I remember when I first met my boyfriend Tim, he impressed me by alt-tabbing and exporting paths from Photoshop to Illustrator. I was mesmerized by his Illustrator work flow: no visible tool bars, full screen mode. He was a keyboard master. Then I saw his desktop and realized he was an application-savant. Still…the impression was made during that critical get-to-know you phase.
Get L337 skills that impress the geekiest of your friends by becoming a mouse-free keyboard Jedi. Not only is it cool, it’s a major productivity booster.
Here’s some links to get you started.
Hack Attack: Become a Gmail Master
- Hack Attack: Mouse-less Firefox
- Windows Shortcuts You Never Knew Existed
- Microsoft Support – Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows
- Beginner to intermediate Microsoft Word Shortcuts
Now, don’t go off and try to learn everything at once! Unless you have an amazingly spongy memory it will be a waste of time. I usually learn a couple at a time by writing them on a post it and sticking it to my monitor. Once I have them down, I find new ones. The key is to actually use the shortcuts…force yourself, it’s harder than you think to start breaking the mouse addiction. It will feel awkward. But once you have, you’ll feel liberated.
I’ve got the basics of most my apps down, so now I have a cheat sheet for Firefox Shortcuts pasted to my monitor. Here’s a pdf of it, it’s a tri-fold that will eventually have a section for Gmail shortcuts and one for my macros and custom shortcuts in my text editor and various IDEs.
And once you’ve learned all the keyboard shortcuts you need, it may be time to take it to the next level and use an application like Hotkeys (freeware) that extends windows keys shortcuts.