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Leveraging a stream deck to assist productivity

Leveraging a stream deck to assist productivity

So I’ve always been the type to play around with new technology. And one of the things I’ve been toying with is doing some video recordings of a variety of topics.

And one of the newest pieces of technology that I got was an Elgato Stream Deck XL. And I have to tell you, its really kind of nice from a general productivity standpoint. And I thought I would do a write-up for others. So I bought this, expecting to use it for 3 use cases:

  • Normal Work
  • Development Work
  • My Dungeons and Dragon’s Game (done remotely)

And I have to tell you I’ve been pretty impressed with how much it does right out of the box. When you install it, you install a simple utility that allows for configuring the device. And below is a screen shot of that utility:

Now no surprise, there are a lot of features right out of the gate that are built around the idea of streaming. Things like being able to send a tweet or leverage of OBS streaming software. And all those are cool, but right out of the gate, I was looking to leverage things that make my day-to-day life easier.

To that end, it makes use of items like “Open”, “Website”, and “HotKey” which I found made integrating the StreamDeck with my normal workflow surprisingly easy.

All I did was start grabbing a bunch of the commonly used programs, or websites to make them faster access. And then using “HotKey” I was able to automated a lot of my activities. Like being able to create a new chat in teams, create a blank email, view my calendar, etc.

This made a huge impact right out of the gate, I felt like it was a lot easier to manage the different actions I was doing and jump faster to things. I have to say I’m a day in and I really like it.

And then further I was able to implement specific hotkeys in Windows 10 to engage better use of other features. For example, I started using multiple desktops as it lets me switch between the interface I use for calls and meetings, and the coding / engineering work I do. But I struggle to remember all the hotkey combinations. So here I was able to map them to the stream deck and make it a button push:

Which is really kind of awesome. The other feature I like that it supports is profiles, which enables me to have separate key configurations for the various uses. Like I can break it up along use case lines.

Overall I’m really happy with this device and am looking forward to finding new ways to use it.