5 Ways to Improve Your Computer Skills

Becoming computer savvy might seem like an overwhelming task, but this week, Tech Talker will give you 5 easy tips that anyone can follow to help you keep technology simple.

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #166

Tip #3: Read the Manual

The first two tips may seem like no brainers to some people, and to others it may seem like not enough guided advice. Either way, you’re in luck. There are free courses for Windows, Apple, and Linux users on the internet.

If you want to get more acquainted with Windows, you can find a ton of tutorials and other learning material on the Microsoft website. The same goes for Applee, which provides more than enough documentation for you to study. If you want to learn about Linux, there’s a full course on edx.org that is partially narrated by the creator of Linux himself.

For anything else, Eli the Computer Guy provides an awesome series of YouTube videos that covers almost any computer topic you can think of in extreme detail.

A little bit of time and practice with this material and you’ll gain a pretty comprehensive understanding of computers—and it’s all free!

Tips #4: Look for Shortcuts

One of the best ways to be tech savvy is to look for shortcuts for everything. It can be as simple as using a keyboard shortcut to open a program or installing software to help you work faster. If you get really good, maybe you can even write your own program that will help you and your coworkers be more productive.

I’ve done two podcast episodes on keyboard shortcuts and how much time they save (one for Windows and one for Apple), but this goes for anything with computers. If you run into something that seems fairly repetitive that could be made easier, there’s probably a program for it.

See also: Pogue's Basics: Tech Shortcuts to Improve Your Life


For example, as an engineer I had to process tons and tons of Excel spreadsheets—checking them for errors and combining them into multiple documents. After two hours, I wrote a program that would check for errors, combine the tables, and even drop them into a report for me.

Shortcuts like that save time and money, and with that time and money, you can learn more. Now you may not be ready to just drop everything and write a program, but look for areas in your life that can be made simpler by a program or a shortcut. (Yes, many of these can be found with a simple Google search).

Tip #5: Help Someone

A lot of what I’ve learned about computers came from helping others with their technology problems and questions. 

As with any subject, the best way to understand a concept is to teach it to someone else. Plus, you get the added advantage of people asking you questions that you may not have ever thought of, or that you don’t understand as much as you thought you did. In either case, you’ll expand your understanding, help someone in the process, and might even make some money while doing so. 

If you’re a tech geek like me, I’d love to know how you learned to be tech savvy and your recommendations on how others can be as well!

Well, that’s it for today! Be sure to check out all my earlier episodes at quickanddirtytips.com/techtalker. And if you have further questions about this podcast or want to make a suggestion for a future episode, post them on Facebook.com/QDTtechtalker.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!

Computer Parts, Computer Search, and Computer Help images courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.

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