Keep Your Hands on the Keyboard

May 21, 2015 00:00 · 422 words · 2 minute read Productivity

Ramblings

The ability to communicate your ideas effectively is paramount to your success and with computers you communicate by typing on a keyboard. You do have the ability to use the mouse and it definitely provides value in many situations but like many tools that provide a means of easy accesibility, it’s easy to build a dependancy. People tend to forget that people used just a keyboard for a long period of time before the mouse came along and they developed some pretty awesome tricks for getting around. All modern programs have keyboard shortcuts and there is plenty of software that can add the additional functionality that you may be missing. Being able to utilize these shortcuts, when deemed effective, will allow you to communicate more effectivley with the computer and in turn let you be more efficient. In this article I’m going to talk about some of favorite tools that helped me to keep my hands on the keyboard.

Vim

Vim is my favorite editor. It was not an easy task to start using it everyday but I’m really glad that I did. It’s also a nice bonus that it’s available on virtually every machine I use. Once you get a good understanding of vim you will never need to use your mouse for development which I found to be a big boost in productivity. Here are some resouces I used for learning vim:

Vimium

If you don’t want to learn Vim it’s ok this app is not even remotely as complicated but provides some really awesome functionality for browsing the web. It provides many vim-like shortcuts for navigating the web. Some websites, anything google or atlassian, will have their own keyboard shortcuts that will interfere with your vimium shortcuts. You can either disable the native shortcuts or learn them and turn vimium off for the website by using vimiums ignore website. My favorite shortcut is using ‘f’ to display each of the links on the current webpage but there are a bunch of other useful functions:

Alfred / Spotlight / Launchy

These apps are so handy I’m not sure why people don’t use them more often. Not only do popup launchers make is easier to navigate between different programs but some come with a bunch of other features. I use alfreds clipboard management as well it’s web searching easily google without having to be inside chrome: