To boost your productivity, stop using your trackpad.
Most people waste hours of their lives because ⌘+C/V is the only shortcut they use. I was one of those people and made time-wasting gestures like
- using the trackpad to switch between active windows instead of ⌘-tabbing
- scrolling the page instead of pressing the space bar
- using the cursor to open a new browser window instead of using ⌘ + T
You might question whether such tiny actions will make a difference in your life. I promise they will.
You’ll bring a 3-second action down to a 1-second action. And because you repeat those actions hundreds of times each day, you’ll save an hour a day.
This advice primarly applies to Mac Users.
Navigate Through Your Browser In Lightspeed
Much of the work at our laptops takes place within a browser. And while the discussion on Safari vs. Chrome will likely continue forever, these browser commands work for both browsers.
⌘ + L
This one is so simple but so impactful. We’re continually visiting new websites and wasting our time with manual cursor navigation.
With ⌘ + L you select the address bar (the place in your browser where you type in any web address). Then, start typing the website you’re looking for, and select the right suggestion using the up/down arrows.
⌘ + T
This one opens a new tab for you. You can use this one anytime you want to open a new website inside of your existing browser window.
Once you opened a new tab, make sure to use ⌘ + L to type in your web address (instead of using your trackpad).
⌘ + N
This shortcut opens a new tab in a new browser window. I use this one anytime I start working on a new task.
Again, once you opened a new window, make sure to use ⌘ + L to type in your web address (instead of using your trackpad).
⌘ + ⇧ + T
This is a life-saver. It’s the ⌘+Z of your browser. It will open a tab you recently closed.
Whenever you accidentally closed a window, make sure to remember this shortcut.
⌘ + Option + ► or ◀
Navigate to the next and the previous tabs. This one is really powerful if you work with one monitor. It’ll guide you to the different windows in your browser, saving you three seconds each time you use it.
If you’ve never used this one, try it out now. You’ll be astonished about its simplicity and speed.
⌘ + 1…8
This one is also for tab navigation. You’ll navigate to a tab # (count form the left). For example, ⌘ + 1, will take you to the first tab in your browser.
I prefer to use the previous shortcut because I don’t want to use my brainpower to count which window I want to open. The only time I use it is when I am writing in a text document.
There are other ones like Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + Shift + Tab to navigate between the tabs, but I’ll ignore them. It’s enough to know one option and stick to it.
⌘ + ⇧ + N
This opens a new private window for you. Yet, don’t confuse incognito windows with data privacy.
Still, this shortcut is useful when you’re searching for something you don’t want to appear in your browser history.
⌘ + Y
Open and close your browser history. This one is practical if you’re researching a lot. It’s way faster than clicking on settings and navigating manually to your history. ´
When you press the spacebar while reading, you’ll move your window down one screen. This one replaces endless scrolling.
Whenever you’re reading a text but are too lazy to scroll, you can use this one.
⇧ + Spacebar
This is just the opposite shortcut to the previous one. It will move your window up one screen.
⌘ + R
This is how you can reload a page. I only use ⌘ + R if a page isn’t loading, or if I need to sign up somewhere that needs meticulous timing.
Use These Shortcuts To Boost Your Writing Speed
Working at a screen makes you a daily writer. Whether it’s e-mails, text files, or presentations — you write all the time. Here are ten powerful shortcuts for text navigation and text selection.
When using these shortcuts, you’ll navigate through your text like a writing ninja. Here are my five personal favorite time-savers when it comes to maneuvering within your text:
⌘ + Left Arrow ◀
Jump to the beginning of a line.
⌘ + Right Arrow ►
Jump to the end of a line.
Option + Right Arrow ►
Jump to the beginning of the current word
⌘ + Up Arrow ▲
Jump to the beginning of the entire text.
⌘ + Down Arrow ▼
Jump to end of all text.
Apart from navigating within a text, you’ll also need to highlight specific passages. This is powerful, while proofreading, researching, or editing.
The great news is you don’t need to remember new combinations. It’s the same logic as for text navigation. You just add a shift key to the above shortcuts.
Here are five shortcuts that will allow you to select words, lines, or entire documents quickly.
⇧ + ⌘ + Left Arrow ◀
Select text to the beginning of a line.
⇧ + ⌘ + Right Arrow ►
Select text to the end of a line.
⇧ + Option + Right Arrow ►
Select text to the end of the current word.
⇧ + ⌘ + Up Arrow ▲
Select text from the current cursor location to the beginning of all text.
⇧ + ⌘ + Down Arrow ▼
Select text from the current cursor location until the end of all text.
Basic Commands for Your Mac
Lastly, here are some basic commands you can use on your mac and multiple other programs.
⌘ + Z
Undo. This is the command we’d love to have in real life as well. By pressing ⌘ + Z you can undo what you just did. This shortcut will save your ass.
It works for many programs: Whether you’ve accidentally deleted a file, applied a video filter you don’t like, or erased pages of carefully crafted writing.
⌘ + W
Close. This is a universal keyboard shortcut for closing whatever window or file you currently have open.
⌘ + Q
Quit apps. When you click the red “x” in the top-left corner of an application window, it does not only take way too much of your precious time.
In fact, macOS won’t actually close the program altogether. Instead, it will minimize the app to the dock. By using ⌘ + Q you’ll quit your programs.
⌘ + ⇥
Switch between programs. Using ⌘ + ⇥ allows you to save time every time you switch between different programs.
Spotify → Browser → InDesign. Instead of searching for windows with your trackpad, this keyboard shortcut allows you to flip between apps without your hands leaving the keyboard.
⌘ + M
Minimize the front window. While ⌘ +Q was the shortcut for your red button, this one is for the yellow one. It won’t close but minimize your front window.
⌘ + P
Print. Simple and straightforward. Whether you’re in your browser or in a text document, this keyboard shortcut will open the print settings.
⌘ + A
Select all content. This one makes you select everything that’s one specific page. It’ll save you scrolling and highlighting.
⌘ + F
Find a word within the opened file. This shortcut allows you to quickly jump down to a specific part of a website or long document when you know what you are searching for.
Practice & Use What You Need
The best articles only improve your life if you apply what you read. Here’s how you can integrate the new shortcuts into your life:
- write down your five favorite new commands on a piece of paper
- place that physical paper next to your keyboard
- keep it there for five days until you feel like you internalized the shortcuts
You don’t need a productivity coach to use your time effectively. Instead, you can save an hour a day by being smart about your keyboard.
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