In this episode, you’ll discover 5 ways to unleash the full power of ChatGPT on your Mac and boost your efficiency along the way.
Here are the important links mentioned in the episode
- ChatGPT signup page:
- OpenAI API signup page:
- Writers Brew:
- Super Assistant Shortcut:
- Image Assistant Shortcut
Visit https://macpreneur.com/ai to grab your own copy of the Top 10 AI tools Cheat Sheet that will help you boost your solo business in this fast pacing world.
In this episode, we explore the problems that solopreneurs face when using ChatGPT on the web and I present five alternative methods to maximize its potential on a Mac.
The web interface can be distracting and may compromise the confidentiality of shared information.
The alternative methods I have found include using a standalone application, accessing ChatGPT from the menu bar, utilizing a floating text box, invoking ChatGPT after selecting text, and using shortcuts and Siri.
I also provide a step-by-step guide to obtaining an OpenAI API key, which ensures data privacy.
Each method offers unique advantages and allows me to interact with ChatGPT more efficiently and effectively.
- Solopreneurs often think the only way to use ChatGPT is through a web browser, which can be distracting and compromise productivity.
- Sharing confidential information via the web interface of ChatGPT should be avoided, as the data may be used to train the AI model.
- Solopreneurs can use ChatGPT on a Mac through a standalone application, the menu bar, a floating text box, selecting text, or using shortcuts and Siri.
- Obtaining an OpenAI API key is necessary for most alternative methods and ensures data privacy.
- Standalone applications like MacGPT, Writers Brew, and Elephas offer additional features and utilities for enhanced productivity.
- MacGPT allows easy switching between ChatGPT Plus and the API version.
- Writers Brew and Elephas provide predefined prompts and support the configuration of custom prompts.
- Shortcuts and Siri enable quick and convenient interaction with ChatGPT, including text processing and image creation.
Want to unlock the full potential of ChatGPT on your Mac?
Discover five ways that can enhance your ChatGPT experience and boost your productivity on your Mac.
I’ll unpack all of this after the intro.
If this is the first episode that you’re listening to, welcome to the Macpreneur tribe.
And if you’re a longtime Macpreneur listener, thank you for tuning back in. As a fellow solopreneur, I appreciate that you dedicate these 15-ish minutes with me every week.
This is the fourth episode of season three, which is entirely dedicated to the world of artificial intelligence.
And for the occasion, I have compiled a list of 10 AI tools that every Macpreneur needs to know about if they want to be more efficient and have a competitive edge.
You can grab your own copy by visiting macpreneur.com/ai.
Each tool comes with a brief overview and a direct link, so you can seamlessly integrate them into your workflow.
Visit macpreneur.com/ai and you’ll instantly discover cutting-edge tools that few other solopreneurs even know existed.
And now let’s discuss why most solopreneurs are using ChatGPT the hard way and how to do it differently.
Problems with ChatGPT on the web
So, ChatGPT is great, but chances are that many solopreneurs think that the only way to use it is by opening a browser window.
This method can be detrimental to their productivity because having multiple tabs open at the same time can be distracting.
And unless they’re using ChatGPT Enterprise or the API version, the data that they submit via the web interface will be used to further train the AI model.
And this means that one should avoid sharing confidential and proprietary information when connected to chat.openai.com.
And finally, it’s highly likely that they need to constantly copy-paste information to and from the browser window, which can reduce their productivity.
ChatGPT: 5 other ways
And the good news is that you are in the right place, my Macpreneur friend, because in this episode, I will help you by introducing 5 ways to unleash the full potential of ChatGPT on your Mac.
So, here they are.
- Via a standalone application.
- From the menu bar.
- From a floating text box.
- After selecting text
- With Shortcuts and Siri.
Getting an OpenAI API key
Now, most of the methods that I will cover in this episode require an OpenAI API key, which, in turn, ensures that whatever data we share with ChatGPT or with OpenAI, this data will not be used to train the model.
Now, if you haven’t got an API key already, here is the procedure.
Step number one, you need to create an account via platform.openai.com.
If you already have a ChatGPT Plus account, you can reuse the same email address.
Then, step number two, you will need to enter your phone number for verification purposes.
Now, at this stage, if it’s the first time that you use the API, you should get five dollars’ worth of credits, which is actually plenty to start with.
But if you’ve already created an account with that phone number, then it will tell you so, and then you will need to go to settings on the left sidebar, then billing, and you will need to add a payment method.
Step number three, you will click on the left on API keys, and then you will see a button with a little plus to create a new secret key.
Be careful because it’ll be the only time that you will see the key in its entirety.
So you need to copy it. And then step four, save it in your password manager of choice.
Since the same API key can be used in different places, in theory, a single key would be enough.
However, from a security standpoint, I recommend creating a different key for each of the apps and services where you intend to use them.
