This begins a new series we’re doing on “Ruthless Efficiency”.
Short tips to redeem time from mundane, repeatable, inefficient tasks. The result: more joyful work, less stress, more time for creativity.
To start, let’s take a look at something already built into your computer, the clipboard. Your computer’s clipboard can be so much more than copy/paste. Learn how to add hidden talent and make your computing more effective AND efficient.
The Normal Clipboard
You know the drill, it is a hidden storage place where something lives that you just copy/cut and then when you need it you “paste” it. Simple, binary, one thing in, one thing out.
Common Clipboard Keyboard Shortcuts
(Ctrl) + X
Command (Cmd) + X
Control (Ctrl) + C
Command (Cmd) + C
Control (Ctrl) + V
Command (Cmd) + V
The Efficiency Beast of a Clipboard
This is really one of my favorite tools I use all-day-long. It is called “clipboard history”. The concept is simple, your clipboard ends up accumulating all the stuff you copy and you can go back and re-paste stuff from days or weeks ago. I can search and recall text I copied weeks ago or thousands of copies ago.
I use a Clipboard history tool for Windows called Ditto. While it is free and works great, it is not the prettiest…
I just hit a special key combination and it pulls up the above interface. I can just start typing part of a previous item I know I had copied. So if I had previously copied:
<p id="aesc"><a href="https://www.aesc.org/" title="AESC - The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants" target="_blank"><img src="/assets/img/common/aesc.gif" alt="AESC - The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants"></a></p>
I could find it by starting to type “aesc” or “href” – basically any part of the paste I remember can help me recall it to use again.
Features of Ditto
- Easy to use interface
- Search and paste previous copy entries
- Keep multiple computer’s clipboards in sync
- Data is encrypted when sent over the network
- Accessed from tray icon or global hot key
- Select entry by double click, enter key or drag drop
- Paste into any window that accepts standard copy/paste entries
- Display thumbnail of copied images in list
Other Clipboard History Tools
- Text Expander – compatible with both Mac and PC and allows for a team to share shortcuts and snippets.
- Alfred (Mac)
- Copy’em Paste (Mac)
- 6 Free Clipboard History Managers to Track What You Copy & Paste