Jul 19

Useful, wrist & time saving shortcuts – when browsing the web!

We all browse the web a lot (most of us 60% or more of our day!). Here are a few shortcuts that we find helpful and that I (Josiah) use every day. What do you use that I missed?

Ctrl+L – Jump to address bar
Ctrl+K – Jump to search bar (Ctrl+E for IE)
Ctrl+Tab – Switch open tabs
Ctrl+1,2,3,4…. – Go to tab number 1,2,3,4…
Ctrl+9 – Go to last tab
(also Ctrl+Page Down and Ctrl+Page Up navigate open tabs)
Backspace – go back
Alt+Left arrow – go back
Alt+Right arrow – go forward
Ctrl+F – Find text on a page

Happy productive surfing!

Jun 27

Little known, easier and fast way to copy and paste in Windows using your mouse – without using Ctrl-C!

Copying and pasting is probably one of the most used functions we go through every day.

Since not everything can be automated (but what can, should be), we are on a constant hunt to find ways to make the routine easier.

One such way is copying and pasting with ease – using your mouse buttons!

If your hands are already on your mouse, this method can be much easier, and require less movement of your hands and wrists, to accomplish a quick copy/paste!

It works just like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, except hold down the WINDOWS Key, and click the Right mouse button to Copy, and the Left mouse button to Paste.

  • COPY: Windows+Right Mouse Button
  • PASTE: Windows+Left Mouse Button

May not work in some designer programs (like CorelDraw) but should function in most windows programs like your email and web browser.

Happy copying!

button to Paste.

Feb 17

8 ways to use Outlook more efficiently and save hours a month

The average worker spends half their day on emails – that is huge when you consider that equals 70 hours month, 105 days a year – and if you are paid at $15/hour, that comes out to $12,600 a year, per worker!

No word on how much of that time is spent on personal email versus work email.

Email is one of the key areas we at JetStream focus on saving you time and improving productivity.

Here are 8 tips for boosting your productivity in Outlook. Which email program do you use and would like to see tips for?

  1. Use Rules – move common messages (newsletters, blog subscriptions, specials) you always move by hand or delete into other folders so they don’t clutter up your day. Read them when you have down time.
  2. Only use flags when necessary – ideally you want to take care of it as SOON as you read it.
  3. Did you know you can drag and drop an email on the calendar to turn it into an event?
  4. Create messages quickly by Pasting copied text inside your Outlook mail view – or by creating a shortcut on your desktop to a certain person.
  5. Use a Spam Blocker like Cloudmark to eliminate 90% of the junk (each time you have to look over an email and hit Delete, it takes time and mental energy)
  6. Use Signatures for all your common signatures – never type out an ending to an email more than once!
  7. Use QuickParts (in Outlook 2007+) for anything you ever have to type – instructions, FAQ’s, address, phone number, directions, common questions you ask… Easy to setup and use!
  8. Bonus tip – Use advanced macros and scripts to automate tips #4, 6 and 7! We can show you how, just send us an email.

Any other tips for outlook? What is your favorite time saving technique?

Aug 09

Windows shortcuts and hotkeys

Last time we explored some common shortcut keys. Click here to view that post to get caught up, then let’s explore some more useful shortcuts that can save us time and carpel tunnel!
'Ctrl Alt Delete pillows! Geek gear.' photo (c) 2010, Jennifer 8. Lee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
The mouse is a wonderful tool for getting around on the computer, but it is not always the most efficient tool at your disposal. Most of the time, if you can use the keyboard to a task you will save the time of grabbing the mouse and finding where to click.

General Windows hotkeys
To minimize all your windows and see the desktop = [Win] + [D] or [Win]+[M] (the [Win] key is the key with the windows icon on it generally next to the [Alt] key.)
To bring up your task manager = [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Delete] or [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc]
To shut down your computer = [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Delete] **

When text is selected generally these will work on most programs but not all, because in some programs one or all of these short cuts may have different functionality.
Underline = [Ctrl] + [U]
Bold = [Ctrl] + [B]
Italics = [Ctrl] + [I]

Alternative Shortcuts
Another way to get around programs with the keyboard is using the [Alt] commands. You might notice on most menus there is an underlined letter in the name of the menu. That is the letter for the [Alt] command (ex. [Alt] + [F] will open the File menu). Once a menu is open you can generally just type the underlined letter to execute that command (ex. If the File menu is open just press [O] to open). This can be helpful if you take the time to memorize the letters to execute a command (ex. To open a file you could hold down [Alt] and type [F][O])

Shortcut Links
Here are some links to hotkey lists for a few common programs:

** Note: the [Insert] key and [Delete] key may be labeled [Ins] and [Del] on the keyboard respectively

Post in the comment section  your favorite shortcuts, or if you have a shortcut list you use for your favorite program!

