Improve Your Workflow with Keyboard Shortcuts

March 15, 2016  •  By Jake Larson

Throughout our workflow we find ourselves repeating regular actions, such as copy and paste or changing browser tabs. We may even use the keyboard for certain actions when we're familiar with the keyboard shortcut. Lite Jot is built from the ground up with simple and intuitive keyboard shortcuts embedded into many of the routine tasks of note-taking. We wanted to take a moment to shine the spotlight on keyboard controls and demonstrate how they can make note-taking much smoother. We've broken this blog post into three pieces: an introduction to keyboard shortcuts in Lite Jot, creating checklists on the fly, and how the tab key can make indenting and breaking lines easier.

Introducing Keyboard Shortcuts

When you first logged in, you may have noticed the keyboard shortcuts hint bar right under the top menu. You may have even hidden it (by clicking the keyboard icon on the blue bar) to make room for your notes. When it's visible, it looks like this:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 1

Depending on where you are focused on in the interface the hint bar will give you a list of shortcuts for that specific area. By "focused," we mean whichever part of the document the page has browser focus. For example, by clicking a textarea on any regular webpage the cursor will begin blinking within it to signify you are focused on that element. As we'll see in further examples, Lite Jot places further emphasis on focused elements by adding a blue accent or background to the element.

We'll start by focusing on the jot textarea. The shortcuts bar will respond with keys we can use to navigate the interface or perform relevant actions:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 2

If we press the left arrow key we'll end up focused on the first topic in the topics column:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 3

We can quickly create a new topic by pressing the "n" key:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 4

When we write a topic title into the box and press enter, Lite Jot will assume we want to start taking notes right away and will bring focus back to the jot textarea:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 5

Creating Checklists with Your Keyboard Is a Breeze

Creating checklists on Lite Jot is already super easy. If you haven't created your own checklist before, no worries! We're going to walk through the process of creating one while using keyboard shortcuts to demonstrate just how fast the process can be.

Lite Jot supports different jot types: standard (i.e., plain text) jots, heading jots, checklist jots, email tag jots, and some more to come. Underneath the jot textarea are tabs that change which kind of jot you're creating. To switch tabs using your keyboard (alternatively, you could just click the checklist tab, but you may find the keyboard more convenient), use the following process (also indicated in the keyboard shortcuts bar):

  1. Press the down arrow from the jot textarea to enter the jot tab area.
  2. Use the left and right arrow keys to toggle tabs.
  3. Press the up arrow to go back to typing.

Below is a screenshot showing that we are now in the checklist tab:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 6

Right now, there's only one checkbox and a line next to it to type in. When we start typing, Lite Jot will add another blank item underneath, such as in the screenshot below:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 7

In the screenshot above, within the keyboard shortcuts is the option to go down to the next item. If we press the down arrow, we'll end up on the next line. When we start typing, yet another blank item will show up and this process will repeat itself until we've exhausted our todo list or whatever it is we are creating a checklist for. Then we can press return (enter) and our checklist will be saved. The blank item that pops up automatically at the bottom while creating new checklists will not be saved. Here's what our beautifully simple checklist looks like now:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 8

Indentation and Line Breaks with the Tab Key

There's many instances where we need to indent and break lines. One example is writing an organized outline. Lite Jot supports the tab key in the standard (plain text) jots textarea. In addition to making indentation possible, we realized that line breaking with shift+return is not very smooth and can lead to accidental saving of a jot (because pressing return will save your jot). We thought about this one long and hard, and decided to combine both indentation and line breaking into the tab key's functionality. We'll walk through how the tab key, while simple, can make your workflow a bit easier.

Imagine you're writing your outline using a standard (plain text) jot. You write the heading of a section, and then the next item within that heading will probably be indented once on the next line. Instead of pressing shift+return, pressing tab will bring you to the next line. Lite Jot knows you're probably not going to try to indent on the same line after written text. Let's see a screenshot:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 9

Now we are on the second line of our jot, and the line is blank. Pressing tab on a blank line will actually add indentation because no text has been written yet. You can then write text and repeat the process until you decide to save your jot. Here's an example:

Keyboard shortcuts screenshot 10

Consider Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Improve Productivity

With Lite Jot, you can eliminate much of the mouse-clicking from your note-taking tasks. Sifting through folders and topics is incredibly quick with Lite Jot. No more clicking through items in your notes to find them. You can scroll through your jots (by holding down the up and down arrows), edit jots, topics, and folders quickly, and as you've seen in this tutorial, speedily create checklists with minimal effort. We also saw how the tab key adds convenience to standard jots to make indenting and breaking lines simpler. By incorporating these tips into your workflow, taking notes with Lite Jot can be even faster!

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