In the last articles, we have already discussed the productivity killers that often await you on your PC or smartphone. But now we’re going to turn the tables and tell you a few tricks on how you can get even more out of your PC. You might have to get used to some of them for a while, but after that you probably won’t want to miss them anymore.
So let’s start with the hacks that will soon save you a lot of time with just a few adjustments:
1. Maximize your mouse speed
When I work with others and they want to show me something, I sometimes have to pull myself together. I then see the cursor leisurely making its way to the object the user wants to click on. Eventually, the cursor is where it’s supposed to be and I’m almost nodding off. 😉
If you haven’t set your mouse speed to the highest level yet, do it right away. If it’s too fast for you at first, don’t worry: you’ll get used to it quickly.
For example, after restarting my MacBook, I notice how slow the default cursor speed is, and I’m really glad when it’s up and my racing mouse can dash across the screen again.
Here’s how to set the mouse speed all the way up:
Mac: System Preferences > Trackpad/Mouse > Point and Click > Pointer Motion (move slider all the way to the right).
Windows: Type “Change the speed at which the cursor moves at” into the search bar on your PC and set the cursor speed to 20.
2. Increase key speed
You can increase not only the mouse speed, but also the key speed and save a lot of time and frustration. Many people don’t know this tip either and wait only a few tenths of a second longer for an action, but the sum makes the poison and pollutes your productive phase.
Especially if you have to delete whole words or several letters in a row very often, this setting makes sense.
And this is how it works:
Mac: System Preferences > Keyboard > Key Repeat or Response Delay (move both sliders all the way to the right).
Windows: Type “keyboard” into the search bar and move both sliders of delay and repeat rate to the right.
3. Create & use abbreviations
Do you always have to write the same names, phrases, empty phrases or even whole passages in texts?
Then it is high time for you to finally benefit from the automatic text completion.
If you often have to write e.g. Dear Sir or Dear Madam, then set it up so that this is always completed automatically when you enter DS or DM. I have created many other abbreviations, which save me a lot of time and annoying typing.
But you have to try out which programs support these automatic completions. You might have to design an email in your writing program, copy the whole text and paste it later into your email client or install an additional program to implement this hack.
Mac: System Preferences > Keyboard > Text
(in Pages, because of case sensitivity, change the settings: Pages > Preferences > auto-correct > automatically capitalize words -> uncheck).
Side-Hack: If you have connected your iPhone to your Mac, you can use the shortcuts automatically.
Windows: You need an additional program for automatic text completion, like Clavier+.
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4. Learn and use shortcuts
Why were shortcuts invented? Exactly! So that computer users and developers would have a shortcut for commands. There are a number of helpful keyboard shortcuts for all sorts of things that, when added together, can save you a lot of time.
Therefore, you should definitely memorize several keyboard shortcuts for frequently used commands. And then you too will experience the miracle of shortcuts!
Note: If you are a relatively new Mac user, you might find it helpful to know that you often have to press command instead of Ctrl on Windows shortcuts to execute the same command.
Mac: One of the most popular shortcuts is probably the key combination of cmd and F, which you can use to search web pages or texts.
If you want to delete a character to the right of the blinking cursor and not just to the left of it, you can achieve this by pressing the backspace key and fn at the same time.
You can find many more very helpful shortcuts for your Mac here.
Windows: You can also open the search field for web pages or texts in Windows by using a key combination. Just press Ctrl and F.
A detailed list for Windows users is linked here.
5. Set bookmarks
You probably know it: You want to do some research and suddenly you come across a page that is insanely interesting and you are about to interrupt the actual thing you wanted to do …
Instead, use a bookmark for this page in a folder created for such situations, so that you can return to it later, after you’ve done your work, and don’t continue surfing without a limit. This way you’ll finish your task faster and have something exciting to look forward to afterwards 😉
6. Use multiple monitors
Since it has become such a matter of course for me, it took a good friend to get me to list this tip here.
Especially in times of the home office, far too many people stare at a single 13-, 15- or 17-inch monitor of their laptop at home and are constantly busy closing windows, minimizing them, opening them again, etc. This of course costs a lot of time and effort. This, of course, costs an immense amount of time and work becomes inefficient.
Even if you have to shell out a few euros for a second or third monitor, it’s worth paying attention to a good and sharp picture (Full HD or 4k) with a refresh rate of at least 75 Hz here.
For my part, I have a second stationary, external monitor with 24″, with which I can work much more productively and which was quite affordable at around €170. When I’m traveling, I pack a 15″ mobile monitor instead.
If you don’t feel like having two additional monitors, you can also safely use just one larger one (e.g. 30 inches), which can then display several windows side by side at the same time.
7. Bonus tip for Mac users: Maccy
Strictly speaking, the program Maccy also supports you with the help of a shortcut. It makes it incredibly easy for you to work with Copy & Paste. This so-called clipboard manager is completely free and opens after the three-key combination cmd + ⇧ + c a field with your last 999 text sections that you have copied. Simply select the appropriate one and paste it cmd + v.
This will save you an extremely large amount of time and you won’t have to search for and open any other files from which you have recently copied something.
However, this cache is only activated after you have started the program. So if you ever need to restart your Mac, open Maccy right away so you always have this hack ready to go.
Conclusion about the productivity hacks
As you have seen, many of these hacks are quick and easy to implement. Maybe you didn’t know some of them and are happy to be able to work even more productively. If you have some of these hacks in stock, we would be happy if you share them with us. We are always looking for ways to make our lives and the lives of others more efficient.
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PPS: Here you can find more productivity tips for your PC.
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