The indispensables: Essential tools for fixing your Mac

We’re heading into that season where you may be thinking about things you want to give to others or things you need to fill out your own bag of tricks. I have very few wishes for anything new this year, which is to say that my kit is pretty well tricked out. But there are tools that I use on a regular basis that I can’t live without, so for the next two weeks of Working Mac I present to you those things without which I can’t get done what must be done. A collection of hardware and software tools I can’t live without. (Next week: indispensable software.)

Backpack: Ogio Gambit laptop backpack

I travel a ton, both local and long distance, and a good backpack is essential to my travel needs. I require something sturdy, with tons of pockets, that’s well made, doesn’t fray, feels balanced when it’s on my back, and which make’s most everything accessible with a single zip.

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Track your valuable work hours with TSheets

I have long been on a search for a good time tracking app that integrates well with a business accounting package. While it’s been quite some time since we’ve taken a look at it, FreshBooks offers excellent built-in time tracking and continues to up its business accounting game.

For my money (For real! I pay for and use) Marketcircle’s Billings Pro is the best time tracking and invoicing software I’ve had the pleasure to use, but it’s not an accounting package, so I still have to pay for QuickBooks Online to track income and expenses. I also have to create duplicate invoices, one that I send from Billings Pro and another for accounting from Quickbooks Online.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of playing with TSheets, an online timecard app that integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero, and there’s a lot to love. It offers great time tracking and timecard management with a ton of integrations that make it very versatile.

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How to set up the Wiki Service in macOS Sierra Server

Next up in our series on macOS Sierra’s Server app is the Wiki service. You’re likely familiar with Wikis, especially if you’ve spent any time at Wikipedia, but it’s possible you’ve never thought about using one as a collaborative tool for your company or school.

Server’s Wiki service lets you provide multiple levels of access, giving one user the ability to create a Wiki and allowing that user to determine who will have access to view and/or edit what appears on the Wiki they create.

Server’s Wiki service offers superb editing tools. Wiki creators can add calendars and blogs to their Wikis and editors can add images, video, and other files to the Wiki. Additionally you can view editing history by user and restore changes made be editors. The beauty of a Wiki is that it’s device and OS independent, so you can edit the Wiki with a Mac, PC, iOS, or Android device.

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Setting up macOS Sierra Server's Contacts Service

Over the last two weeks we’ve worked with the Server app on macOS Sierra to set up the Calendar service. The Calendar service uses CalDAV, a web standard that allows you to connect to calendar services, add and update events using a variety of calendar apps. In fact, when we were working with the calendar service you could have just as easily added your server’s calendar service to Fantastical or BusyCal because both support the CalDAV standard.

Server’s Contacts service works using a similar standard called CardDAV, which, like CalDAV, allows a variety of contact apps to connect to and update data stored on your server. And, in fact, CalDAV and CardDAV are linked to each other on your server. You can see this link using the Server apps log tools.

  1. Open the Server app.
  2. Select Logs in the sidebar of the Server app.
  3. Locate and select the Calendar and Contacts log.
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How to use the advanced Calendar Service features in macOS Sierra Server

Last week we took an initial look at setting up the Calendar service in macOS Server. This week we’ll look at some of the advanced features available within the Calendar service.

Managing resource access

The default scheduling behavior for resources is Accept If Free, Decline If Busy. Which makes perfect sense in most situations. But in some cases you may want to make someone responsible for managing access to resources, particularly if you have someone or some group responsible for the devices and rooms used for meetings.

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How to set up the Calendar Service in macOS Sierra Server

Server’s calendar service is one of my favorite features in the Server app and the one most likely to fly under your radar. When you think about hosted calendar services your mind likely drifts to Google, iCloud, or Exchange, but the Server app’s calendar service offers more features than you may be aware of and gives you the benefit of keeping your business’ private calendar information secure and within the walls of your company.

In addition to the usual calendar fare, Server’s Calendar service lets you manage resource schedules (say, conference rooms and projectors), delegate calendar responsibilities to surrogates, offers automatic schedule checking for all invited attendees, including resources, allows file attachments, private event annotations, and uses Apple’s push notification services to update events. In short, it’s a pretty robust hosted calendar that’s likely to fit most of your needs.

Turn on the Calendar service

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