Listen instead

In the spirit of Time = Money, I’ll post some time-saving tips on Mondays to hopefully give you back some time to spend either managing your money, or perhaps something even more important, like spending time with your family.

Watching my wife work on a computer drives me absolutely crazy. I know lots of shortcuts and time savers and my mind is usually way ahead of the computer interface. When I watch her use the computer and see her not using the shortcuts I’ve become accustomed to, or worse, see her dwell on a screen when the next step is (to me anyway) obvious, frustrates me to no end. I’m still learning patience on this one… try to teach rather than always do… but for the rest of the world, here are just a few of the time-saving tips that will give you minutes and possible hours of your day/week back. Some of the following tips apply to Windows machines only (sorry Mac friends – please post your tips as a reply):

  • When word processing and moving from one word to another, don’t scroll with just the arrow keys, 1 character at a time. Hold down the CTRL button while hitting the arrow buttons on the keyboard. Now the cursor moves a whole word at a time, not just 1 character at a time.
  • Similarly, don’t delete 1 character at a time. Hold down the CTRL button and delete to delete a whole word at once.
  • If you need to delete or highlight an entire line of text place the cursor at the beginning of the line (use the HOME button) and hold down the SHIFT button and use the arrow keys. This will highlight the whole line. You don’t need to start the cursor at the beginning of the line if you want to highlight just portions. If you only need certain words, hold down SHIFT and CTRL, then use your arrow keys to highlight a word at a time, rather than a character at a time.
  • Be careful using the Backspace key on web pages. If your cursor is not in an input field, Backspace acts the same as the Back browser button, taking you to the previous web page.
  • Copy, cut, paste. Use the shortcut keys for this. CTRL-C = copy, CTRL-V = paste, CTRL-X = cut.
  • Undo/Redo. CTRL=Z = undo, CTRL-Y = redo.
  • In your browser, CTRL-T will open a new tab (in Firefox and Internet Explorer 7+)
  • CTRL-ESC will open the Windows Start Menu
  • The TAB button will move you sequentially through input fields in almost any program. To go backward, use SHIFT-TAB

There are many more, but these simple ones should get you started on the road to productivity. I hope these tips enable you to save some time and therefore, save some money!