Cool time-saving tech tips everybody should know

Among many TED talks I stumbled upon David Pogue’s 10 top time-saving tech tips. I liked it because it’s simple, fast and effective: it’s a list of many tips that will help you a lot, like how to save time when scrolling a web page or how to use Google as a calculator. Simple tech stuff everybody should know, but they don’t, which irritates me more than it should. As the speaker says:

For some reason, there’s no standard syllabus, there’s no basic course. They just sort of give you your computer and then kick you out of the nest. You’re supposed to learn this stuff how? Just by osmosis. Nobody ever sits down and tells you, “This is how it works.”

For the “TL;DR” people, the video is at the end of the post.

For the “I don’t have time for the video” people, I wrote a list of the tips, based on the transcript of the talk:

  1. On the web, use the space bar to scroll down: it scrolls down one page and you don’t waste time by rotating the mouse wheel or dragging two fingers on your touchpad. Shift+spacebar is the opposite: one page up. Works on every computer, every browser.
  2. Use the tab key to move forward in form boxes, shift+tab to go backwards. When you select the pop-up menu, just press the letter of what you want to select. In the speaker’s example, in a “choose your state” form “type the first letter of your state over and over and over. So if you want Connecticut, go C, C, C. If you want Texas, go T, T, and you jump right to that thing without even opening the pop-up menu.” Works also if you open the pop-up menu.
  3. To increase the text size of a web page: control+plus (cmd+plus on a Mac). Substitute the plus with minus for the opposite.
  4. When typing on your phone, don’t bother to press dotspacebar and shift** to insert a capital letter. Just press spacebar twice and it’s done.
  5. “If you want to redial somebody that you’ve dialed before, all you have to do is hit the call button, and it puts the last phone number into the box for you,and at that point you can hit call again to actually dial it.”
  6. Voicemail (NOTE: this shortcuts may not be applied in every nation): The carrier’s instructions on how to let a message can be skipped by pressing the following shortcuts for USA:
    1. Verizon: *
    2. AT&T, T-Mobile: #
    3. Sprint: I
  7. Use Google as:
    1. calculator: type the math, e.g.: 7569/7 or even plot sin(3x-2)
    2. unit conversion: 5 € to $, 1 km to mile, 3 months in days
    3. dictionary: type define serendipity and you will get the explanation what this strange word means
  8. To highlight a word, just double click it, don’t drag the mouse all over the whole word. To delete the highlighted text, just type over it, don’t delete and then type.
  9. Your camera takes too much time to take the picture? “Shutter lag is the time between your pressing the shutter button and the moment the camera actually snaps. […] So that’s because the camera needs time to calculate the focus and the exposure, but if you pre-focus with a half-press, leave your finger down, no shutter lag! You get it every time.”
  10. When giving a talk with slides on your computer (like PowerPoint, Keynote, LibreOffice, OpenOffice or a PDF file), hit the letter B to Black out the screen so the audience will pay attention to you and not to the presentation. W to un-blank it again.
Categories: Computer // Life Hacks
Tags: Browser // Computer // Lifehack // Shortcut // TED // Time-saving // Tip // Trick