Computers are good at automating repetitive actions - so, why are you doing all that pointing and clicking?
As you know I don't do lists of applications nor detailed how to articles. The JustEnoughTechnology
approach is that a computer application should be usable within 10 minutes. If it takes longer , get individual advice (the web is full of experts). Don't bother with manuals. However, here are some general hints
- Use the keyboard as much as possible
Moving between pages, between applications, choosing from a list can be done more quickly by tapping the keys than moving the mouse. Look for keyboard shortcuts
- Use your desktop as a control panel
Forget about trying to find obscure tiny icons or going through long menus of programs. All operating systems have functionality that allows you to set up a big friendly icon to give you immediate access to your emails and frequently used programs and documents
- Search instead of navigate
It all starts with good intentions.... We set up a folder or directory structure so that we can easily find "accounts" "business ideas" "screenplays" Suddenly the directories have multiplied and duplicated. Ask yourself why it has taken 20 minutes to find a letter to your accountant which you thought was in "Accounts" but had ended up in "My Documents" with the name "document1". Contrast this with the web, no directory structure here, but you can find most things instantly. Again all operating systems have a search function. Use this to sidestep all the roaming around directories and sub-directories
- Learn to love rules
You don't store every letter you've ever had on the doormat so why do it for emails. You can get your email program to automatically file your emails for you. A good general rule that will deal with at least 80% of your email is "read then delete"