Teammate-recommended productivity hacks

Because Sourcegraph is all-remote, we actively share tips + tricks for using all our digital tools effectively. Take what works for you and ignore what doesn’t, and please do add your own.

You might think of this page as a remote version of “the clever workflows and shortcuts you’d notice by looking over someone’s shoulder as they worked.”

GSuite

  • Search across all GSuite content with Google Cloud Search. You can use https://cloudsearch.google.com/cloudsearch to search across Mail, Drive, Groups and Calendar, as an additional tip, you can create a custom search for it as recommended in the Chrome section using https://cloudsearch.google.com/cloudsearch/search?q=%s.
  • Use the shortcut URLs docs.new, sheets.new, and slides.new for a super fast way to create new docs!

Configure Google Calendar

  • Add your working hours to Google Calendar so your teammates know when it is safe to add meetings to your calendar.
  • Add any local holidays you observe to your calendar so people know you’re not working.
  • Under Event Settings, change the default guest permissions to “Modify event” (this makes it easy for teammates to reschedule when necessary).
    • Consider enabling “Speedy meetings” to build in a 5- or 10-minute break at the end of meetings.

Modifying Google Calendar event settings

  • Join the Sourcegraph events calendar by copying sourcegraph.com_9cd67o8p3gs0rtpj73bt326psk@group.calendar.google.com into your add calendar field
  • Also join the social calendar
  • Add multiple timezones to your Calendar sidebar. This will show two time columns. This is very useful when you work closely with people in another time zone. Go to Settings > General > Time zone and select the Display secondary time zone box. Choose the time zones you want and label them.
  • See the Communication handbook for more on scheduling meetings.

Slack

  • Set up custom channel sections in your sidebar to organize all your channels. You can expand/collapse groups of channels. For example, you might make a group called “Social” that contains channels like #random, #pets-of-sourcegraph, and #cooking.
  • Automatically add links to your slack posts by copying a url, highlighting the text you want to link in the Slack message, and then pasting. This way you can use cmd+v instead of the Slack “add link” button or the slack keyboard shortcut of cmd+shift+U.
  • Disable their WYSIWYG editor if you prefer markdown. Go to Preferences > Advanced > Check “Format messages with markup.”
  • Show only unread channels in your channel sections. Right-click on a channel section or the “Channels” header, then select “Show” > “Unread channels only.”
  • Set up Slack keywords to get notified about relevant threads you aren’t tagged in. Go to Preferences > Notifications > My keywords and add your list of keywords separated by commas. You’ll get notified whenever someone uses them.
  • Use Slackbot’s reminder feature to get reminded of threads later on without leaving them as unread Hover on any Slack message > Select “More actions” in the tool bar > Select “Remind me about this” and choose when you’d like to be reminded. Slackbot will keep your pending messages backlog, you can mark items as Complete when you’ve gone through them.
  • Search for Slack channel. Anyone else got too many Slack channels & can’t find the one you want? Command K lets you search for Slack channel by name.
  • Connect your Google calendar to get reminders and show when you’re in a meeting.
  • Connect Zoom so you can type /zoom and quickly start zoom calls.
  • Connect Clockwise if you use it to schedule meetings; use the GCal integration to send you reminders and the Clockwise integration to handle detailed Slack status updates.
  • Connect Google Drive to get notifications on comments and shares on Google Drive files. Note: after you add this Slack integration, you have to go to the Google drive app in the “Apps” section of Slack and message it on (full docs on managing notifications). If the integration still doesn’t respond, removing it from the entire slack workspace and then re-adding it might work, but you should first verify with others via Slacking #it-tech-ops that it’s stopped working for them. After you remove and re-add, you should notify the same channel that you’ve done so, because everyone might need to re-message on to their drive app channel.

Web Browsers

Chrome

  • Create lots of custom search shortcuts: You can create these for any website, and we recommend setting up the handbook search shortcut and the Sourcegraph.com search shortcut. Other popular search shortcuts are Google Drive, GitHub issues search, or Salesforce.
  • Use a tab manager like Tabbs or Tabli.
  • Set up a separate Chrome profile so you can keep your work and personal bookmarks and autocompletes/shortcuts separate.

Zoom

  • Log in to be let into meetings. Generally if you’ve been stuck in a waiting room, it’s because you’re not logged in to Zoom, even if Zoom is displaying your name. Go to Zoom.us in the menu bar > Sign in to sign in and see if you’re allowed in to the meeting.
  • Set a personal meeting link. By default, your Zoom link is long and hard to remember. Set a human-memorable one on the Zoom site, by going to your profile and updating the “personal link” field.
  • Set a profile picture in your Zoom account. That way, even when your video is off, teammates can see the avatar they recognize you from from Slack. Set it on your profile page.

Other tools

  • Loom for quick videos for demos or bugs.
  • Textexpander or aText for text expansions and abbreviations. Use it to store things like your Zoom URL, Calendly URL, and our ISO date format in a way that can be easily populated into other documents.
  • Kap open source screen recorder for MacOS
  • CleanShot X is a paid but incredibly good screenshot/GIF/video recording tool for macOS.
  • Screenflow is a paid video recording product that allows you to record your screen and webcam at the same time.
  • Clocker for Mac makes it easy to see multiple timezones from your clock.
  • Alfred is a macOS productivity tool that allows you to set up shortcuts via hotkeys or keywords, create reusable text snippets, build workflows for things you commonly do on your laptop, and has offers a multi-day clipboard history.

Miscellaneous

  • Learn the keyboard shortcut to pull up your emoji keyboard: now you can emoji-react places beyond Slack, or use emojis for visual distinction in titles/comments in all your other tools. On Mac it’s command+control+space.
  • Use Lattice to quiz yourself on teammmate faces and names. Log in to Lattice and scroll to the bottom of the page; on the left, click Play Office Party to run through a quiz to see how many faces you can match to names.
  • Use these keyboard shortcuts to reduce mouse clicks. Quickly close tabs or programs, and open new tabs in a program. On Mac command+t will open a new tab in web browsers, many IDE’s, and Mac terminal. On Mac command+w will close the current existing tab.