Conserve Your Keystrokes

I started this blog when I’ve read one of the write-ups by Scott Hanselman, a program manager at Microsoft, author and avid blogger and speaker. Visit his blog, hanselman.com, for more productivity tips.


Pulling a page from author and software developer Jon Udell, Hanselman encourages you to “conserve your keystrokes.” What does this mean? He explains by example:

If Brian emails me a really interesting question about ASP.net … and I send him back an exciting and long, five-paragraph with a code sample email that solves his problem, I just gave him the gift of 10,000 of my keystrokes. But there is a finite number of keystrokes left in my hands before I die, and I am never going to get those keystrokes back and I’ve just gifted them to Brian. And I don’t even know if he reads that email. So what should I do to multiply these keystrokes given that there is a finite number of those keystrokes left in my hands? I write a blog post and I mail him the link. Then after I’m dead, my keystrokes multiple—every time I get a page view that’s 5,000 keystrokes that I did not have to type.

Conserve Your Keystrokes

Keep your emails to 3-4 sentences, Hanselman says. Anything longer should be on a blog or wiki or on your product’s documentation, FAQ or knowledge base. “Anywhere in the world except email because email is where you keystrokes go to die,” he says.

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