Have you ever wondered about the things you used to do the hard way until you discovered a much easier way? A fascinating question popped up online, asking people to share their experiences.
What tasks or methods did you persist with until you realized there was a simpler approach? Here are the top-voted responses that might make you grateful for the existence of more efficient solutions.
1. Everything in Excel
The most upvoted comment on the question “What’s something you did “the hard way” for the longest time” is, “Literally every single thing I’ve ever learned to do in Excel is because I thought there should be an easier way for it.”
Another Reddit user shared the experience of Excel making their life easier and shared why. While at a large U.S. telecom company, they matched records from two spreadsheets and sent out the results weekly. Surprisingly, nobody on their team had heard of the handy VLOOKUP function. The person before them used to do this manually, spending an entire week on the task. As a result, they got it done within an hour and got a whole salary for it.
2. The Easy Way to Clean the Microwave
Patti shared that the thing she always did the hard way until someone told her to do otherwise was cleaning the microwave.
She shared she always struggled to scrub all the dried-up bits off when a friend told her to just put a small dish of water in it and turn it on for a couple of minutes. Everything wipes right out. It saves so much time.
3. The CTRL+ Backspace Combination
Chris commented his hack of things you’ve been doing wrong is “ctrl+ backspace to delete entire words instead of letter by letter.” Many people commented that they didn’t know this and that it would be useful for them.
Another user added another tip that ctrl+ delete does the same but in the opposite direction.
4. The Utensil Drawer in the Dishwasher
Reg commented that his dishwasher is across the kitchen from his utensil drawer. For years, while unloading the dishwasher, he would stuff as many utensils as he could in his hands. He’d inevitably drop some and a few knicks in his hardwood floor from dropping forks and spoons.
One day at work, a coworker unloaded the dishwasher, removed the utensil basket, and carried it over to the drawer. He never felt so dumb and changed the way he unloads the dishwasher ever since.
5. The Short Way to Copy and Paste
Mia shared that she used to copy and paste on a computer by meticulously highlighting, right-clicking, then selecting the copy option. She didn’t know about ctrl+c/v for way too long. And just to be clear, ctrl+c is copying the selected text, and ctrl+v is pasting. True experts know that ctrl+shift+v is to paste without formatting.
6. The Easy Way to Color Inside the Lines
Someone commented that they, as digital artists, spent a lot of time coloring inside the lines with their stylus, making sure not to miss any empty pixels. Then, they would add shading on a new layer, trying to create a shadow effect on the figure.
They learned about increasing or decreasing the selected area by a specific number of N pixels. Along the way, they also discovered layer clipping for shading and layer masking. In summary, Photoshop’s coloring and shading process went from taking 4 hours to just 4 seconds.
7. Use a Paintbrush for Dusting
One user commented that, when dusting baseboards, windowsills, and picture frames, they discovered using a (clean) paintbrush is the most effective tool.
They used cloth or specialized dusting tools in the past, but the paintbrush is much quicker and simpler. Now, they have a dedicated 2-inch paintbrush specifically for dusting, which works wonders for them. It’s also great for removing cobwebs with ease.
8. The Easy Way to Pee When in Bathing Suit
This user commented that having a pool when she was younger meant spending a lot of time in the water, even during the winter. However, the worst part was getting out of the pool to pee. She had to pull down her bathing suit, leaving her cold and exposed. Putting the wet and sticky suit back on was uncomfortable and unpleasant. She used to hold it in for as long as possible to avoid the hassle.
It wasn’t until she became an adult that she realized there was a much simpler solution. “You can just pull the crotch part of the bathing suit to the side while you pee, and it stays in place. This discovery made the whole process much more convenient and comfortable.”
9. The Snipping Tool
This user shared that they learned the easiest way to make snippets with the snipping tool on Microsoft. They added they used to click print screen and then crop down everything.
Another user shared that Win+Shift+S is the shortcut for this hack.
10. How to Collapse a Thread on Reddit
Somebody commented it took him a while to figure out you simply collapse a comment or thread on Reddit by simply tapping, not long pressing.
Many users in the thread agreed, and one added that if you try to click a tiny link and miss it, the comment collapses underneath you.
11. The Way to Open Pistachios
One user in the thread commented that he had been opening pistachios with his thumbs for 30 years until he saw his wife use half a shell to wrench her next one open, and then his mind exploded.
12. How to Tie Your Shoes
This user shared that she was watching a movie, and they were talking about double knotting their shoelaces. It was enough of a weird moment that made them wonder if they were missing something about how people tied their shoes. “And lo and behold, after some furious googling, it turned out that I didn’t know the difference between a square knot and a “granny knot,” and I had been tying my shoes wrong my entire life.”
It didn’t make sense to many people, so they added the explanation afterward; “if you do ’right over left, make the loops, right over left,’ that’s a granny knot. It’ll come untied too easily. If you do ’right over left, make the loops, left over right,’ that’s a square knot. It’ll hold better than a granny knot, so you won’t have to double-knot.”
13. Using Parchment Paper in the Oven
Eth commented that his tip to make life a little easier would be parchment paper. No more scrubbing off baked-on cheese and sauce. If it goes in the oven, he uses parchment paper.
Another user added, “Not to be confused with WAX paper, do NOT use wax paper in your oven.” To which another jokingly responded, “Do not use wax paper in your oven unless the thing you’re making happens to be fire.” To be clear, we don’t want to make a fire in the oven.
14. How to Easily Chop Vegetables
One user shared that mastering the art of chopping vegetables always has been a challenge, despite her parents’ efforts to teach her proper knife skills. It was always a painful and frustrating experience. However, my boyfriend rescued her with a fantastic kitchen gadget called the “slap chop.”
She added, “Let me tell you, this thing is a game-changer. With a simple motion, I can effortlessly chop a zucchini or any other vegetable with a satisfying “WHA-CHA!” sound. It’s incredibly satisfying, and within seconds, I have perfectly sliced veggies ready to elevate my sandwiches or any dish I desire. The convenience and efficiency of the slap chop have made it an invaluable tool in my kitchen, and I can’t help but love it.”
15. Brushing Your Hair From End to Root
The last tip for if you don’t do it, first brush out the knots on the end before working up to the roots. It saves you so much pain and so many hairs.
People in the thread commented that it doesn’t matter if you have curly, wavy, straight, or anything else. Start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up.
Did this make you think of something you are thankful for since you know it because it makes your life so much easier?
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