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11 technical tricks for a more productive year 2019

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

The start of a New Year is a great time to use all the technical facilities around you to live and work smarter: Get more work done in less time and free you up Make room for the things you really enjoy. Here are some of our most popular app and gadget hacks that can increase your productivity in a variety of ways.

1) Use Voice Dictation (and voice commands)

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You may not know all the ways you can use your voice to get everything done in a faster time. Both Windows and MacOS have built-in dictation tools: In the Windows Start menu (more here), search for "Windows Speech Recognition" or go to the Dictation tab under Keyboard in macOS System Preferences (more here).

You can also find voice recognition and dictation in Google Docs on the web – click Tools and then Voice Clips, and see if you can speak your documents faster than you can type them.

You may already be familiar with using Siri or Google Assistant to do things on your phone. But make sure you know everything the wizard of your choice can do. For example, with these two apps you can only send e-mails and text messages with your voice, which can save you time.

2) Extend Your Desktops

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Both Windows and MacOS provide native support for multiple desktops so you do not have to keep all the windows in one area together. It's like having multiple monitors set up on your desk without additional hardware.

On Mac OS, these virtual desktops are referred to as spaces: you can find them by launching Mission Control from the dock or launchpad or by using the keyboard shortcut Command + Up . Move the cursor to the top of the screen and click the Plus icon to create a new area.

In Windows, click the Task View button to the right of the search box in the system tray. This will open all open windows, and you will see the option to create a New Desktop to get more space.

3) Keep track of your notifications

Photo: David Nield (Gizmodo)

We've written several times on how to reduce the number of notifications you receive – not just from your phone, but also from your computer and other devices. Are you sure you want to allow apps and sites to interrupt you whenever they feel like it?

With the newly updated "stop-stop" features in Android and iOS, as well as the notification management tools found in the settings of these mobile operating systems, it's easier than ever to get apps you do not want to listen to all the time cover. You can still be reached by people in an emergency, without Snapchat pinging every two minutes.

Also, check the notification settings in the apps you use. For example, in Gmail for Android and iOS, you can only receive notifications for emails sent to your primary folder. In Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, you can mute conversation threads for a specified number of hours until you can read them. and so on and so on.

4) Connect your accounts.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

In general, you do not want to link too many accounts together. For example, this should not be the case if you really have a dozen useless apps in your Facebook account. However, there are situations in which it is worth combining your main accounts to save time.

You can combine Fitbit and Strava, for example, or use the always excellent IFTTT (If This Then That)) to post on multiple social media sites at the same time (saving you some typing and uploading). If you can avoid duplication and some of your apps are in sync, it's worth doing so.

Another useful way to consolidate all incoming information and protect yourself from dozens of different accounts in dozens of different places is to get all of your emails into the same inbox where they can be shared and sorted together ,

5) Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts

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We've already mentioned how many notifications you receive Familiarize yourself with your mobile devices and computers, and another way, a distraction-free one To lead a life is to significantly reduce the number of people you follow in social media.

This is one of the more time-consuming and time-consuming tedious tasks you can do, but it affects your timeline and feed – fewer updates from people you do not really care about, and more updates from people you do , If you really feel brave, you can go down to zero and start over.

You can also customize the contacts you receive in Facebook through updates, while maintaining your contacts as friends. On Facebook on the Internet, click the three dots next to News Feed on the left, and select Edit Preferences .

. 6) Reset it and restart if possible

. Image: Microsoft

We can & # 39; Whether it's your entire operating system or the extensions installed in your browser, do not overstate the benefits of removing the digital cable and rebooting. Use the New Year as an opportunity to clean your apps and devices a bit in the spring.

How does it improve productivity? Well, it suppresses annoying mistakes that you may have accepted as a lifestyle, and usually speeds up any gadgets you use. Do you really need all games installed on your smartphone?

We've written manuals to completely reset Windows, MacOS, and your browser in the past, and the process is not difficult for Android or iOS as well – just make sure you've backed up all the important data in a safe place first.

7) Set up advanced routines for Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Image: Google

If you have an Amazon echo or Google home spokesperson at your place of residence, then you're probably used to asking a few questions about the weather or the weather Cast off the new Avengers movie. However, these speakers and the intelligent wizards inside them are much more powerful than that.

Both Alexa and Google Assistant now support the use of routines, which are basically a series of operations, all under one voice command are summarized. When you get up in the morning, you can get your speaker to read the messages, turn on the lights, and unlock the front door … you have the idea.

In the Amazon Alexa mobile app you need to do this Tap on Routines in the main menu to get started. In the Google Home mobile app, open your profile tab and select Settings Assistant and then Routines to get started.

8) Learn something new keyboard shortcuts

Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

You will not realize how much faster you can work with keyboard shortcuts until you actually try some of them: We have instructions on keyboard shortcuts for Windows, macOS and the Internet, and you can save hours if you click around in the menus.

Even if you know the basics, such as copying and pasting, there is always more to learn. Did you know that you can switch between tabs in Chrome by holding Ctrl or Command and then pressing a number key. Or that you can insert plain text with Ctrl + Shift + V (or Cmd + Shift + V ) without formatting it in the browser?

If you know you want something To automate and there is not already a keyboard or mouse shortcut that works, you can even create your own shortcuts for Windows and Mac OS. In the end, you have no excuse for not using some shortcuts to optimize your way of working.

9) Reduce your input

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Speaking of keyboards – which we just talked about above – you can usually speed typing on almost any mobile and desktop platform. The secret is to use macros – small combinations of keystrokes that are automatically expanded to complete sentences.

If you open Keyboard in the system settings of a Mac, go to the text . tab, you'll see that you can create some of these macros to speed up your instant messenger conversations, emails, and documents. There is no integrated tool for Windows, but AutoHotkey is a great third-party option. Similar options can also be found in Android and iOS.

These features find their way into applications on the desktop as well as on the phone. You may have noticed that Gmail can now predict what you want to enter, if you want. To enable the Smart Compose function on the Web, you must enable . Enable experimental access under General in the Settings screen.

10) Speed ​​through podcasts and videos

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If you find you do not have enough hours a day, you can watch the podcasts you hear and the videos you watch accelerate. Along the way, you may be a little bit distorted, but you'll finish faster – perfect for the content you're not too interested in, but you have to get through it.

Many podcast players can do this trick, including overcast and pocket casts. Check your favorite app's settings to see what options are available. For example, in the novel Google Podcasts app for Android, tap the 1.0x button in the lower-left corner of the main playback window.

Likewise, several media players for mobile and desktop can browse through your videos as needed. Take the VLC Media Player for Windows and Mac OS, where you can select Speed ​​ from the Playback menu. or YouTube's mobile app, where you can tap the menu button (the three dots) at the top of a clip to find the Playback Speed ​​ option.

11) Increase Your E-Mail Filters

] Screenshot: Gizmodo

Regardless of the e-mail client you use, there will probably be some kind of filtering available. We've already written filters that you can set up in Gmail, Outlook, and other desktop and web applications to receive your emails Email emails on arrival.

E-mail filters are most effectively used by setting up different addresses for different purposes. For example, you might have an e-mail for work correspondence, then one to sign up for accounts and services, one to subscribe to newsletters, and one to know only your close relatives and friends. Collect all your emails in an app, and you can use the addresses to filter them.

You may already have so many filters that you do not know where to start, or you've often tried to filter and drop your emails. Use the start of 2019 to update and refresh it.

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