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Productivity Tips for Geeks

Vicky Carmichael speaking at Milton Keynes Geek Night in March, 2017
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About this talk

In this talk, Vicky outlines a few of her favourite geeky ways to "hack" her tech to get stuff done.


Thank you. Funnily enough, I was having a massive imposter syndrome incident earlier where I thought I'm gonna get up in front of a bunch of techy people and talk about tech tips, when I'm not particularly techy myself, but we'll se how it goes. So I'm Vicky. If you wanna tell me that any of my processes are wrong, you can tweet me there. I'm at White October Events and these are some of our upcoming conferences, in the next three month, that you should definitely come to. So a quick disclaimer, obviously, this is heavily biassed towards my setup but I do feel it's probably a setup a lot of you share. I use Apple products, a Mac and an iPhone. Chrome is my default browser. And all my documents and email is powered by Google Apps for Work. Obviously, these tips pertain to that setup. So to start with a couple of my favourite keyboard shortcuts. I'm sure you know plenty of these already. But there might be one on here that you don't know already. My favourites are command backspace to delete files and command I to get information. Command H to quickly hide a window, when somebody walks in on you for example. Alt and semicolon instead of dot dot dot, for an ellipsis, saves you two characters on twitter and you're not a dweeb. Command K if you've highlighted text from a certain link. And obviously, super useful, command control space to pull up the emoji keyboard. And then a bonus keyboard shortcut, which is a custom one. So if you go into mission control, you know the extra kind of option key that you've got to the right of the space bar, that's not used for anything? You can use it to show desktop, which is quite useful if you are dragging a file in to your browser, you can do that quickly now. You can just feel like a pro. If you are more of a mouse person, when you right click and you've got thee context menu, you can customise all the options that come up there, you just click services. And they are under keyboard settings. You can do all sorts of things; for example I like to quickly change file types from a png to a jpeg without opening preview or Photoshop. So that's quite useful. And you can do all sorts of things, you can add a url to your reading list, you can save text to audio if that's something that you would do. Seems insane to me, but there you go. In the blurb on the website, it said that I was going to talk about hacks on my phone and I realised I didn't have any. Should've written the talk first. But I do use Siri all the time and not just to say Hey Siri swear at me. You can say remind me to do things obviously. But you can say remind me when I get home and if you set your home it knows when you've arrived and will tell you. Or when I'm leaving a place and it will tell you. Set the alarm for 6 AM. Set a real alarm for 6:30 AM. It'll set those. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Conversions and calculations, so you don't need to launch a separate app. You can say what's 300 pounds in dollars. You can text people, so tell Paul I'm running late; as I'm running late, it will do it. If you've got find my friends, you can tell Siri find Megan and it'll find her. And she's just there. You can also control system stuff. So like Bluetooth, wifi, low power mode. So that's quite useful when you are being lazy. If you've got multiple personalities like me, you can set up different user profiles in Chrome. You can have your work one, which is always logged into your work email. It has extensions that are useful for your work. And your own bookmarks. And then a completely separate one for personal, you're not constantly changing between the two. And like accidentally looking into things. I'm sure everyone knows, undo send. It used to be a Lab and now it's just native in Gmail. You'll find it under settings. Send and archive is my favourite, because basically you reply to an email, you hit send but it automatically archives it and it's out of your life forever. So that is the way to inbox zero. And if you've recently moved over from Outlook, to Gmail... Sorry that was completely involuntary. If you've recently moved over from Outlook to Gmail, the preview pane means it mimics what Outlook looks like. Which helps a little bit, if you just want to plough through emails quickly. Without having to open each one. And finally, you can try this one right now, If you triple tap on someone's Instagram photo it will save it to your phone's camera roll. It's won't, it'll just like it. I fell for this yesterday. So I thought I'd put it in. If you wanted the slides for any reason, that's where they are. And these are other things that I love that I don't probably have time to talk about. But if you want to talk about any of those, I will bore you to death about them. Thank you.