We online marketers spend countless hours each week sat in front of the computer carrying out a wide variety of tasks. Time management and productivity is crucial to fit in as much work during this time. I have compiled the below categorised list of time savers we use in the Return On Digital office. By no means is this an exhaustive list but hopefully there will be some items that will help you in your role.
The Classics Keyboard Shortcuts
Firstly let's get the classics out of the way. These are a staple for any keyboard cowboys:
- Copy - Ctrl + C
- Paste - Ctrl + V
- Select All - Ctrl + A
- Save File - Ctrl + S
The majority of staff at the Return On Digital offices use Windows and Google Chrome in their daily lives, so unsurprisingly the majority of these shortcuts are for Chrome.
- Reopen Last Closed Tabs (up to 10) – Ctrl + Shift + T
- Reload Current Page and Override Cache – Ctrl + F5
- Find Text on Page – Ctrl + F
- Show Downloads – Ctrl + J
- New Tab – Ctrl + T
- View Page Source – Ctrl + U
- Open Developer Tools – Ctrl + Shift + I
- Stop Webpage Loading – Esc
'Search Google for'
Chrome have placed a simple little feature in its right click function, whereby you can automatically search Google for the phrase you have highlighted, saving you from manually copying and pasting it into your browser bar.
Go To Domain
Rather than having to type out a domain in the address bar, simply highlight it on the page then right click and select "Go to www.domain.com":
Carry out a variety of complex or basic mathematic equations by simply typing the calculation into your Chrome browser bar for the answer.
When you have several clients using several different online applications with different passwords, it is logical to use the Autofill tool in Chrome. But what about when you forget or lose the password and need to retrieve it from the Autofill memory?
- Simply press Alt + F to open Chrome's menu
- Go to the Settings Tab
- Go to the "Show Advanced Settings"
- Go to "Manage Saved Passwords"
- Find the site you require the password for
- Click "Show" and there you have it
In Browser Extensions
A range of Chrome extensions for increasing productivity in your day-to-day.
Explain and Send Screenshots - http://bit.ly/16HCqMY
There are a large number of screenshot apps available for most browsers, but this one in particular is my preference. It's simple, FREE and allows you to save the images or produce a link for the sole purpose of sharing. The functionality to add text and shapes is great when a client can't find that button you've just added.
Bit.ly - http://bit.ly/16HCqMY
This is a well known URL shortener that also has a broswer add-on that permits you to instantly shorten any page URL you may be viewing. Once downloaded, simply click on the little puffer fish icon, click then click on the following pop up. Paste your bit.ly URL anywhere you want.
BONUS: To view the link's statistics, place "+" after the bit.ly URL to be taken to a page containing various sharing data regarding your link.
Silverbird - http://bit.ly/16HCoow
This app lets you manage your (or a client's) Twitter account updates and Direct Messages from the comfort of your browser without checking it on a mobile device or visiting Twitter.com every 5 minutes.
Google Tag Assistant - http://bit.ly/19Mw41u
Google Tag Assistant is a great way to quickly track which, if any, of Google's tracking codes are placed on any site (e.g. yours/your client's sites). Most importantly, this add-on will also give you an update of it's tracking status, meaning if your tags aren't implemented correctly then you can find out quickly.
Session Manager - http://bit.ly/1btVZZ3
Session Manager lets you save sessions of your opened tabs and windows, and to quickly re-open them whenever you like. So you can categorise your sessions by 'Link Building', 'Content Marketing' or 'Client X Research' etc then come back to them at a later date. A bit like a timestamped collective bookmark.
There are hundreds of websites I could list here, but instead here are some we genuinely use rather a lot:
Copy Scape - www.copyscape.com
With the rise of duplicate content and negative SEO it's important you know where your content is appearing and how often. Copy Scape lets you check exactly that.
Letter Count - www.lettercount.com
A great free tool to help you quickly count characters in content.
Down For Everyone Or Just Me - www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com
We all have that moment we fill our boots having seen a client or in-house site appear to be down. To confirm whether the site is down for everyone, or just you, just input the URL into this site for a simple answer.
Down Right Now - http://downrightnow.com
In a similar vain, it can be frustrating to be working on a social media channel only to find out that the platform is having technical difficulties. Down Right Now, allows you to monitor the status of your favourite web services, from social and blogging channels to Paypal to e-mail hosting.
MobileTest - http://mobiletest.me
This is a great site for testing websites on various mobile and tablet devices. Simply select the device, enter the URL at the top and see how it formats on a mobile.
I thought I would introduce one application that I have personally been using for about 5 years.
Metapad - http://liquidninja.com/metapad/
This free little tool created by Alexander Davidson is like Notepad, but a little fancier, and has been a real saver for me. There are a myriad of features but the main uses for me are the following which can be applied to any text typed or pasted into the pad:
- Convert text into UPPERCASE – Alt + U
- Convert text into lowercase – Alt + L
- Convert text into Sentence case – Alt + S
- Convert text into iNVERTED cASE – Alt + I
- Converting text into Title Case – Alt + T
This comes in very handy when writing Pay Per Click adverts and Meta Data in particular.
Split Screens in Windows 7
This may be fairly obvious to some, but the amount of comparing or multi tasking we do warrants an easy way to view things side by side, and it's not always feasible to work with multiple screens. To achieve this, drag one window right until it clicks across half the screen then drag the other window left.
Copy and Paste any formatted text out of an application (e.g. an e-mail or Microsoft Excel) into Notepad (or Metapad) and then Copy and Paste it back into your application to remove any styling.
Kindly submit your top shortcuts or time saving tips in the comments section below: