Time-Saving Tech Tips

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Does it seem like the simplest of things always end up taking the most time? Are you frustrated by the ratio of time it takes for you to leave a voicemail versus the time spent listening to instructions on how to do so?

Fret no more! With these time-saving tech tips from David Pogue, personal technology columnist for The New York Times and a tech correspondent for CBS News, the amount of time you spend doing silly things on the internet can be decreased significantly.

Here are some of the tips he gives in his TED talk, which range from text basics, to camera tricks, to presentation shortcuts:

  1. Reading an article? Hit the spacebar to scroll down on a webpage. This will save you time compared to picking up the mouse and using the scroll bar. To scroll back up, hold down the shift key while simultaneously hitting the spacebar.
  2. Filling out a form online? Press the letter of the state you’re from over and over until it reaches the one you want. Don’t click the drop-down menu. For example, if you’re from Texas, press “t” twice.
  3. If you’re having trouble reading a webpage because the content is too big, press and hold the Control button and then the  “+” to make the text bigger. On Mac computers use the Command button. To make the page smaller, simply switch the “+” sign with the “-” symbol.
  4. Smart phones: Press the Spacebar twice to end a sentence. This works with iPhone, Android, Windows phone, and Blackberry. This also adds a period, inserts one space, and capitalizes the first letter of the next sentence.
  5. All Cell Phones: Tap the Call or Dial key to call up the last number dialed. On a non-smartphone, pressing this key will open a list of all recent numbers.
  6. Google Stunts: Type “Define” + any word into the Google search box. Google will act as a dictionary. This also works with flight tracking and unit conversion. You don’t need an app for each one!
  7. Presentations: Hit the “B” key to blackout a slide during a presentation, or, hit the “W” key to white out the slide. This will force your audience to focus on you, instead of the image that’s on your slide.

These are only 7 of the 10 tips Pogue gives during his short, 5-minute TED talk. To hear the other three, watch the full talk. Then, for regular updates on tips to increase your productivity, follow our friends [email protected].

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