Life Hacks

Published August 5, 2020

I enjoy learning new life hacks—ideas, tips and tricks to make day-to-day tasks just a little easier. Of course some suggestions might be more useful than others, but I always admire the inventive, creative minds behind the suggestions.

Here are a few recent hacks I’ve come across that are technology-related (some more so than others). If you can’t use the hack now, tuck it away in your back pocket. It might come in handy someday:

-To quickly change text in a Word document from upper to lower case (or vice versa), highlight the text then hit Shift + F3.

-Did you know that the center rolling scroller on your mouse can open links?  If you’re reading text, just move your mouse over a link and click the scroll button instead of rolling it.

-If you use earphones with wires and have trouble remembering which is for the left or right ear, tie a knot in one or wrap it with colorful electric tape to identify which is which.

-Need to crank up the music on your smartphone but don’t have a wireless speaker handy? Try placing it in a large, empty glass to amplify the sound.

-Got a low cell phone battery but no phone charger or laptop to power it back up? Check for a USB on a television.

-Increase your chances of finding a lost phone. Take a picture of an emergency contact name and number and use this as the lockscreen on your phone.

-Between phones, laptops, cameras and more, it’s not unusal to have a tangled up mess of cable cords. Organize your cords by standing up empty toilet paper rolls in a box, and sliding the cords neatly inside.

-Crumbs, dust, and a lot of ‘ick’ can collect in your keyboard. Try cleaning it out with the sticky end of a post-it note.

-An alternative to using a mouse to scroll down a page is to tap the space bar.  To scroll back up, hold the “shift” key plus the space bar.

-To proofread an essay you’ve written, listen to it via Google Translate.

-To test if a battery is still good, try bouncing it. Several sources indicate that a battery that bounces high is low on charge.

-Are the feet of your keyboard broken? Try using binder clips to give your keyboard a lift.

-Lego Mini figures are the perfect size to hold cable cords. (Whoever discovered that little gem likely has quite a Lego collection.)

These are just a few of the quick tips I found. Many of these were found on multiple sites, so they are commonly known. A simple search for “technology life hacks” will reveal these and dozens more. Take a look for yourself and see what other great ideas are out there, waiting to be tried!