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General Discussion

What are your (micro) productivity tips for web developers?

Hi, I'm trying to improve my productivity as a web developer. There's a lot of fruitful discussion online regarding general productivity measures, like using to-do lists, Pomodoro technique, etc. There's also quite a lot of "big stuff" discussion, like using version control, Emmet, CodeKit and so on. But I've not seen much focussed discussion of the things one can do at the micro-scale. For example, lately I:

  1. Remapped the Force Refresh keyboard shortcut in Chrome to a more ergonomic (and faster) key combination than the default. (how to here: http://lifehacker.com/5720087/how-to-remap-any-keyboard-shortcut-in-mac-os-x)

  2. Added search engines to Chrome's Omnibar so that I can type "mm [css property/javascript function]" and go directly to the relevant article on developer.mozilla.org or "m [php function]" and go directly to the PHP manual (details here: http://web.peterhartree.co.uk/2013/faster-way-consult-web-development-manuals-chrome/).

  3. Installed Disconnect.Me Chrome extension, which improves privacy online but, more significantly for the current topic, massively speeds up web browsing. (https://disconnect.me/)

  4. Learnt some great keyboard shortcuts for selecting text (details here: http://osxdaily.com/2012/02/23/keyboard-shortcuts-to-navigate-select-text-mac-os-x/)

  5. Started using the Chrome Auto-Pin tabs extension to avoid tab disorientation https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/auto-pin-url/heodenddhgffdcadgghkghlcjjikaahf/related?hl=en

Treehouse Members and Tutors - I'd love to hear some of your favourite (micro) productivity tips!

All the best, Peter

4 Answers

I'm pretty new and don't really have any tips except for this big one: use Evernote to make an easily searchable, tagged and categorized repository of all your knowledge on a given topic. Official documentation, interesting articles, online tutorials, code snippets, pdfs, ... I throw it all in there. It enables me to search through everything in seconds, and instantly makes everything available on my other devices!

Oh, and in case someone isn't aware of this lifesaver yet: ctrl-shift-T = reopen last closed tab in Chrome.

Hey Greg - that Chrome shortcut is beautiful, cheers!!

P

So, here's another micro-tip for Chrome developers: right clicking a DOM element and choosing "Inspect Element" is a bit slow, don't you think? I reckon it's about 40% faster to do the following:

  1. Press CMD + Shift + C to open the inspector.
  2. Left click on the element you want to inspect.

P

OK, here's a great tip for Gmail users: if you need to signup for a bunch of accounts on social networks etc, you can do it all from a single Gmail address. Take your regular address and just add a + sign then some arbitrary text. So, e.g.

my.email@gmail.com

could become:

my.email+client-1@gmail.com, my.email+client-2@gmail.com

and so on, ad infinitum. Messages sent to these "alternate" emails will all end up in your regular inbox.

Festive greetings :)