We use a lot of great web apps, but sometimes it takes a lot of clicks to perform even a simple task, like adding an event to your calendar. Here’s how to collapse those steps and more into one simple address bar command.
We’ve mentioned a few ways to perform tasks from your address bar before, but you can use one method to work with tons of different services, and set them up in one session.
We captured a demonstration of how this works out in actual time saved above, in video. But let’s explain in a bit more depth why you’d want to do this, as well as how to set it up with some of our favourite productivity services.
The words “command line” has both positive and negative connotations; for power users, it’s a tool capable of performing complicated tasks with a few keystrokes. For beginners, it can be confusing and actually waste time. However, many of the productivity services we use today — whether it be Google Calendar, Remember the Milk, Evernote or just plain Gmail — can take quite a few clicks to perform a task.
Take Google Calendar, for example. For most people, adding events is a multi-step process: first, you have to open up the webapp, then you have to find the date of the event, click on it, and then type in the name of your event, its time, and its location into a bunch of separate text boxes. Instead of going through all that, wouldn’t it be faster to just type “dinner with mum at 7pm at Cameron’s” in your address bar and be done with it?
That’s the idea behind this system. By integrating all of your favourite services into your browser’s address bar, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time navigating their web apps. No matter what you want to do — whether it’s add a task to your to-do list, add an event to your calendar, send a quick email, or even get driving directions &mdash ;all you have to do is hit Ctrl+L and type in a few choice words. (Ctrl+L is the shortcut to highlight the text in your address bar. Memorize it and work it into your muscle memory; it’ll be your best friend for this system. Also note that on a Mac, the shortcut is Cmd+L instead).