Power user at the keyboard

How to become a Power User

Cedric Ferry


You might have heard of power users, people who master a technology, an application or a device. They are the ones that are able to find shortcuts to make things happen faster. Power users master technology to serve their needs. Looking at them while interacting with a computer or a phone might look like a sci-fi movie.
Power users have a connection with the machine, like they are one.

Let’s explore the techniques developed by geeks, so you too can leverage the full power of your electronic devices and software.

Go above, explore beyond 🔭

Back in the days, everything always started with reading the manual. You might have seen the acronym RTFM (Read the F*cking Manual). Reading the manual was the very first step to master anything really, a VHS recorder to the BASIC programming language. Nowadays, manuals are minimal and often online. They remain a great way to learn and understand how something works.
However, one of my favorite ways to master a piece of software is to explore it. And this is my first piece of advice to you to become a power user. Click the file menu and go through all items. Click the next menu, learn about the software capabilities and repeat. My next tip is to open the preferences or settings panel and look at all the options, try some out, have fun and tune the software to your needs. Don’t be afraid by mistakes, you can often undo 😉.

Become a keyboard cowboy ⌨️🤠

When you look at how computer enthusiasts use their machine, you will notice they use the keyboard extensively. Typing speeds up the workflow and reduces interruptions. Whenever a user needs to switch to the mouse, it creates a short break in the workflow, resulting in loss of focus.
Power users learn shortcuts, to stay in the zone and be productive. You will find shortcuts next to menu items. Some shortcuts are hidden, you may want to seek for Cheat Sheets, often created by enthusiasts themselves. In addition, apps like CheatSheet can help you see all shortcuts. Most OS and some software allow for shortcut customisation (Mac, Windows, Linux Ubuntu).

Open the lab 🧪