The key to working smarter is learning shortcuts. PC World recently asked several tech experts to share a few of their productivity secrets. Here are some of the best culled from the list.
Let Gmail do the walking for you.
Gmail Product Manager Alex Gawley suggests the following:
1. Forget folders, just search. Typing keywords into the search box yields the exact message you need and saves more time than categorizing it into a folder.
2. Make Gmail your filing assistant. Stop individually filing messages and instead try a search in Gmail for specific messages (e.g., all messages from PayPal). Then select Filter messages like this from the dropdown menu to set up a filter that will automatically label, archive, delete or "star” similar types of incoming messages.
3. Utilize Priority Inbox. Use Gmail's Priority Inbox to automatically separate your important mail from the rest. "Priority Inbox users spend 43% more time reading important messages than unimportant ones and they spend 15% less time reading email overall,” Gawley reports.
Love your keyboard.
"Nothing saves me as much computing time as keyboard shortcuts,” says Ryan Block, Gdgt.com. His tip:
1. Create new keyboard shortcuts. Windows 7 lets you map keys to program shortcuts. Right-click the program shortcut, select the Shortcut tab, choose the Shortcut key box and assign your own shortcut to open the program when you tap that key with the Ctrl and Alt keys.
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Employ Windows shortcuts.
Go beyond the basic shortcuts with a few other tips from Michelle Mastin, PC World:
1. Close a tab by accident? Press Ctrl-Shift-T to reopen it.
2. Flip through a virtual stack of open windows with Flip 3D. Press Windows-Tab.
Set yourself up with Microsoft Office tricks.
Jason Far, Office Team, Microsoft, shares how he gets more out of his day:
1. Trapped in an email thread? Use the Ignore feature in Outlook. Right-click a conversation in the message list and in the dropdown menu, click Ignore.
2. Handle your PPT presentation remotely. Share your presentation remotely by clicking Slide Show in the tool bar, and then click Broadcast Slide Show. In the dialog box click Start Broadcast and a unique URL appears. Copy and send that URL to remote attendees. Participants listening on the phone can open the link and see your slideshow.
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- Zip through email clutter with color coding, subfolders, and a freebie from Microsoft that is way faster than the standard "Find” function.
- Supercharge your computer with ingenious shortcuts for faster surfing, keeping spyware at bay and making favorite Web sites easier to find.
- Impress your boss by not emailing links to web pages. Instead, send actual screen shots – it's faster than clicking through!
- Earn your way into executive meetings by doing the best presentations in the company — SO far ahead of old bullet-point slides!
- Make your cell phone work like a BlackBerry — with free services.
- And much more!