Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
I’ve been obsessed with personal productivity and Mac productivity tips since time immemorial. It was a recurring theme in my very first book, Dr. Macintosh: Tips, Techniques, and Advice for Mastering your Mac, way back in 1989, and it’s the focus of my latest book, Working Smarter for Mac Users.
Why? Well, in my not-so-humble opinion, if you’re sitting at your Mac trying to work, you should accomplish that work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
And, although Macs have improved immensely since 1989, some things about using them haven’t changed much. So, many of the tips, techniques, and shortcuts I discussed in Dr. Macintosh way back when, are still valid today and appear in Working Smarter for Mac Users.
My 1989 Typing Tip is Still True Today
For example, in Dr. Macintosh I offered this tip: “If you’re not typing at least 40 words per minute, you’re wasting time. Possibly the easiest way to get more done in less time is to become a better typist.”
I went on to describe a couple of inexpensive typing instruction applications that could help you develop better keyboarding skills.
I wrote that in 1989 but included it in my new book as well. The big difference today is that you don’t have to buy an application to help you improve your typing skills. Just point your browser at www.typingtest.com and take a free test to establish your current typing speed. Then, use the site’s free lessons and games to improve your skills. It’s free, it’s easy, and it won’t take you much time. Even if you think you’re a pretty good typist (say 50 w.p.m. or more), just spend a few minutes a day on drills and/or games at typingtest.com, and in a week or two you could double or triple your typing speed! Think of all the time that will save!
My 1989 Keyboard Shortcuts Tip Still Rules Today
Here’s another example: In Dr. Macintosh, I said, “Another way to get things done faster is to reduce your dependency on the mouse. Use Command-key equivalents instead.”
It still drives me crazy when I see a Mac user reach for the mouse to invoke frequently-used commands like Cut, Copy, Paste, Open, Close, Select All, and Print. I thought by now everyone would know that keyboard shortcuts are way faster than mousing up to the menu bar, but I was wrong. So, if you’re not using keyboard shortcuts for those (and other frequently-used commands), you really should be.
That’s why in addition to including advice about keyboard shortcuts in Working Smarter for Mac Users, I created a free cheat sheet to help you memorize the best of them. (https://www.workingsmarterformacusers.com/freeshortcuts)
Mac Productivity Tips
The bottom line is if you improve your typing skills and learn to use keyboard shortcuts instead of menus, you will get more work done in less time and have more time for things you love.
And doing more work in less time is (still) a beautiful thing.