Technology can be distracting stuff. Having a smooth workflow makes staying on task easier and allows you to work faster, avoiding those weekends at the office.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest differences. Hitting ⌘c instead of mousing to “Edit > Copy” might seem trivial, but the seconds add up, especially when there are so many easy shortcuts you can integrate into your daily work.
Available shortcuts are represented next to their corresponding menu items, but some of the icons are difficult to identify the first few times you use them. Find full lists of your operating systems keyboard shortcuts and icon keys on their perspective website support pages:
Create a Digital Toolbox
Taking the time to build up an organized toolbox folder will save many hours in the long run. All your important reusable content and educational resources should be stored in this one easy to find location.
We all have certain tasks that we perform over and over. Setting up an organized group of files that can be duplicated each time you start a new version of those tasks will not only save time, but keep your process consistent.
For example, I have a folder called “Website.” Each time I start a new website project, I just copy and paste that folder into the appropriate place, rename it, and voilá - all that monotonous set up time gone. My “Website” folder is completely set up from start to finish.
Push your boilerplates as far as you can, basically anything that you know you're going to use over and over, should be in its appropriate place.
Just like your boilerplate, the files in your “Resource” folders should be items that are consistently used across your daily tasks. You will have specific needs, so take the time to organize your folders in ways that work best for you.
Since continued education should always be a repeatable task, make sure to include it in your “Toolbox” folder. I keep eBooks, tutorials, and notes in mine. Again everyone’s work is different so keep yours organized to your liking.
Avoid Browser Madness
Sometimes it feels like your browser is out to get you, trapping you in the never ending series of tubes that make up the inter web. But why not harness that power for good?
Whether you’re a Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer user make sure you're running the latest version. All these browsers now have automatic updates, so once you get caught up you're good to go.
There are plenty of business, productivity and utility tools to help you work faster and smarter all without leaving your browser. Extensions can also lead to hours of social networking, game playing and web surfing, so your work and home extensions should probably be a little different.
There are plenty of social bookmarking tools out there, but social networks and productivity don’t always mix well. I like to keep my bookmarks nice and neat in my browsers’ bookmark bars.
Use folders to keep everything organized.
If you’re starting fresh, set up some folders that represent categories of sites you frequent, and drop them in as you go.
If you already have a bunch of bookmarks but they’re not exactly organized, use your browser’s “Bookmark Manager” to easily sort them. Another option is to dump them all into a folder called “Random,” and move them into the appropriate folders as you use them. You may find that you don’t really need a lot of your old bookmarks.
With browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Opera, bookmarks automatically sync with their mobile equivalent on your phone and tablet.
These are just a few ways of improving, organizing and standardizing your workflow. What are some tools or tricks you use in your daily process?