instant messaging tips tricks

Alt + Tab = Much better

As instant messaging slowly creeps towards 75% of all my communications with my work mates, I am needing all the help I can get to stay efficient. One of the problems I have been running into lately is that I have so many windows open and reaching for the mouse, clicking on the window I want to type in, and putting my hands back on the keyboard is wasting my time!

Sound a bit OCD? Well, you’re talking to the guy who learned to type in Dvorak just to increase his efficiency at typing. ANYTHING I can do to save a few keystrokes or reduce movements adds up to big savings later.


This is no new trick, but it’s good to revisit basics sometimes. When you have multiple windows open, you can click your Alt + Tab keys to switch between windows. This works brilliantly for instant messaging at work.

Here’s what I do: I use my left hand to Alt+Tab through my open messenger windows until I get to chat I want to type in. I actually use my thumb on the Alt key and pinky finger on the Tab key.

The result is that I don’t have to take my hands out of the typing position. This means I can VERY quickly type, Alt+Tab, type, etc.

Every little bit helps!