Living life in the digital fast lane is something that a lot of people aspire to. But it’s not always easy being fast — there are plenty of distraction black holes and internet inefficiencies lurking along the way. Whether you are an internet power user already, or someone who’s merely aspiring to be one — here are some useful speed hacks that should help you manage your digital time better (and enjoy it more in the too).
Clever content curation saves time
Anyone who manages their own social profiles knows that the key to great social engagement and increasing your follower count is sharing awesome content; but why does finding content have to take so long? Finding and curating content can quickly spiral out of control into an endless loop of blog notifications and newsletters.
Here are some content curation speed hacks:
- Use lists in Feedly so that you always have a digestible list of fresh content to share— you can even share content directly via the app (praise integrations!)
- Another native way to quickly organize your social content is to use the list building function on Twitter: this will allow you to quickly retweet content from credible sources and accounts. (It’s a great way to ‘cheat’ the algorithm — Twitter might not always be showing you what you want to see).
- Use social media management tools for scheduling social media post directly from feed containing authority content in respective category.
If this, then that is where it’s at
Are you yet to embrace the awesome potential of IFTT? It’s an absolutely amazing bit of kit that can help you automate loads of online tasks. It integrates with pretty much everything (always a bonus) and will help you organize your online life in no time. (It’s especially useful for online entrepreneurs like bloggers and affiliate marketers: check out these small business automation hacks).
IFTT is so much more than just a social media scheduling tool, here are some of the popular ‘recipes’ you can use to save time and simplify your life:
- Add songs from YouTube videos you like to a Spotify playlist
- Save new iOS contacts to Google contacts
- Automated time logging into a spreadsheet
- Sync Instagram photos with Dropbox
- Collect mentions of your Twitter handle into a spreadsheet.
There are a ton more recipes to try — here are some classic ones.
Clear the inbox, clear the mind
People waste a lot of time on email, thanks to disorganized inboxes and bad email management.
- Is your email clogged up? Use me to bulk unsubscribe from pesky marketing updates that don’t interest you.
- Use automatic email forwarding and folders to help manage your inbox — this way, you’ll never miss actually important messages.
- It’s also a good idea to go for fewer email notifications — changing tasks is a huge productivity killer, so you need to dial down your email ‘noise’ to stay focused.
Take your browser to the next level
Your browser isn’t just something that connects to the Internet — use plugins to take it to the next level so that it becomes your inspiration board, organizer, and daily planner.
- Plugins like Pocket or Evernote will help you organize and bookmark sites so that you’ll never miss out on a cool opportunity again.
- You can also use screenshot plugins and web metrics plugins like the Mozbar to speed up your digital marketing operations.
- Use the browser extras like auto-fill functions to save you precious time.
Manage your time with password managers
Absolutely essential for anyone looking to simplify their online life is a trusty password manager.Make your life easier and invest in a good password manager like Dashlane that remembers multiple passwords and other details like credit cards and addresses.
Using a manager will make individual passwords more secure (they can often be generated by the tool), but you will still have to ensure that access to the actual manager is secure too!
Embrace shortcuts (they’re everywhere)
To speed up your online life you need to become a computer power user. Shortcuts, speeding up your mouse, optimizing your keyboard setup — little tweaks will save you hours, even days, over time.
- Use all the core computer shortcuts, but also learn the ones for popular platforms like Twitter (pictured above). Shortcuts will make navigating your online life a whole lot easier, and after a few weeks, you will pretty much have the hang of all the crucial ones.
- Increase your mouse and trackpad sensitivity so that you’re not dragging your mouse around needlessly. Adjust your keyboard so that you have the perfect workspace set-up: very important for hard-working desk workers.
Automation isn’t scary — it’s great!
Some things are worth automating in any business. Whether that’s emails, order processing, or social media — embrace clever software out there that will allow you to automate your business: it could make a huge difference to your revenue and help you scale.
- Martech (marketing technology) is largely founded on the principles of smart automation and personalization. Automation will help you follow up with leads more efficiently and plug any gaps in the sales pipeline. Don’t be afraid of using templates in your sales and marketing: they do
- No one has time for manually managing social media every day — get smart with scheduling tools. Hootsuite is probably one of the best known social media schedulers, but there are loads of cool alternatives out there, including ones that will send out the same post more than once.
Manage your finances with less stress
Simplify your finances by investing in cloud apps and tools. Whether you manage your money through your banking app or invest in accounting software like Xero — moving money matters online will save you loads of time.
There are plenty of clever money management tools, but here are two of my favorites:
- Receiptbank has an app that allows you to instantly scan in receipts to their receipt management system when you’re on the go: perfect for busy entrepreneurs who don’t want to spend hours bookkeeping every month.
- And if you set up automated invoicing in Xero, you will be able to simply log into the online app and invoice clients from there in seconds (or just do it from your mobile if you’re on the go).
Speed up your content
Did you know that you can speed up videos by about 2 times their original speed, and still understand (and process) every word? Don’t waste time watching videos at normal speed.
Hate clicking through slow-loading slides? You can usually opt to out slide content onto one single page, saving you loads of time. Sites obviously won’t want to make this option obvious because of ad revenue, but it’s worth digging for it if you can.
Use dictation for writing & note-taking
Using dictation software can help you really speed up your writing: as AI gets smarter and we all rely on our IoT devices to manage our digital lives, dictation is only getting smarter.
Nuance’s Dragon is the industry standard (and expensive), but they also have a free mobile version that comes with an affordable subscription. Try it out for yourself — it’s a really quick and easy way to take notes or capture important information.
Manage your own websites
Managing your own websites makes sense — you can quickly make content and design changes, and any server issues are in your control.
Especially for ecommerce, being in control of product and site updates will save you a lot of time. Even if you go for self-hosted, go for a powerful store builder that allows for easy and quick management, rather than opting for a more basic option.
If you manage multiple wordpress websites and servers, you can bring them all under one site and server dashboard that will show you at a glance when a site was last updated, what version of WordPress a site is on, and any other critical issues.
Being fast online also comes down to having the right mindset. You need to be constantly striving for speed, and you need to accept that you’ll probably need to change your habits to make a lasting difference. It’s easy to waste time on things you feel are ‘essential’ when really your time is best spent elsewhere. Start being smarter about how you spend your time today. How are you going to save time this month