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What are the best online tools to help you get things done smarter and faster? Gina Trapani, lead blogger for Lifehacker.com and author of Upgrade Your Life, is an expert at helping people master modern technology.

Here’s how everyday Joes and Janes can be like master geeks, she says:

• Keyboard shortcuts. It may sound like a no-brainer, but people still waste energy moving their hands from keyboard to mouse, double clicking, moving the pointer, putting their hands back.

“Most software comes with a quick reference you can print out and put near the keyboard,” Trapani says. “Use that instead of the mouse.”

• Keep to-do’s, calendars and reminders front and center. Trapani only keeps windows open showing top tasks, a two-month calendar and daily reminders on her desktop. She uses GeekTool (Mac) and Samurize (Windows) to keep her on track.

Tip: Make your to-do’s doable by breaking them down into easy tasks. “Often when people get to the point when they are writing it, they are doing a brain dump. They just have to get things down on paper,” Trapani says. “But to get to the point where you’re checking things off, you want to make it a doable to-do list.”

• Embrace “cloud computing,” or using online software. “The Lifehacker staff uses a shared GCal calendar (on Google) to schedule vacations, conferences and software launches, and I use it for my personal calendar as well,” she says.

• Stop storing passwords in your brain. Trapani uses a program called KeePass, a free, secure database for storing passwords. It even arranges them into folders. One master password unlocks it all.

— Adapted from “Clearing Up a Blurry Work Life,” Marci Alboher, Shifting Careers blog

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