Why? Because if, for any reason, an API key gets stolen, then you will need to revoke it to prevent anyone else from using it, meaning you would then have to pay for their usage, right?
So you would need to revoke the key, and if you use the same key in different places, then after revoking it, you will need to re-enter a new key in all those places.
Whereas if you generated a different key for each service, you will only need to reconfigure the affected service.
Method 1: Standalone application
So now let’s explore a way to use ChatGPT while reducing potential distractions from other browser tabs or windows.
How? Simply by opening ChatGPT as a standalone application.
So for ChatGPT Plus, there are three options. If your Mac is already on Sonoma, you can quickly transform a website into a web application.
So you would visit chat.openai.com, and then you would click on the file menu in the top left corner, then “Add to Dock.”
So what happens, it will create a small application with the name of the website.
The advantage of a web application is that it can run even if Safari is closed.
It has a separate storage for the cookies, and you can launch it also with Spotlight. If you have a Stream Deck, you can assign a button to launch that web application.
Now if your Mac is still on Ventura or earlier, then there are other solutions, two of them that I’ve tested myself.
One is called Unite, and the other one is Web Catalog.
Now, if you want to be able to use both ChatGPT Plus and the API version of ChatGPT via a dedicated app, then I recommend using an application called MacGPT.
It is super easy to switch between both.
And this tool is so powerful that you will hear that name many times throughout this episode.
Now, there are two other applications that also offer a standalone mode, but only for the API version.
Those apps are called Writers Brew and Elephas.
So Elephas, E L E P H A S, and then Writers Brew. W R I T E R S, B R E W.
And both of those applications come with a bunch of predefined prompts. For instance, for rewriting text, summarizing text, they even support the definition and configuration of custom prompts that we can then reuse afterward.
Writers Brew has utilities like counting the number of words, changing the case, extracting emails, removing white space, and you can even use Writers Brew to sort lines by ascending length.
Now, Elephas has other useful applications and utilities.
It’s capable of creating formulas in Google Sheets and in Excel, so it knows the content of the cells around the cell where you are in, and in that cell, you just write in plain English what you want to do.
For instance, I would like to extract a value in column C based on the maximum of column D. And it will write the correct formula.
It can also create a first draft for a keynote presentation very quickly.
You just give it the main topic and then which keynote theme you want to use, and then it will create automatically for you all the slides.
Each slide will have a title and the bullet points that accompany each of the slides.
Now, from my experience, Writers Brew is more reactive than Elephas.
However, Elephas has another great feature called SuperBrain.
And so with SuperBrain, you just give it PDFs, documents, audio files, URLs pointing to web pages from your website, for instance, and then Elephas will compile all this information in such a way that you can then start chatting with this brain, quote unquote.
And it is as if we created a fully private ChatGPT with our own data and information.
Okay. So. A standalone app prevents us from being distracted by other browser windows, but it still requires us to launch an application.
Method 2: From the Menu bar
And so the second way to interact with ChatGPT is directly from the menu bar.
This can be done with MacGPT, Elephas, and Writers Brew.
Now, the big advantage of MacGPT over the other two is that we can easily switch between ChatGPT Plus and the API version. Additionally, we don’t need to click on anything because with MacGPT, we can define a keyboard shortcut that will automatically open the menu bar component.
Method 3: Floating text box
Now, talking about keyboard shortcuts, this leads me to the third method, which is via a floating textbox that would look a lot like Spotlight.
And guess what?
Yes, MacGPT offers that capability too!
I have configured the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Option + Command + C, which gives me a nice floating textbox where I can ask a quick question to ChatGPT.
And best of all, there is a small microphone icon, so when I click on it, it allows me to switch to speaking mode. And so I can just talk with ChatGPT.
Now, Writers Brew offers a similar capability. But it’s still in beta at the time of recording.
And lastly, if you’re using the launcher Raycast, it’s possible also to install a bunch of extensions that can interact with the API version of ChatGPT.
You just search ChatGPT or GPT in the Raycast Extensions store. Now it’s called a store, but all those extensions are free, don’t worry.
An interesting extension is called Summarize YouTube Video.
Yes, so you invoke Raycast, you launch that extension, and then you just provide the YouTube link.
And what the extension will do is go through the transcript and then generate a summary for you.
And another reason that I like Writers Brew is that it offers as well a Raycast extension, and so I have defined my own set of prompts, and because Writers Brew has a Raycast extension, I can use those prompts directly from Raycast.
Now, even though this is a quick way to initiate a conversation with ChatGPT, it’s not necessarily the most appropriate one for all situations.
Because, first of all, this floating textbox can usually accommodate very short sentences, not a large amount of text.
And second, there’s still some copy-paste to do.
Method 4: After selecting text
And so, another method to efficiently invoke ChatGPT is simply right after selecting text.
So it could be in an email, it could be in a document, it could be in Notes, or it could be on a web page.
