Keyboard or mouse?
In a recent poll, I asked our business friends and peers if they preferred keyboard or the mouse. Almost everyone said they can’t live without the mouse. I have to admit is quite difficult to work today’s programs and even the Internet without a mouse. Far too many sites and applications have interfaces built specifically for interacting with the mouse. When I had my first taste of computers it was the other way around.
Why learn computer keyboard shortcuts
Sure, I love the mouse it does make things a lot easier than typing long strings of commands or having to remember shortcuts. Yet, the mouse can also slow you down. You hardly notice it though because moving our hand between the mouse and keyboard is so ingrained into us, it has become a habit. I surely didn’t notice it until I found myself pausing a minute to orientate myself whenever I was switching between the mouse and keyboard.
An example (for right handers) – when you have to type ‘o’, ‘p’, ‘;’, ‘
Another scenario. My husband is a classic mouse person. Whenever he has to select a word or block of text to copy, he highlights it using the mouse, right clicks and clicks copy. Then right clicks to paste again. Trouble is, he’d take forever to make the selection as accurate as possible and it takes him a second or two to find the copy button in the menu. I’m always so frustrated because it would be so much faster to hold down the shift key and right/left/up/down buttons to select, then Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V (on Windows).
This is not a Windows vs. Mac thing both operating systems have many keyboard shortcuts built in natively and all apps have some shortcuts.
How to quickly learn computer keyboard shortcuts
You just have to look them up. Once I realized what a pain it is to keep switching, I began to look up ways to quickly switch, save, close, open, navigate, enter data into anything I am working with using keyboard shortcuts and am quite amazed how much more productive I am.
There is a down side to shortcuts – you have to memorize them. Because of this, it will seem like you are taking a whole lot longer especially when you’re just starting to learn the shortcuts. I certainly don’t memorize every single shortcut for every program. However, I make a point to learn the ones that are standard for the operating system and also the programs that I use daily. In fact, I recently learned more shortcuts for Evernote and it’s allowed me to write several blog posts faster than I used to and that’s a good thing. Never did I peg myself as a keyboard user, yet after giving it a fair trial, I’m hooked and the benefits show.
Pick a program you use multiple times throughout the day, it could be the browser. Learn a few shortcuts and try it yourself.
Lynette Chandler enjoys applying technology to marketing and showing other business owners how. Get more tips from Lynette on her blog http://TechBasedMarketing.com/
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