Always using a mouse to get around your operating system is about as efficient as using one finger while typing on your keyboard.  While it might be an easy habit to use the mouse for everything, I can guarantee it’s not the most effective method of navigating your computer.  When I taught a computer 101 class, the first reaction my class had to keyboard shortcuts was, “that’s too much to remember.”  Think about it, though - with the mouse method, you have to remember where or what to click on, and it takes several steps while keyboard shortcuts are rarely more than two buttons.

For example, let’s break down how I would open a Word document that I just saved in the “My Documents” folder.  With my mouse I would click “File Explorer” then “My Documents” then click the document.  With keyboard shortcuts, I would hit Windows Key + F and start typing my file name.  Windows would automatically find the file, and from there I would just hit enter and my document would automatically launch.  While it may seem like both methods use the same number of steps, the keyboard method is actually much faster.

To get better with keyboard shortcuts, it’s best to start with a handful of them and slowly build up from there.  In this video, we show you a few shortcuts we’ve found really helpful for working in Windows 8.  We've also prepared a little cheat sheet you can print out and keep near your keyboard to remind you of them if needed.  After you start using keyboard shortcuts, you’ll quickly realize you can get around Windows 8 a lot more efficiently.

To get the full size version of the cheat sheet just click the image.