How to Mute a Conversation in Messages for Mac and iOS

Vintage sign about a quiet zone for a lecture in progress

Recent versions of OS X have given you the ability to text right from your Mac. It doesn’t matter if the person you’re texting with has iOS or OS X; you can send and receive text messages with ease.

What happens when you start texting with someone who’s a little… talkative? It’s great to talk with your friends and family via text on your Mac, but sometimes you need to ignore a conversation so you can get some work done.

You can enter Do Not Disturb mode in OS X, but then you miss all your other important notifications, too. What you need to do is ignore the conversations that bug you and keep seeing the rest. Here’s how to mute a conversation in Messages for Mac. Then we’ll talk about how to do the same in iOS.
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5 Ways to Use Your Chromecast to Stay Productive

Chromecast USB device

In 2013, Google released Chromecast to much fanfare. The device gives users an affordable way to stream their favorite content to their television without having to deal with too much setup. While many have grown to love their Chromecast for watching Netflix, Hulu and HBO, home users aren’t the only ones who have gotten in on the act.

If you’re a professional on the go, Chromecast is a great thing to have on hand at all times to keep you productive. Here are some of our favorite ways to use Chromecast to stay on top of your game.
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How to Manage Multiple Email Accounts Using Gmail

Group of colorfully painted mailboxes

It’s safe to say that you probably have at least two email accounts. Depending on the business you’re in, you may have three, four, or even five accounts that you must send and receive email from routinely.

While using a desktop client like Outlook or OS X Mail is one solution for this, it’s not ideal. If you’re a Gmail user, not only do these not handle Gmail very well, but by using them you bypass the greatness that is the Gmail Web interface.

Gmail actually has a solution for this: the ability in the app to manage multiple email accounts from a single account. With this option you can send and receive emails from a variety of sources while still using the awesome Gmail Web interface.

Interested? Here’s how.
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10 Quick Google Search Tips to Find What You Need Faster

Lineup of random tools: stethoscope, wrench, compass, magnifying glass and more

How did we ever get along without Google? With its mix of simplicity and breadth of information, there’s little doubt that it’s king of the mountain when it comes to search engines.

While most of us use Google for basic search, just under the surface there’s a wealth of information to help make your searches more effective. Instead of searching for an airline’s website and hunting down flight information there, have Google give it straight to you. Instead of finding a site that tells you when sunrise is, just let Google tell you. From searching within a specific website to finding books by a specific author, Google has it all.

Below we’ve collected 10 of our favorite Google search tips. Try them out and leave your favorites in the comments section.
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Microsoft Office Tips: How to Use VLOOKUP in Excel

Excel is a pretty amazing piece of software. On the surface it looks like a basic spreadsheet application, but just below this is a wealth of tools that can make even the most complex and time-consuming jobs easy.

Take, for example, the VLOOKUP function. This amazing little tool can take seemingly meaningless data like model numbers or employee IDs and magically turn it into information we can read, such as names and email addresses. Instead of copying and pasting the correct email address next to every name in a list, VLOOKUP can automatically assign the right email address to the right person. It doesn’t matter if your list has 10 entries or 10,000 – VLOOKUP can make it work.

Read on to see an example of VLOOKUP in action and find out how you can use it.
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7 Productivity Tips to Effectively Crush Your Goals

Sheet of paper covered with flow chart about goals

Goals are an important way to get things done. Whether it’s a modest one, like cleaning the house this weekend, or a larger one, like having a certain amount of money saved in a year or learning a new language, having goals keeps you motivated.

Effectively setting goals not only makes big goals achievable, but also helps you see them through from start to finish while keeping your sanity. You don’t have to go it alone, though, as we’ve compiled our favorite ways to set and stick to goals below.

Ready to crush those goals? Here’s how.
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4 Great Ways to Back Up Photos on Your PC

Wall covered in frames

Long gone are the days when all your cherished photos lived on film and you had limited ways to protect them. Most of us now prefer using digital cameras to capture precious moments, but until recently many people relied on external hard drives to back up those photos.

While this is a perfectly fine way to protect your photos (and one we still recommend), there are a number of additional options at your fingertips. What’s more, some of them are (at least up to a point) free!

Below are some of our favorite ways to back up photos on your PC.
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3 Tips to Save (and Regain) Disk Space in Mac Mail

Mac Mail logo over old-fashioned card catalog

You don’t normally think of email as taking up space, but in actuality it can eat up quite a bit of drive space on your Mac. While this probably isn’t an issue for those of us running hard drives of 500 GB and above, many Mac owners have opted for smaller, faster Solid State Drives (SSDs) that can fill up quickly.

Sure, your Gmail or work email may be stored on a server, but when Apple’s Mail app downloads them for you to see, the messages and any attachments usually come along for the ride. So how do you keep accessing emails via the app while keeping storage at a minimum?

The first step is understanding why your storage space is being taken up. Then we can get it fixed without any stress. Here’s how.
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How Top Writers Are Using Office 365 to Stay in the Zone

Various computer software boxes

Once a thorn in the side of iPhone and iPad, Office 365 has suddenly become a robust (and free) option for writers on the go. Office 365 users can now create and edit documents in the free version of the product, which has made many people take notice.

With writers working on the go more than many other professionals, the possibilities for even the free version of Office 365 are endless. Let’s look at how some of the top writers can (and do) stay on top of their projects using Office 365.
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Tips to Make the Most of Your Mac Contacts

Mac Contacts window against space background

We don’t have to tell you how important your contacts are to you. Whether you’re talking about business contacts that you’ve collected over the years or your family’s phone numbers and addresses, it’s vital that your contacts are both accessible and working perfectly.

Just like any other large amount of data on a computer, contacts have a way of getting out of control. Add in syncing, and before you know it you have an unwieldy list that you can’t navigate. If you’re using a Mac for your contact organization, though, you’re in luck, as we’ve gone ahead and outlined some of the most essential tips for keeping your Mac contacts in order. Check them out below and get your contacts in sync, so to speak.
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