Productivity Tip: 9 Vital Windows Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts rock!  Here are nine to know from Geek.Com.  

Our Favorites:

  • Windows+L brings up the login screen, meaning people need a password to use your computer.  Handy for if you are leaving your laptop in a public place.
  • Alt+Tab - Switch between open apps!
  • Windows+left arrow / right arrow - Resize a window to fit half the screen, locking it to one side of the screen.
  • Ctrl+shift+Escape - Brings up the task manager, so you can kill rogue apps.

Taming Your Inbox

Freelancers, entrepreneurs, remote workers, coworkers... heck... all of us are drowning in email.   In a previous post we recommended the Hamster Revolution's tips for making sense of your inbox.  For those looking for a simpler place to start, here is a short, simple article on 3 fast ways to tame your inbox.

Short Version: 

  • Unsubscribe from... well... just about everything.
  • Update your address book so it is smart enough to prioritize your contacts properly. 
  • Flag a set rules so the computers can do work for you, sorting and sifting your email and saving you time.

Read the full version here


email at symbol mouse @.jpg

Making Email More Efficient

We all live in our inboxes, some of us are drowning there!  Below are some quick tips for how to increase the efficiency of your email.

1. Send less email:

The less you send, the less you receive.  Be very  judicious in the use of cc or reply-all. Don't bother with 1-2 word replies that merely confirm what the original sender already knows or won't care worth a fig if you reply with an "OK" or "thanks."

2. Strengthen the subject: 

Use a short list of keywords in your subject lines to help the recipients quickly ID how they should prioritize your message.  These include:

  • Request: [what you want] – you are asking the recipient to do something / delegating a task to them.
  • Delivery: [what you're delivering] – Email contains content you promised to provide the recipient.
  • Confirmed: [what is being confirmed] – You are letting the recipient know that something requested (a task, a meeting date & time, etc) is now confirmed
  • Info: [summary of info] – Email content is some information you thought the recipient would find interesting, but is not anything specifically promised and is assumed to be low priority.
  • Introduction: [Paerson 1], [Person 2]  - An email introducing the recipients to each other. 
  • EOM – Ending a subject line with EOM means "End Of Email." The recipient need not even open the email because everything to know is right in the subject.

3. Sculpt the body:

Put the meat right at the front with minimal frills or softening intros.  Save all that stuff for later. Note that this blog post is set up the same way.  A one-line intro sets the stage and then we get right to the content.  Below you'll find the background material that would often be at the top of a blog post/email but does all of us a favor if it is at the end.



A friend very kindly saw I was drowning in email and got me the book The Hamster Revolution, how to manage your email before it manages you. The title made me skeptical. The book’s format made me more skeptical… but I gave it a try. And I am glad I did!

The short book is full of simple, actionable, and clearly  suggestions for improving email efficiency (many of them listed above). I am putting them to use and loving the results. I highly recommend it to people. 

 You can find a more extensive summary of the book’s advice here