As an IT company we are always asked about what technology we’re using and what tips we have to be more productive. The answer isn’t always easy and what tech you need to use depends on what you want to achieve, but we decided to do a whip around of some of our team to see what they use daily.
Alastair – Technical Infrastructure Team Leader (VAULT)
Hot keys are very fast and easy little tricks that allow you complete different tasks in a flash.
- Easily switch between applications (for example email, internet browser, word) using Alt + Tab.
- Protect the security of the data you are working on by quickly locking your screen when you’re away from your desk. Windows Key + L will do this in a flash.
- Ever closed down a browser tab by accident before you were finished with it? Easily resuscitate it by hitting Ctrl + Shift + T.
Michael – Client Services Engineer
Use Google Assistant or Siri to quickly set appointments, check your calendar or see what the weather forecast is so you don’t forget a coat.
Just say “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google” (depending on your device) and tell it what you want it to do, perfect for when you’re on the run or don’t have time to sit down at your computer.
Drew – Senior Infrastructure Engineer (VAULT)
A technique that I use regularly, especially on longer tasks is the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique, also known as the Tomato Technique is all about breaking your work up into small steps and taking regular breaks.
There are six steps in the technique:
- Pick a task
- Set the timer (usually 25 - 45 minutes)
- Work on the task until the timer rings
- Put a checkmark on a piece of paper
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (1–2 minutes), then go back to step 2.
- After four checkmarks take a longer break (5 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
Andrew – HelpDesk Support Engineer
It’s important for me to be able to take quick notes throughout the day and be able to go back and check when they were taken.
In OneNote when you right click a line of text it tells you when that line was last edited, this allows me to go back and check the exact time I last worked on a task.
Aron – Client Services Manager
Reading, sorting and replying to emails can take up a massive amount of time, setting email rules allows my inbox to automatically organise and prioritise emails.
An easy rule to start with is creating an ‘Inbox – CC’ folder. This folder receives all of the emails that aren’t addressed directly to you, thus focusing your inbox on your most important/relevant emails.
You can set rules by going to File>Info>Rules & Alerts, where you can create your own or use the templates already stored in Outlook.
Tony – Director Sales and Marketing
As someone who travels a lot for work it can sometimes be frustrating going from multiple screens on my desk to a small laptop screen. So I can work efficiently while waiting at the airport. I use Duet Display to turn my iPad into a second screen. It’s a super simple app that you download, install and off you go.
Chris – CEO Strategic Group
We use Skype for Business everyday here at Strategic Group, at any time we have numerous staff members working from home, visiting a client or travelling and SFB allows us all to communicate quickly and easily. Using chat means you can ask a quick question without clogging up somebodies inbox, and the status function allows you to see if a contact is available, busy, away etc.