Perhaps you’ve been there before. You’re talking with your mom, an aunt, or another poor soul who’s been out of the loop for far too long.
“You don’t know what ‘copy and paste’ is?”
Just think of the time they could have saved, right? The thing is, all of us spend more time on work than we need to only because we don’t know there’s another way.
There’s almost always another way.
There are keyboard shortcuts to navigate through text at blazing speeds. There’s an app that can log you into any site in just a few keystrokes. There’s a new way to organize your emails.
To share just a few of the efficiency tips we’ve learned, I gave the following presentation to the Lemonly team. We call it cross-pollination.
1. The keyboard is quicker than the mouse.
Say you wanted to get to the bottom of a document. Which route will you take?
- Scroll down and click.
- Press Command-Down.
Let’s ask Usain Bolt, who saves time by running like the wind.
Should you scroll down and click?
Should you press Command-Down?
2. More keyboard tips
Command-Up or Command-Down
— Go to the top or bottom of a document.
Command-Left or Command-Right
— Go to the beginning or end of a line.
Option-Up or Option-Down
— Go to the beginning or end of a paragraph.
Option-Left or Option-Right
— Go to the beginning or end of a word.
3. There’s no right way to be more efficient
There’s only your way, which gets better over time.
1. Once a month, do a quick audit of your most-common tasks.
2. Find shortcuts and ways to be more efficient.
3. Stick to the system and repeat.
4. Meet the Alfred app
It’s an app launcher.
Type in an application’s name to open that app.
It’s a file searcher, contact searcher, calculator, dictionary…
Alfred has built-in features like a calculator and 1Password integration.
It can run custom workflows.
Start a Harvest timer, search Slack, send a tweet, and much more.
And it’s a Google search box.
If what you type isn’t an app or part of a feature or workflow, the query becomes a Google search.
5. Design tips from Lan Yan, visual designer
F1, F2, etc. keys
- “For Adobe programs, I like to have the preference ‘Use F1, etc. as standard function keys’ on. (You can turn this on via System Preferences.)
- “This allows a quick access in Adobe programs to a few important panels like Layers, Gradient, creating Symbols and Attributes which I toggle through quite a bit. (You can still use these function keys as they are labeled by holding down fn.)”
- “Very handy whenever you have a repeating element in your design/across many art boards.
- “The best use case is usually doing wireframes or website designs where you need a button or icon to be consistent, easily editable and reliable to be the same in multiple places.”
6. Email tips from Morgan Hauck, communications/marketing manager
- “I use filters for client emails so items are already labeled when they come into my inbox. Also for filters, if there are emails I can’t unsubscribe to for some reason but I don’t want to read, I filter them to become marked as read and archived so I don’t even have to see them come through.”
- Learn more:
- “I use the search tool all of the time, like from:firstname.lastname@example.org to see all emails from Colin quickly, or to:email@example.com to see everything I’ve sent to John.”
- Learn more:
- “Get rid of junk mail! I use this most for my personal accounts, but get an account on unroll.me and quickly unsubsribe to all of your email lists in one spot, and roll up your other list emails into one email per day. It’s so slick.”
7. The Lightning Round: Keyboard shortcuts
- Command-Tab and Command-Shift-Tab
- Cycle through applications.
- Hide the currently focused application.
- Shift-Option-Up or Shift-Option-Down
- Jump to the channel above or below with an unread message.
- Shows a channel search window.
- Command-1, Command-2, etc.
- Switch to the first tab, switch to the second tab, etc.
- Command-T or Command-W
- Open a tab or close a tab
- Reopen the last tab you’ve closed.
Now you just have to decide what you’re going to do with the time you’ve saved.
You’ve earned it.