Aug 05

Common shortcuts to make writing and using computer faster

When using your computer there are fast ways to do things and slow ways to do things. Many times we get so comfortable doing something one way that we don’t even consider trying something in a new way.

As you work to increase your productivity, it is well worth your time to learn and memorize shortcut keys for the tasks you do the most. Don’t get bogged down with trying to remember every shortcut; just start with the 3-4 that you would use the most. Once you get used to using those you can check the list again to see if there would be any others that might be helpful for you. What are the most common shortcuts you use on a daily basis?
'Keyboard' photo (c) 2005, Peter Harrison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
To use a shortcut, generally you hold down the [Ctrl], [Shift], [Alt], or [Win] keys and press another key (for example, To undo the last change hold down the [Ctrl] key and press [ Z].) Some programs utilize the function keys ([F1] = help). Most programs have a list of shortcut keys for the program in the help files. If you can’t find one within the program try doing a web search for it. 

Here is a list of some common short cut keys (for Windows users) that will immediately make you more efficient if you aren’t already using them. In fact I used many of them to write this.

Most Common Shortcuts

Undo = [Ctrl] + [Z]
Redo = [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Z] or [Ctrl] + [Y] (Depending on the program)

Move cursor a word at a time = [Ctrl] + the right or left arrow key
Move to the top of a document or web page = [Ctrl] + [Home]
Move to the bottom of a document or web page= [Ctrl] + [End]

Select All = [Ctrl] + [A]
Select a Letter = [Shift] + the right or left arrow key
Select A Word = [Shift] + [Ctrl] +the right or left arrow key
Select from the cursor to the end of a line = [Shift] + [End]
Select from the cursor to the beginning of a line = [Shift] + [Home]
Select from the cursor to the end of a document = [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [End]
Select from the cursor to the beginning of a document = [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [Home]

Copy = [Ctrl] + [C] or [Ctrl] + [Insert] ** (which ever you prefer)
Cut = [Ctrl] + [X] or [Ctrl] + [Delete] ** (which ever you prefer)
Paste = [Ctrl] + [V] or [Shift] + [Insert] ** (which ever you prefer)

Save = [Ctrl] + [S]
Save as = [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [S] (usually)
Print = [Ctrl] + [P]
Open a document in a program = [Ctrl] + [O]
Start a New document = [Ctrl] + [N]
Close a program = [Alt] + [F4]
Close a tab or document within a program = [Ctrl] + [w] or [Ctrl] + [F4] (usually)
Jump between open documents in a program = [Ctrl] + [Tab]

** Note: the [Insert] key and [Delete] key may be labeled [Ins] and [Del] on the keyboard respectively

What are your favorite shortcut keys? What did I miss? Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll explore more useful shortcuts you can put to use daily!

Jul 11

One way to improve your productivity at work

Here’s something I’ve been trying the last few months as a way to boost my productivity.

The way the brain and our bodies work is on for a period, off for a period, on, then off. We can’t normally go for 8 hours of continuous, productive work. We need breaks, stretches, things to take our minds of the project to, ironically, get us refocused.

So here’s what I’ve been doing

  • Pick a project that needs to get done (prioritize your list of projects first)
  • Get everything together for it, and then GO for 15 minutes. No emails, no phone calls, no interruptions (or, if not possible, I just try and keep the interruptions short)
  • During that 15 minutes FOCUS and WORK hard – get as much done as I can
  • Then, take a 5 minute break. Check email. Get up and “lead by walking around,” talk to someone, answer a question
  • Then, back at it for a solid, dedicated 15 minutes on that project.

This has allowed me to get more done on certain projects than working on them for the entire day. Sometimes, depending on the type of work, I can get more done in 10 minutes of focused work than I could in 4 hours of distracted work.

Give it a try! How did it work for you?