Most of my productivity is done on my upgraded to Windows 11 computer. Like most people, I suspect, I try to be the most productive that I can be when I sit down to accomplish something. I’ll confess to having to learn to Type on a typewriter and I’m most comfortable on a full-sized keyboard. While the computer itself has a full-sized keyboard and it works when I’m away from my desk, I do have an external keyboard and mouse attached. It has a click to it as I type and that’s comforting.
I just find that I’m more comfortable in this setting and so I do most of my blogging and writing programs here. Productivity is something that I’ve always worked at – I so thank my Grade 9 and 10 Typing teacher for the keyboarding skills. One thing that we didn’t have on those old manual typewriters though was the ability to have shortcut keys. If what we wanted to do didn’t have a key or a shift+key to it, it just didn’t happen. The other big thing that we learned was the home row and that our fingers always had to be engaged with the keyboard and a key. No hands away from the keyboard.
Of course, having a computer opened the door to other things. Not only is it easier to type rather than having the full travel of a physical key and lever, but it also has the ability to have shorter travel before registering and the ability to combine keys to make you more productive.
As I sit here, I think of the shortcuts that I use on a daily basis.
- CTRL+A – Select All
- CTRL+B – Bold
- CTRL+C – Copy
- CTRL+F – Find
- CTRL+V – Paste and the variation CTRL+SHIFT+V
- CTRL+Z – Undo
- CTRL+SHIFT+ESC – Opens the Task Manager
- ALT-F4 – Close the current program
- ALT-TAB – Switch between programs which has a whole new meaning when you’re using Edge as a browser
And, quite frankly, that’s about it. Most other things I use the mouse for.
I was humbled yesterday during the snowstorm and started poking around random websites and read this one from top to bottom – Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts
As I looked up and down the list, I felt very inferior. Computers can do that? <grin> I actually had to look down at the keyboard to find out where the Windows key was. I thought I knew and I was right but I just never use it. Going back to Typing class, I wonder if there was an official finger-to-key assignment to use it. Ring Finger? That seemed kind of awkward so looking <gasp> and using the middle finger seemed more natural.
In a way, I felt inhibited by my learning of how to Type. And yet, if I was to be able to master all the key combinations in that chart, my fingers would be leaving the keyboard all the time unless I somehow learned how to use that darned Windows key. Now, confession time here – my right hand does leave the keyboard to work the mouse and the right mouse key is generally my go to for a lot of different tasks to be done.
Then, I stepped back and looked at that list again. Quite frankly, I’m not sure that I would use all those combinations. I guess I’m a creature of habit and, while I’ll try anything that promises to make me more productive, it’s the things that register and come across as promised that stick with me.
In the upcoming days, I’m going to take a wander around Macintosh and ChromeOS keyboards and think about them. Can keyboards be different? Absolutely. What do they do to or for productivity?