Mac OS X’s System Preferences program is the one-stop shop for customising many aspects of your operating system. Open System Preferences by choosing Apple menu > System Preferences, or by clicking on the Dock icon that looks like a set of gears. 

Each preference pane is labelled to give you a clear idea of the type of elements it lets you change: Appearance, Spotlight, Displays, Network, and so on. Many of these panes have settings that can help you save time and make your computing experience better or more efficient. 

Hide the Dock
The Dock is a useful way to access applications, folders, and files, but it also takes up a fair amount of space – valuable space, especially on a laptop. Since you probably don’t need to see the Dock all the time, hide it. Go to the Dock preference pane and select the Automatically hide and show the Dock option. Now the Dock will remain invisible until you move your cursor to the bottom, left, or right edge of your screen, depending on where you’ve positioned your Dock. 

While you’re in the preference pane, check out the other Dock options. Here you can change its size, position, and more. It’s also easy to access these settings from the Dock itself: Control-click on the Dock’s separator to see a contextual menu.

Display the date and day of the week in your menu bar
You might want to see more than just the time in your Mac’s menu bar. Go to the Date & Time preference pane, and then click the Clock tab. There, you can make some changes: choose to show the day of the week, the date, AM/PM, and more. These can help you keep track of the date with a glance at the menu bar. In the Clock tab, there’s also a setting to have the clock announce the time to you every hour.