Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Change a Mouse Button, Change Your Life

I like being efficient. I don't like doing unnecessary things.  I figure out the fastest route to drive everywhere I go.  I even tie my shoes differently to save myself two seconds.  If you have talked to me in person then it is very likely you have heard me go on about minimizing my wallet.  I don't like wasting time or energy.  At Endigit, we are proud of our efficiency and ability to complete things quickly. One way we do this is by being effective in our key strokes and mouse clicks.

One trick that will save you a lot of time in the long run is to map the delete key to an accessory button on your mouse.  With a delete button mapped, you no longer need to move your hand from the mouse (or move your left hand over) to press the delete key on the keyboard.  You can simply select it with the mouse and hit the newly mapped delete button.  Each click saves me around 1 second.  While one second by itself is not much, imagine if you are deleting 60 things a day.  You just bought back one minute of your life that would have been sucked away!  Count Rugen would be furious!

Everyone at Endigit uses the Logitech M570 trackball mouse.  Logitech has instructions for customizing the buttons for their products.

Effective use of movement and time are part of what helps Endigit provide faster software development.  It is part of how Robert won the World's Fastest LabVIEW Programmer at NIWeek 2016!  I think mapping the delete button is the only thing Robert changed to advance from taking 2nd place for several years in a row.  Now instead of not being a winner, Robert is a champion.  Imagine what a faster delete key can do for you.

What are your favorite time saving tips and tricks?


  1. A blog post after my own heart. <3

    My favorite time saving trick is typing Quick Drop object shortcuts with my left hand only, to avoid the mouse hand switch mentioned in this blog post. In LabVIEW 2016 and later, these object shortcuts are included with LabVIEW by default. In LabVIEW 2015 and earlier, you can download my shortcuts from here: http://forums.ni.com/t5/Example-Program-Drafts/Quick-Drop-Palette-Object-Shortcuts-English/ta-p/3516902

    1. Great short cut Darren. It made me think of something else that is great. I mapped my other accessory button to be ctrl-space when used in LabVIEW. Now I have even quicker access to Quick Drop!