you may have created in Teams).

eSign Solutions

Many of our clients are asking for recommendations on e-Signature software. With COVID-19, eSign solutions aid organizations that do business remotely and within their own organizations. eSign solutions are typically cloud-based and very easy to deploy and use. Some of the top providers of these solutions are below for your investigation. Watch for an upcoming designDATA webinar on eSign solutions!

Adobe Sign


$15 / month – and offers PDF manipulation in this monthly fee.  Easy to use!



$25 / month – and has a handy mobile application.   An industry leader.

Nitro PDF

$128 for a license for their PDF manipulation with unlimited e-signing.  Plug-in for MS-Word available.  Great deal for a basic solution with no recurring fee.

Data Privacy and ZOOM

During this time, as the majority of the Global Workforce works from home, many people are using Zoom.  While the video conferencing application is very popular, there have been privacy concerns.  Some of the concerns are not unique to Zoom but are standard for any web conference/meeting app, such as the host’s ability to record the session, something that can also be done in Teams.  However, other Zoom ‘features’ are a little “big brother-ish”, such as the attention tracking feature and the data collection mechanics. It is designDATA’s recommendation to create a separate account for Zoom when creating your login, instead of using your Facebook or Google credentials.

Here’s a recent report from Consumer Reports and a CNET Article on data privacy concerns with Zoom. If you don’t have a decent password protecting your meeting, don’t be surprised if you get trolls (or uninvited guests) joining in.

(credit: Jamey Wester)

designDATA’s plan of action during COVID-19

As many of you may have heard, the President has extended the social distancing guidelines to April 30th with the possibility of going past that date. designDATA will continue working remotely and suspending onsite engagements according to the Federal guidelines.

During these times while working from home, we understand a focus on productivity and collaboration is of high importance. Our aim is to be of greater resource to you and your organization during these times.  If you are in need of IT solutions at this time please contact us at https://www.designdata.com/contact-us/ .

Access our blog via our website for tips and tricks on cybersecurity, Microsoft Teams, eSign solutions, other relevant subjects to improve IT productivity in this remote working environment.  https://www.designdata.com/resources/blog/