Do you wish you could streamline your workflow and increase your productivity? Look no further than a piece of hardware that has revolutionized the way many people work at their computers! In this video, Scott Friesen shares a recent purchase that has changed the way he works for good.
Learn more about the Elgato Stream Deck.
Recently I purchased a piece of hardware that has changed the way I work at my desk. While it is most often associated with gamers and live streaming, I'm not using it for either of those purposes. And I honestly think every professional would benefit from having this tool on their desk. No, this video is not sponsored, and no, I did not receive it as a gift. So let's find out what it is, how to set it up, and which model might be best for you. This is the Elgato Stream Deck, and it is a small piece of hardware which contains 15 soft-touch keys which are completely programmable, and you can make it do whatever it is you want. You often will have it located close to your keyboard or maybe close to your mouse. Just in comparison, here is my phone, just to show you how relatively small it is, maybe the size of two credit cards in total. But what, Scott, are we using the Stream Deck for, and what makes it so powerful? Well, here you can see, I have a number of LED screens on here which I can program to do absolutely anything. Do I want to change the volume on my keyboard at the touch of a button? I can do so here. Do I want to launch a folder from my screen and actually change the display of my keyboard? Now, to summarize what the Stream Deck does and why it's so powerful, think of it as a custom keyboard shortcut where you can program any of these keys to do whatever it is you want. So for example, maybe I want to launch my email. Well, I'm just one click away because I'm going to press this button and go directly into my inbox. Maybe I'm ready to post a video. Well, I've got a button here called post a video, which is going to automatically launch the three applications or the three browser tabs that I need to go there. And remember, you're not limited to what is displayed here. You can create multiple folders. So for example, if I want to wind down at the end of the day, I have this one called watch, which is going to bring me to a completely new screen. So if I want to launch something like Netflix, I am just a click away. If I want to manage my Spotify play, pause, or shuffle, or go back between my tracks, I can do that here as well. So now that you know a little bit about the hardware itself, let me show you how you can set it up and some of the other things you can do with the Stream Deck. So let's take a look at how easy it is to program our Stream Deck. Here, I've got a blank key, but I want to make use of it and perhaps launch a particular application. I don't want to have to rely on all of my browser shortcut buttons or all of my shortcut tabs. Instead, I'd like to launch a particular app or a particular website just by pressing this key on my Stream Deck. So all I need to do is decide what type of action do I want on the right-hand side. The Stream Deck comes with a variety of preset groups. So for example, if I want to add a volume controller, if I want something specific to navigation, or maybe I want something to launch multiple tabs or do multiple things, I can do that here as well. But for this example, let's keep things fairly simple. I want to open up a particular website. So under system, I'm going to click and drag Website, put it into that key, and now I can give it a title. Let's say that I want to access Twitter in just a single click. I'm going to give it the title of Twitter, and then I'm going to paste in the desired URL. Now, when it comes to the image or what the front of the button will look like, I can change that to anything that I want. I can choose it from my own file. And as you can see here, things like this Evernote icon, PowerPoint, and even my Simpletivity logo are some examples of that. I can create my own custom icon if I want, or I can open up the library here. So if I want to use something that has been already created here within the Stream Deck profile, just for my simple example, I'm going to use this light bulb indicator. Here you can see that it is now represented on the Stream Deck itself. Now when I press this option, it will automatically open up my Twitter account or wherever it is that I would like to go. Now, one of my favorite uses with the Stream Deck is actually making use of the text function. And the example that I have here is this one called Follow Up. How many times have you had to repurpose the same piece of text, whether it's in an email or some other document? Well, here with the Stream Deck, you don't have to use some complicated text expander or remember a set of shortcut keys. You can create as many different follow-up or specific text messages as you like. Here I've given it the name of Follow Up, and then down below I've inserted about three sentences of text. So now when I'm here within my Word document, I just need to select one button, and now I've got that follow-up text insert exactly where I want it to be. Not only does this save me a whole lot of time, but I could have an entire page, an entire folder of custom follow-ups, and then come here into the Stream Deck software and adjust it as I like. But another extremely powerful feature that I love about the Stream Deck is that I can set up custom profiles so that when I transition to a specific application, it will already display the types of actions and the types of keys that I want to see. So here I am within my Word document. That's where the focus is. But as soon as I expand my Zoom meeting, notice how my Stream Deck automatically changes to the keys that I want to see. Here I've set up a number of different things, including the ability to mute or start or stop my camera, share my screen, view the participants, open up the chat, all at a single fingertip. And I didn't have to do anything. I didn't have to launch this from the Stream Deck. If I go back to my Word document, you see that it will return to my main or my home screen, but as soon as I relaunch that Zoom meeting, it will automatically come to the controls that I want to see. Now, in terms of pricing, the Stream Deck MK.2, that's the same model that I have here, goes for $210. That may sound like a fairly expensive price tag, but remember all of the things that you can do, all of the things that you can replace your keyboard shortcuts from and have easier access to. I think this is especially helpful for those of us who may have trouble with certain interfaces and need to squint or look at where to find certain options. In this case, the Stream Deck comes in so handy where you are always just one button away from the action or the place that you want to be. Now, the Stream Deck does come in a number of other sizes. The Stream Deck Mini, which has only six keys, is $115. And then the Stream Deck XL, with a whopping 32 keys, is at $340. My recommendation though, is to go with the original. For me, not only does this not take up a lot of space on my desk, but remember, everything here can be used within folders or different profiles. So you can add as many different buttons on as many different screens as you need to. And if you're wanting to learn even more ways on how to be productive with the Stream Deck, just do a search for Stream Deck productivity, and you'll find a number of other excellent YouTube videos which will give you many different ideas and other helpful tutorials. As always, thank you so much for watching. And remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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