I’m looking to make things easier and hoping that when you are using your technology, these time saving computer tips can help. So, get ready to be ready for this quick and easy list of easy to use and understand skills to add to your ‘computer know-how’.
Fun, Time Saving Computer Tips
Technology is supposed to improve our quality of life and save us time. It should not slow us down or waste time.
There are literally countless ways to speed things up and make technology more useful. From shortcuts on your computer to some Google-Fu to improve your search results. We will be sharing tips for your Mac and PC. These tips we share in this article are not only shortcuts to save you time, but they are fun to use as well.
#1 Narrow Your Search by Using Quotation Marks
Here is one of many Google-Fu time-saving computer tips. If you are getting unrelated or irrelevant search results, then you should wrap what you are looking for in quotes. This tells Google to only display EXACTLY what is inside the quotes. It doesn’t matter what you have in the quotes either. This makes it much quicker and easier to get the search results you need.
#2 Rotate Through Open Applications with Alt-Tab
Rapidly moving between applications on your computer is easy. To go to another app fast, hold down the Alt and Tab keys at the same time. You will see a display of all the open apps. While holding down the Alt key, you can then tab through them until you have the one you want to be selected, then let go of the keys. Now that is just one of the many time-saving computer tips using the Alt key.
On a Mac, press Command and Tab keys to get the same effect.
#3 Discover Things Fast on Your Computer Using Natural Language
Trying to seek out files tucked away down in folders across your PC or Mac can take a long time. So, use Windows Search/Cortana on Windows 10 or Spotlight/Siri on the Mac to hunt for what you are looking to find. Simply type in your question. In a few seconds, your computer will discover what you are looking for and you’ll be set.
Cortana in Windows 10 and Spotlight (or Siri, if you wish to talk) are smart and can grasp your natural language to conduct searches. So, for instance, you’ll say “show ME Word documents created last week” or “Photos were taken yesterday.”
#4 Use Right Click to Do a Search for a Time Saving Computer Tip
We all run into a word, phrase or person mentioned that we have no idea what it means or who they are. That’s usually when we start clicking to open another tab or window in our browser, go to our favorite search engine and start searching for what it means or who they are.
Instead of opening another tab or browser, you just need to right-click on the word or phrase. A menu will appear.
- Chrome, Safari or Firefox simply select ‘Search Google’.
- Internet Explorer, by default, will offer ‘Search Bing’.
- Microsoft Edge it will say ‘Search the web for “*********”, with your search term or phrase in the quotes.
Your browser automatically opens a new tab and displays the search results for that word or phrase and once again, saved by more time-saving computer tips.
#5 Scroll Up and Down A Page Using the Spacebar
Moving up and down a webpage can be a pain if you’re using the scroll bar and mouse, or even arrow keys. The spacebar can allow you to move up down a page much faster. When you have a webpage open, simply tap on the spacebar to scroll down. To scroll up, you just hold the Shift button while tapping the spacebar.
#6 Access the Emoji Menu Quickly in MacOS for a Fun Time Saving Computer Tip
If you can’t figure out the words to convey what you’re feeling, use Emoji assistance on the Mac, it takes seconds to find the right fit. Hold down the CTRL, Command, along with the Spacebar simultaneously and an Emoji list appears. Select the Emoji for the message you wish to convey.
#7 Open New Tabs with Scroll Wheel of Mouse for a Very Easy Time Saving Computer Tip
Now, the mouse is another source of time-saving computer tips. Your mouse holds the answer to quickly opening a link in a new tab. Simply place your cursor on the link, click down on the mouse’s scroll wheel. A new tab will auto-magically open. This saves you the time of not having to copy the link, opening a new tab and pasting the link into the new tab.
#8 Use the Browser Bar for Searches
You no longer need to take time opening a new tab or window and pull up Google to search for something. Modern web browsers provide you with the choice to conduct a search straight from the browser bar. All that is required, is for you to type in the search term or phrase where the website addresses usually appear. Hit enter and your search results auto-magically appear.
#9 use “Site:” to Search For Content on A Single Site
If you want to use Google for a search, it has many time-saving computer tips, but this one is a good one. You can search a specific website, use the search engine’s “Site:” command. To do this, just type “site:”, with no space after the colon, enter the website name into the search box. As an example, “site:joebrochin.com” (without quotations).
