How a Gaming Gadget Increased My Productivity

StreamDeck by Elgato

This is a true story about how a gadget I have wanted for at least a decade that I never knew existed until a few months ago has increased my productivity and sped up my workflow.

To be fair to myself, it was only released about a year prior to my discovery but I was still pissed off I wasn’t pigeon notified the moment it became available.

and that my friends is why I am writing this post, in the hope I can show other designers, developers, programmers and also bloggers how a device that was designed for gaming can greatly improve your productivity.

At least if you are a PC power-user like myself.

The StreamDeck is a 15 key LED customizable keyboard that sits on your desktop and allows you to program any shortcuts, functions or even trigger macros with a single press of a button.

Welcome to my life, the life of RSI from repeatedly using 2 and 3 key shortcuts thousands if not tens of thousands of times a day.

You see, I’m a web designer and copywriter who well, types all day, everyday!

It’s not just Ctrl+C and other common shortcuts but using programs like photoshop that often require a 3 key shortcut.

With the StreamDeck I have everything on a single click and set for the various programs I use on my computer.

Here are some examples of how I am using StreamDeck.

Windows

Copy, Paste, Cut, Select, Find, Re-Find (CTRL+G for the unenlightened), Refresh, Desktop, Create new folder (yes right clicking annoys me too), Undo, Redo.

Chrome

New Tab, New Window, Forward, Back, Downloads, Find, Re-Find, Hard-Refresh (this get’s a lot of use), Select all, Address Bar, Zoom-In, Zoom-Out.

Gmail

Open, Send, Compose New Email, Reply, Forward, Bold, Italic, Underline, Shortcuts.

Asana

New Task, Complete Task, Delete Task, Move Task Up, Move Task Down, Shortcuts, Bold, Italic, Undo.

Wordpress

This one is particularly useful if you are a blogger using the Wordpress platform.

H2, H3, H4, Distaction Free Mode toggle, Cut, Copy, Paste, Insert Link, Insert Image, Select All, Undo, Bold, Italics, Shortcuts.

This speeds up my writing massively as I seldom need to touch the mouse to use the editor and there’s no way I am going to remember every shortcut for every program and web platform I use.

Photoshop

In Photoshop I actually need more than 15 buttons so I setup multiple pages and place them in sub folders.

In my top page I have a button to launch photoshop aswell as save, save for web, create new, open and then I have two folder buttons.

The first opens navigation buttons and essentials like image size, canvas size, add layer, duplicate layer, fill background and copy paste etc.

The second page is just for the tools, this has my move tool, lassos, select, magic wand, crop, pipette, paint brush, clone, eraser, paint bucket, text, shapes, zoom in and zoom out.

This allows me to change tools very quickly.

I am sure this tool could be used to great affect with tools like Adobe Premiere and other production suites that are involved and rely heavily on shortcuts to navigate quickly.

In addition to the above programs where I have created a dedicated page on my StreamDeck keyboard that gets activated when the program is the active window I have also created a series of shortcuts.

These are a mix of shortcuts to the programs I use the most often so they are one click away on hotkeys and shortcuts that run macros so I can launch a suite of programs.

I have also created shortcuts that run macros and open multiple websites I know I need to work on a specific project.

If you are productivity hacker and work on a computer all day, this is the device you need in your life.

Trust me, I’m you!

How would you put this tool to use in your workflow? I would love to hear how this can benefit others too.

The StreamDeck was created by Elgato a company I had never heard of who have from the looks of it carved out a niche creating streaming devices for gamers.

I have no affiliation with the company, purely admiration that they finally cracked it and invented the productivity tool of my dreams.

While the tool was created for streamers and gamers this tool can replace very expensive broadcasting equipment and become the digital creatives best friend.

Yeah, you are only going to enjoy this if you are as nerdy as me!

Brofist!


Thanks for reading.

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