Take the shortcut

I freelance for attorneys. My attorney clients are often seasoned attorneys, having 20 years or more experience in practice.

The technology available when attorneys began their practice two decades ago is light years away from where technology is today.

I enjoy helping attorneys learn how to use technology to save time and money.  I don’t always know what to do, but I learn along with them and take notes about what to do to get a certain result. 

I think the notes are more important than getting the result because the process will be needed in the future; usually when under a deadline or other external pressures.

Then there is the everyday use of a computer.

Microsoft Word is a commonly used computer program.  There are keyboard shortcuts known by most users - copy (CTL C) and paste (CTL V), but there are so many more that can help you move at the speed of light.

I recommend using keyboard shortcuts because it is faster than using the right click on a mouse and you can use them when on a laptop.  

CTL S = save current document
CTL A = select all of the document
CTL Z = undo last key stroke
CTL X = cut the highlighted words (CTL V to paste)
CTL P = print
CTL O = open
CTL N = new document
CTL I = italic
CTL U = underline
CTL F = find

CTL F4 = close current window.  We rarely have one window or browser open at a time.  Sometimes there are so many things open that the minimized windows don’t fit on the screen.  When you are getting ready to close up shop for the day, use the CTL F4 shortcut to get done fast.

ALT TAB = toggle between documents.  This is the perfect shortcut for when you are working between two documents (even if you have multiple computer screens).  Once I learned this shortcut, I was able to avoid a creeping problem of wrist pain from overusing the mouse. 

I had a specific incentive to start using shortcuts; I didn’t want to get carpel tunnel.  You may not be motivated to use the shortcuts, but the rewards, to name a few, are (1) save time; (2) decrease stress; (3) increased efficiency; (4) improved productivity; and (4) impress your colleagues. 

In order to make good use of the shortcuts, you have to pay specific attention to using them; otherwise you will default to your old typing style.  Try to use a new one each week and check in with yourself at lunch to see if you are sticking with it.  Take a mental note of what positive things happened because you used a shortcut.


Hope Wood