Come Out of the illusion of being Keyboard Shortcut Expert – You are wasting your time!!
Hello Productivity Enthusiast,
I always tell this little story of my first corporate job. I have been made to seat next to a existing employee in Fund Accountant department. The guy is said to be a super smart and very quick in performing the task to be downloaded to me. He started the process (while I was watching him doing the job so I can learn). What I observed was the guy is pressing zillions of keyboard keys in a minute and he has so much mechanised the process that he has all sequence of keys to be pressed by heart. At first instance I was very impressed as I was not knowing many of the keyboard shortcuts he was using. The whole process took around 40 minutes.
I came back to my desk and thought will I be able to the same so fast and efficient as him. For next two days, I spend my time understanding the process. I applied some of my knowledge of Excel Formulas and come with a process involving just copy pasting two reports from software (this step was already there in the existing process as well) and the job is done!! YES!! just 30 seconds. I showed this guy the Excel file I developed, he was stunned. After discussing with Manager and sufficient parallel testing, we adopted the new method I developed.
Now imagine 40 Minutes with best of the keyboard shortcuts vs 40 seconds of best application of Excel Functions!!
I think you get my message. And today’s blog is related to a utility which will increase your productivity by reducing number of unnecessary keyboard shortcuts you press. It may decrease your keyboard shortcuts by at least 1,000 keystrokes (In my case it decreased to at least 10,000 keystrokes, it depends on your pattern of work)
The Utility is a Clip Board Manager – CLCL.
Visit http://www.nakka.com/soft/clcl/index_eng.html to download.
Simply said, A clipboard manager is a computer program that adds functionality to an operating system’s clipboard. Windows default clipboards provide only one buffer for the “copy and paste” function, and it is overwritten by each new “copy” operation. The main task of a clipboard manager is to store data copied to the clipboard in a way that permits richer use of the data.
CLCL can store the many number of past copied items but I recommend setting it to save only 50 past entries.
You can access to this past saved entries, while active on any window, by pressing “ALT + C”.
Also you can make template of frequently used items. The advantage of making a template is you can directly paste those template with “ALT+C” without copying it from anywhere in the first place.
- All clipboard formats are supported.
- Template can be registered.
- Pop-up menu is displayed by “Alt+C.”
- Menu can be customized.
- Item is paste automatically.
- Picture is displayed on a menu.
- Tool tip is displayed on a menu.
- The format to leave and the format to save can be set up.
- The ignored window can be set up.
- The paste key for every window can be set up.
- Function is extensible with plug-in.
- Completely free for use
Practical Application of CLCL
The practical application of CLCL is upto your imagination. You can save your time in n number of ways which will not only save the time but reduce the frustration of doing the same thing again and again and make your work day effective.
- Let’s start with template. If you are used to write a paragraph again and again daily basis, you currently would have them written in word file (or you might have past mail/job proposal). You open that document, copy the paragraph and then paste it at the place of current use. This scenario happens many times if you are writing mails to new client, writing job proposals on Upwork or even writing a audit report/certificate. In each of these scenarios, you can save those paragraphs as templates.
- Now lets take example of Excel, if you remember, once you copy any data, you have to paste it immediately before pressing any other key or using other function. This would have lead to multiple time copying the data in Excel if by mistake you had forget to make the previous step. With CLCL, you dont worry about losing your copied data. It can be bring back with a stroke of the key “ALT+C”
- Now lets take example of a scenario where you have to check multiple items in a browser. You copy one item, go to browser, do the search. Go to the source where the multiple items are present, copy next item, again go to browser, do the search. With CLCL, you can do copy, copy, copy……..all at a time, go to browser and paste with “ALT+C” individual item one by one. No need to juggle between windows.
As I said, there are n number of ways you can save the time with CLCL. It improves with practice and creating habit of using it effectively.
Nowadays, I don’t worry about losing my last copied data and always have relief in my mind that my past 50 copied item are in CLCL and can be bring back with “ALT+C”
Also there are other clipboard manager present. But as I am using CLCL since long and being a very lightweight, simple & freeware program, I recommend CLCL.
You and your team can save hack of the time once you start using fully.
Thanks and Regards,
CA Dhaval Paun