Time is valuable. Every tip or trick you learn to maximize efficiency can, in the long run, save meaningful time, even if it’s just a few clicks or keystrokes. Just as importantly, it can help make your tasks less stressful! Keep on reading to learn some incredibly helpful productivity tricks I’ve picked up for OS X over the years.
Most people are aware of the basics such as copying and pasting. Here are three lesser-known shortcuts that will speed up your workflow.
Cmd + Tab
This allows you to very quickly tab through all open applications. Instead of clicking around, dragging windows, and trying to remember where each window is, you can simply tab to the window you need and it will auto bring it into focus.
Cmd + `
While the previous shortcut tabs through applications, holding command and backtick allows you to cycle through open instances of the same application (if for example, you had multiple windows of a browser open).
Cmd + number
Stop clicking tabs on your browser! By pressing cmd + number it will open the equivalent tab. For example, to open your first tab you would hit cmd + 1. For the second, cmd + 2. I find this allows me to move faster because I don’t need to drag my mouse to the top of my window and back just to change tabs.
Although I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it’s capable of, I’m a big fan of Alfred, a productivity app for Mac. You can replace the default spotlight search (cmd + space) with Alfred, or make your own shortcut. Here are a few of the features I use:
While the Mac spotlight isn’t bad, it is terribly slow compared to the blazingly fast Alfred search. Commands quickly let you scope your search and resulting action. For example, simply adding a space before your query, only searches for files. Including the keyword “find” will open up the item within the parent folder.
Find you’re needing to type the same thing multiple times? Add text with keywords as snippets, and use “snip keyword” to paste the text into any underlying application.
My personal favourite is workflows, a hugely powerful and customizable feature to make repetitive tasks faster. For example, I’ve made myself a workflow so that if I’m in need of an image I’ll type “img query” and the browser will open tabs on five different photo sites with the query already loaded. There are also tons of workflows other users have made that you can download.
Whether you’re looking for a few quick tricks or a powerful productivity app, speeding up your work with shortcuts will save time and energy in the long run. What are some of your favourite productivity hacks?