Ask any podcast editor how to increase your speed while editing and they will tell you “Get to know your keyboard shortcuts”.
I've nearly mastered the shortcuts in Audacity, and have re-programmed a bunch of them to fit my needs.
You see, it only makes sense to use keys located on the left side of the keyboard so your right hand can stay on the mouse. So changing the default Audacity keyboard shortcuts to my needs has greatly increased the speed at which I edit.
Increased speed means more edits per hour.
More edits per hour means more projects done in a day, which in turn creates more revenue for my business (or more time to mow the lawn – but that's not why you're here).
When I heard you could purchase a USB mouse with programmable keys on the side, I just HAD to have one.
…so I ended up purchasing two because, well…
What Gaming Mouse companies don't tell you
My first purchase was the UtechSmart Venus 16400 DPI.
Like a good boy, I read the instructions (all 8 pages in English). Nothing in it said the mouse was or wasn't compatible with a Mac. Silly me! I failed to check into that before ordering!
However, I found out after ordering a different mouse (below) that you didn't need a Windows machine to use the programmable side buttons.
You can also change the colors by pressing a button on the bottom. AWESOME!
Granted, there are some cool features available via a Windows-only software download (or mini-CD included in the package), but I just want a mouse with programmable buttons.
The following two mice fit the bill.
UtechSmart Venus 16400 DPI Gaming Mouse
Upon a recommendation in my Podcast Editor's Club Facebook group, I purchased the UtechSmart Venus gaming mouse (currently under $40 on Amazon*).
My experience with the UtechSmart Venus
The mouse felt great!
- The buttons were located where my thumb could easily find them
- The removable “tuning set” allowed me to adjust it to just the weight I liked
- The “profile” was exactly what I had hoped for. It allowed me to pick up the mouse and move it around without losing grip
The fatal flaw: Despite all the reasons I love this mouse…I can't use it.
The cursor moved around the screen too fast – even after adjusting the System Preferences to the slowest setting possible.
The good news is I can use the mouse with my Dell laptop. (That's a story for another post).
Redragon Perdition 24000 DPI Gaming Mouse
Another member of my Podcast Editor's Club Facebook group gave a personal testimony for the Redragon Perdition gaming mouse (currently under $32 on Amazon*).
She had borrowed it from her husband and found it worked on her Mac right away. I found that to be true as well.
My experience with the Redragon Perdition
- This mouse also felt great in my hand, but the “profile” wasn't as pronounced – letting it slip a little more than I wanted
- I like the texture of the right/left mouse buttons better than the UtechSmart Venus
- I also liked the scroll wheel better, although I can't explain why
The programmable side buttons are nearly identical to the UtechSmart Venus, and the cursor was much easier to follow/control.
This is why the Redragon Perdition will become my main editing mouse.
The ROI on Programmable Mouse Buttons
For me, the programmable buttons on the side of either mouse are going to work exactly as the numbers on a normal keyboard.
For example: The numbers 1, 3, and 5 allow me to change between the Selection Tool, Envelope Tool, and the Time Shift Tool. I use those ALL THE TIME and they are located on the top-left of my keyboard, so there's really no benefit there.
However, the addition of number keys located on the right side of a keyboard, 7 through 0, will help me add more commands that would normally require me to move my left hand away from it's normal resting space.
Plus there is an 11 and 12 button on the mouse, so I'm getting the benefit of 6 more keyboard shortcuts.
This saves me time, which gives me more earning potential.
My estimate is I will recoup the $35ish dollars spent on either of these mice in a couple of months.
I call that a #win.
What have you purchased to help improve your efficiency or productivity?
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