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Kill Your Mouse: Your Legal Career Will Thank You

Why do we tolerate mice on our desk, but not in the rest of the house? People seem to think they need their computer’s mouse at all times. My argument in response is quite simply that this is not true. Sure, mouse manufacturers want you to think you have to have a mouse to use a computer, but they have a financial incentive to do so.Wireless Mouse

Maybe people are just so attached to their little oblong friend that they cannot let go of it, for fear that they will be all alone in the computer wilderness. Honestly, if I was going into unknown territory the last companion I would pick to go with me would be a mouse. I would pick a horse, a dog, a cat, even a pig before I would pick a mouse.

This is the beginning of a series I intend to write on killing your mouse. I was prompted to write this by sitting in my law school classes and watching my classmates plug in their various mice to their laptops. Some people bring the corded variety, while others opt for the admittedly nifty wireless kind. Needless to say, everyone one of these people have TWO excellent input devices that trump a mouse any day: keyboard and touch-pad (or track-stick).

What are the benefits of killing your mouse? Indeed, there are many, but here are a few:

  • Less equipment to carry around
  • Fewer cords to be tangled up
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased arm movement = less tiring computer operation

My Mousey Story

Before writing any more, I must confess that I am a former mouse-lugger. I have been using a laptop to take notes in class since my undergraduate days. I lugged a mouse to and from school for years. That is, until I became FREE.

Eventually I got tired of carrying around my mouse, and since I was not lucky enough to have a wireless one, I decided to start leaving it at home. All I did at school was type notes, check email, etc, so I figured I could manage with the keyboard and touch-pad. It was a pain at first, but eventually I learned to manage and saved myself time and trouble at school. However, I still plugged my mouse into the laptop every day when I got home. Finally, last fall I wrapped the mouse cord up and put it away. I am proud to say that I have been mouse-sober since that time.

What Will You Learn Here?

Through the course of this series, I hope to show that you can operate a computer without a mouse (even if you don’t have a touch-pad). Here are just a few of the things we will go through:

  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Keystroke automation
  • Computer add-ons to make these quicker and easier

After the completion of this series you will be much more proficient at a computer, increasing your productivity and speed on tasks ranging from browsing the web to doing legal research to writing. Your legal career will benefit from these tips.

Personal Challenge

It is an interesting exercise to take away your mouse for even 15 minutes and see how things go. If you are not familiar with keyboard shortcuts, you will probably feel like you are in computer Hell without your trusty sidekick. However, take the challenge anyway and see if you can make it 15 minutes without your mouse.

Once you have done the challenge, you’re ready to begin reading the rest of this series. My personal goal is for you to be keyboard proficient by the end of the series. Then when you try the 15 minute mouse-less exercise again you will hopefully not want to re-connect the mouse.

[tags]legal andrew, mouse, keyboard[/tags]

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