Technology is designed to make our lives easier, but sometimes it can feel like things are going the other way. If your lounge is overrun with remotes, you have to ask the toddler to show how to work your tablet, and your smartwatch is so demanding it feels like you’ve got another boss, then this is the guide for you. Technology should be making things simple, and with these easy tricks and tips, it can.
Control Your Tabs In Chrome
Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers, and for good reasons. It has many built-in tools or easy to add plugins that make your web browsing easier. One of the best tools is the tab manager.
If you use Windows, you’ll be used to the Task Manager, which is a program that shows everything that is running on the computer. On Mac, this is called the activity monitor. Chrome has it’s own version, built right into the browser.
If you have a lot of tabs open, it can be hard to keep them all straight and find the page you want. Get into the task manager through the Chrome settings (find it under ‘more tools’) or use the shift + Esc keyboard shortcut on windows. This opens a list of all the tabs, where you can either click end process to close a tab or double-click it to open it.
Find Keywords In Long Pages
If you’re doing some research for a project, looking for a particular recipe or need a particular piece of information, a long document or website can be offputting and will take you ages to search through. Instead, save yourself a lot of time by using a word finder. Press control + F on Windows, and command + F on a Mac. This will bring up a search box. Type in the keyword you need and press enter to be taken directly to it on the page. Much faster!
Get USB Cables Plugged In The Right Way
Most houses have a lot of USB cables lying around, from phone chargers, the computer, and other devices. It often seems like no matter which way you plug in a USB cable, you always get it the wrong way up first and have spent an annoying few moments trying to work out which way it should be connected. There are even special reversible USB cables on the market now to combat this irritation.
You don’t need to replace all your USB cables though, as there is an easy to trick to tell which way up they should go. Look at the connector. If there is a small trident-like symbol on it, that way is up. If there is no symbol, look for a seam running down the metal part of the connector. That way is down. You can check quickly and stop battling with your cables.
Learn Some Formatting Shortcuts
If you work a lot in word processing programs, it can be well worth learning some formatting shortcuts. If you’re in the flow of writing, stopping to click through some menus to find how to make your text bold can distract you. With formatting shortcuts, you can change things with a few key presses and without interrupting your chain of thought. These commands are a good place to start (for Mac users, replace control with the command key).
- Change the text style with CTRL+B for bold, CTRL+I for italics, and CTRL+U for underline.
- Edit text with CTRL+A to select all the text, CTRL+C to copy, and CTRL+V to paste. Undo a change with CTRL+Z.
- Create a new page with CTRL+N.
- Save your work quickly with CTRL+S.
Learn Navigation Shortcuts
Like the formatting shortcuts, keyboard commands to navigate around internet browsers and applications can be much quicker. Learn these to speed things up.
- Open a new window with CTRL+N or open a new tab with CTRL+T.
- Close all tabs with CTRL+W or reopen the tab you closed last with CTRL+Shift+T.
- Zoom in with CTRL+Plus, zoom out with CTRL+minus and reset to the default view with CTRL+0.
Use Private Browsing
Private browsing can be a lot more useful than you might think. Private browsing is designed to stop your browser from storing cookies, which are pieces of data that websites collect to make browsing easier and make marketing to you easier for them. Cookies can slow down your browser over time, so private browsing stops that from happening. It’s also very handy for shopping for gifts, as the sites you visit won’t stay in your browser history, and the products you looked at won’t pop up in adverts elsewhere around the web and give the game away.
Embrace Cloud Storage
Storing documents or photos in the cloud is a great way to protect them. You’ll be able to access the things you stored in the cloud from any device you use, meaning you can share your photos when visiting friends, work remotely or access that recipe you saved from just about anywhere. It’s also a great way to save important files, in case a disaster befalls your computer. Some programs, like Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox or Sync offer a certain amount of free storage, which is usually plenty for personal use. Set it up to sync automatically from the important parts of your computer so you don’t have to remember to do it. Cloud backups are very important for saving work, sentimental photos, and is especially important for students, who often won’t get any sympathy from teachers if they’ve lost work that they didn’t back up somewhere. Cloud storage is secure and very simple to use.
By embracing technology the right way, you can make tasks simpler and quicker. If you’re worried about the cost of all this tech, then try this guide on 10 Ways to Reduce Your Technology Bill. You’ll still get the help, without breaking the budget.