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My first keyboard skill was shown to me by a programmer way back in the Windows 3.0 days. He showed me the ALT + TAB move that enabled me to be even more hyper focused (aka ADD) when working on things. This move works both in the Window world and OSX.

To do this, simply use the left hand thumb to press and hold on the ALT (PC) or COMMAND (Mac), then with the middle finger of that same hand and tap the TAB key. If you have never seen this, you will see a list of the open applications on your machine. This has been a part of my keyboard skills and I have at time developed a pain in the hand from using it so much!!! This is old school app switching at its best.

When I show the young kids, mostly high school students, they are blown away with this new power and typically give me the respect of an ancient wizard, not really, but they are impressed. I know that every new operating system introduces some new way to view, manage and move through apps, Apple does this so much that I stopped keeping track of the new moves. This one stays with me and to my surprise it even works on a keyboard with and iPad or Android tablets.

Learning and using keyboard shortcuts take practice and time. Most likely, that new software you just purchased will have a set of keyboard shortcuts to explore. Find the ones that match the actions you use most, print out a copy and place it above your desktop monitor, scribble it on a sticky note and keep it in view until you feel confident with the shortcuts. It will increase your productivity when typing because it lessens the movement from mouse/trackpad to keyboard by keeping all your actions in the keyboard area.

Check out these commands from the following Operating Systems and Apps: