Good automation saves time. Here are 3 practical examples of techniques you could set up quickly to help with your productivity.

I began last week’s article with the question, “What can you do today that will make tomorrow easier?” One little technique or one little setting, something that requires only a minute to complete, has the potential to make life easier. Today, I will give you three examples.

Windows Clipboard History

How many times during any given day do you “copy and paste”? How many times do you go back and forth from one document to another, copying from one and pasting to the other? The “back and forth” routine comes from the simple fact that when you “copy,” the newly-copied information goes to the “clipboard” and replaces the last piece of copied information.

“Windows Clipboard History” does away with this limitation. This tool holds the last 25 pieces of copied information. Setting it up requires less time than reading this paragraph. Copy some information with “Ctrl + C.” Instead of the normal “Ctrl + V” to paste, hold the “Windows” key (which looks like the Windows logo) and hit “V.” Confirm the message that appears. Done!

From here on, get used to using “Windows + V” instead of “Ctrl + V.” For more information, I did an entire blog post and video on the topic. Your future self will thank you every time you “copy and paste.”

Make “Print Screen” a Friend

How many times have you needed to snip something from a webpage, not the entire screen, but just an image or a portion of the screen? In 30 seconds, you can reconfigure the “Print Screen” key to let you click and drag just the part of the screen you need. Click the button below to set it up and start saving time.

You may not have touched the Print Screen key in a long time (if ever). It may now become your favorite key on the entire keyboard. Your future self will thank you for the 30 seconds it took to set it up.

Google Lens

Suppose you’re taking a walk along a trail. “What sort of flower is that?” you wonder. Imagine being able to point your phone at the flower and get your answer. That’s just part of the magic behind Google Lens.

You see a product in a store. Open Google Lens, aim the phone at the product, and tap a button. Instantly, you see information about that product and other similar ones. It’s like performing a Google search. Only instead of entering a search term, you’re performing a search using physical objects in the environment.

Want to copy some text from a magazine? With Google Lens, point your phone at the text, highlight the portion of interest, and let Google Lens copy the text and send that text to your computer or copy it to the clipboard on your phone where you can paste it anywhere you like.

I even tried using Google Lens to transform my own handwriting into editable, digital text. To see the result and to learn how to use Google Lens, come over to this blog post and video:

Once you start using Google Lens, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Spend a little time today to save yourself lots of time day after day.

Life is too short and time too precious to waste one more day. If you are someone who stumbled upon this site for the first time, let me help you take a major step forward right now. When you join my email list, I’ll give you two free gifts. The first will get your desk clean. The second will put everything you have to do in one place. Plus, each week you’ll hear from me with nuts & bolts tools and strategies to make life easier and more productive. You’re one click away from making it happen