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App of the Week: KeyRocket Helps Users Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Did you know that by using keyboard shortcuts instead of mouse clicks you can save two seconds per action? Those two seconds add up to a full six days per year for the average full-time worker. This interesting calculation by Brainscape comes from the amount of time it takes a user to reach for his or her mouse instead of keeping those fingers on the keyboard.

But memorizing all those keyboard shortcuts can be even more time-consuming than just reaching for the mouse. Sure, you could wallpaper your office with keyboard shortcuts, but that would likely take even more valuable time from your work as you scanned the lists for the shortcut you need.

KeyRocket gives users a chance to learn those shortcuts without leaving the keyboard or computer screen. With each mouse click, KeyRocket provides a pop-up message that informs users of the shortcut for that particular action. The app currently supports shortcuts for Microsoft Office versions 2003 through 2013 and Windows versions XP through 2008.

Additionally, KeyRocket has released a version of its app that works with Gmail. It is provided as a Chrome extension and is available through the Web Store. The Gmail version gives you shortcuts you can use while composing, reading, and managing messages in  your Gmail inbox.

Many of us have long used shortcuts in Microsoft Office products, but as KeyRocket founder Jan Mechtel points out, KeyRocket helps with shortcuts in applications like Windows Explorer, as well. “It’s amazing that even as a shortcut expert, KeyRocket taught me something new,” Mechtel said. “In my case Ctrl + Shift + N to create a new folder was a real productivity boost.”

For a commercial license to use KeyRocket, businesses will pay $5 per month per user. This gives access to shortcuts for Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as Windows Explorer.

KeyRocket won’t limit itself to Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office, and Gmail, however. The company asserts that it is continually working to update its software. KeyRocket invites customers to make suggestions about future features. Customers won’t have to wait for the software to suggest shortcuts, thanks to a searchable database of shortcuts that can be searched at any time.

Over time, you’ll naturally begin to memorize the keyboard shortcuts you use most often, making you even more productive. Still, KeyRocket will be a handy piece of software to keep around, since it will continue to offer suggestions for new actions you perform as part of your job.

Overall, KeyRocket estimates by using its software, your small business’s productivity will increase by one percent, which translates to two extra days per year. For those who use Microsoft Excel excessively, KeyRocket estimates a three percent productivity increase, translating to five days per year.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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