To search for a specific word or phrase on this specific site, just enter it after the website name. For instance, “site:joebrochin.com scammers” (minus quotation marks and space between the website name and search term/phrase), hit Enter. Google should display the results relevant to the search term/phrase just from that website.
#10 Login Faster Using Password Managers
We all have trouble remembering passwords. Another time-saving computer tip is the use of password lockers, or password managers, to address this. These lockers and managers will store and protect your passwords in one location in an organized fashion. The apps are simple to use. If you need a password, just open the app and look through the list of websites to find the one you are looking for.
Many of these password lockers/managers will even pre-populate the login information when you got to the website if there are password and username stored for it. This makes things much faster. Some will even generate complex passwords for you and store them.
MORE: Best Password Managers
#11 Creating Templates For The Most Frequently Used Documents
If you regularly discover yourself using the same documents but refuse to continue wasting time filling in the same information every time you open them, think about making them a template in MS Word or whatever word processor you use. This is much easier than it may sound.
Open an existing document, or create a new one that you wish to make a template. Select File>Save As. Select where to save it and then when the Word prompts you to name your file, you’ll have an option which says “Save as type.” Instead of “Word Document,” select the drop-down box and select “Word Template”. Save and now you have a template you will be able to open from now on and just complete important items.
#12 Keep Your Files Stored In One Location From Anywhere
Cloud storage is the best way to keep your data synchronized on all the computers and devices you may have and utilize. There are many services to choose from. Most have a free offering but will charge once you need more storage space. Some of these services are Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Carbonite, etc.
Once you have chosen a cloud storage provider, upload the files, then download the cloud storage app onto your computer and all the devices you’ll be accessing the files from. Just make sure you test you can access the files from each device after you download the application and before you go on the road.
#13 Press Tab for Scrolling Through Forms
If you fill out a form and you would like to quickly go through it, the Tab key is the solution. Every time you finish one field and you want to go to the next one, hit the Tab key and you’ll move to the next field. If you have to go back for whatever reason, hold down shift, and hit Tab.
#14 Do A Quick Calculation In macOS
Wish to make a brief calculation in macOS? There is a hidden calculator in Spotlight that may assist you to do just that. From any location in the operating system, hold the Command key and hit the spacebar. Your Spotlight search will instantly emerge. From that point, just type your math problem and it’ll spew out a response.
#15 Refresh a Browser Using F5
To quickly refresh a webpage, just press the F5 key. This can save time when your typing. You don’t have to take your hands off the keyboard to click the refresh button using a mouse.
#16 Attain an Additional Computer Monitor
One display is no longer sufficient for most people. Getting an additional monitor will make you a lot more productive in almost everything you do. Do some research while writing a paper in MS Word? You can have Google open on one monitor, while the paper is open on the other. This keeps you from jumping back and forth between the two and saves time. Two monitors will also ease many other functions like helping you make videos, photo and image editing and so much more.
#17 Keyboard Shortcuts as a Time Saving Computer Tip
Keyboard shortcuts are around for many years, however many of us still do not use them. As an example:
- Hold the CTRL and A keys down at the same time – Selects everything on the current page.
- Press the ALT and Left Arrow keys down at the same time– Goes back to the last page in the web browser tab
- Hold Shift and F7 keys down at the same time – Pulls up the thesaurus search in MS Word.
Most commands are doable on the MAC as well but use the ‘command key’ rather than the CTRL key on a PC.
#18 Remote Desktop for More Mobility & Time Saving
Did you leave a crucial file on your computer at home? Well, instead of turning around and going back home to grab it, you should install a remote desktop app. These apps are installed on your computers and smartphone and allow one to remotely access their computer from anywhere. With these types of apps, you can get the files you want and move them to your other computers or smartphone. A bunch of remote desktop apps are on the market that you can try out.
Check out The Best Remote Access Software from PC Magazine.
#19 Macros are Used for Many Time Saving Computer Tips
…Especially for When You Enter The Same Text Often
If you frequently find yourself entering the same text in Word, try to create a Macro. In the MS Word top menu, select “View” then select “Macros”. You’ll be allowed to record the macro. Inside this pane, label the Macro, provide a description, and select your keyboard shortcut. Your next step is to return to the Word document and enter the desired content.
When the process is complete, click on the Macros button once again and stop recording. Close the document, open a new document, and you either select a keyboard shortcut or choose a Macro in the Macros pane to see how it works.
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