You select text, and then you immediately have the possibility to use the text as a prompt or select a predefined prompt and then use that prompt on the selected text.
The app Elephas does that natively.
You select text, and then you see a round elephant icon.
You click on it, select what you want to do, and then the Elephas icon will blink until ChatGPT has produced its output. You can even tell Elephas whether you want the selected text to be replaced or to stay intact.
Writers Brew allows the same but requires another tool called PopClip.
PopClip allows you to do some actions right after selecting text, like copying the text, changing the case, and it supports a wide range of plugins.
And so, yes, Writers Brew offers a plugin for PopClip.
And so, I do that many times when preparing the Macpreneur podcast episodes.
If you remember, I use Descript and MacWhisper to transcribe videos, and then I quickly generate Instagram and LinkedIn posts simply by selecting the transcript.
Clicking on the Writers Brew plugin icon and then choosing the right prompt.
I don’t need to do any copy-paste.
Method 5: Shortcuts & Siri
Okay, so number five.
The last method to quickly use and invoke ChatGPT is with Shortcuts.
And if your Mac is running at least macOS Ventura, it means you can also do it via Siri.
So back in April 2023, I stumbled upon an article from Federico Vittici from Macstories.net who created a pair of Shortcuts automation scripts that allow you to interact with the API of ChatGPT directly via Shortcuts.
And because Federico integrated native Apple capabilities, it is possible through that shortcut to process text found in the clipboard. It can also summarize text found inside of photos.
It works on many more devices than the Mac.
It also works on iPhone, on iPad, on Apple Watch, even HomePod—any device that can run shortcuts automation.
Now, on the Mac, it’s really with macOS Ventura or newer that this shortcut shines.
Why? Because starting with Ventura, it’s possible to choose a shortcut from the share sheet.
And you can also invoke any shortcut just by using Siri and asking Siri to launch the shortcut.
So an example of using the share sheet would be right from within Safari.
So you’re on a webpage, you click on the share icon, you select that specific shortcut. And you can quickly ask ChatGPT to summarize the article or the webpage that you are on.
You don’t need to copy-paste the URL, it’s automatic.
Same thing if you select a file, a PDF file, or a scanned document, and you do share, and you select that shortcut, it will summarize the content.
Now, because this shortcut hasn’t been updated since April this year, I have decided to tweak it a little bit in such a way that now it asks me which ChatGPT version I want.
So the 3.5 Turbo and the 4 Turbo, which are the latest ones that OpenAI just released now at the beginning of November.
Okay, so up until now, the solutions that I’ve talked about, especially those involving the API, only dealt with text.
But what about image creation, right? Because now it’s fully integrated into ChatGPT Plus.
Well, I found a shortcut called Dall-E ENG that unfortunately had the model and the resolution completely hard-coded.
And so what I’ve done is I’ve tweaked that shortcut and improved it in such a way that first, it will ask me which model I want to use, so DALL-E 2 or DALL-E 3.
They have different costs in terms of API requests, and they also offer different resolutions.
And so, once I have chosen the model, the next question that the shortcut asks me is which resolution I want to use.
So now from my MacBook Pro, I can just ask Siri to create an image that I’d like using that shortcut and one of my API keys.
No need for a keyboard shortcut, no need to type anything. I just talk, basically, to Dall-E, and for the other shortcut, the one from Federico Viticci, I just talk to ChatGPT.
And if they produce something useful or something that I need to reuse, it’s very easy to save or then copy-paste text output anywhere on my computer.
As usual, I will put links to all the tools that I’ve mentioned in this episode at the top of the blog post available at macpreneur.com/episode71.
So to recap, I’ve started by discussing why using ChatGPT from a browser window may not be the best and most efficient way.
And then I quickly explain how to get an OpenAI API.
Then I explored five ways to fully exploit the power of ChatGPT, which will help you reduce distractions and streamline your workflows on your Mac.
The five methods were: first, as a native application; second, directly from the menu bar; third, via a floating text box, similar to Spotlight; fourth, right after selecting text; and finally, number five, using Shortcuts automation and Siri, if your Mac is running at least macOS Ventura.
Now, whether you’re already using ChatGPT or you’re still on the fence, I hope this episode has motivated you to get your first OpenAI API key and to start experimenting with the API version of ChatGPT.
Just choose one of the five methods that resonated the most with you and let me know how it went.
You can DM me on Instagram, my handle is. @macpreneurfm.
Next and outro
In the next episode, I will cover practical ways that artificial intelligence can help you improve your writing.
So that’s it for today.
If you haven’t done it yet, visit macpreneur.com/ai to grab your own copy of the top 10 AI tools cheat sheet.
This PDF will give you the edge that you need to boost your solo business, in this fast pacing world.
Once again, it’s macpreneur.com/ai
And until next time, I’m Damien Schreurs, wishing you a great day.