Every employee knows the little tricks that allow them to fly through their work faster. From voice commands to keyboard shortcuts, what might seem like a simple thing can end up shaving minutes off of your workday.
The input device that you use also has a huge impact on how efficiently you can power through your work. And as most people use a mouse or trackpad, that raises the question: which is better?
Keep reading for a mouse vs trackpad guide that will help you decide which is the better choice for you.
Consider Your Location
One of the biggest factors you’ll need to take into consideration is where you’ll be working on your computer. If you’re in a coffee shop, you might prefer one input type, while if you’re reclining on your bed, you might prefer another.
In most cases, a mouse is the better option if you have the space to use it. It’s a good idea to use a mouse when working at a desk, table, or other open space, as you can get faster cursor speeds and better precision.
Bringing around a mousepad might seem strange, but it can be a smart idea. You don’t want a sticky or incompatible surface to slow down your mouse speed, and you also don’t want to get any particles lodged inside the bottom of your mouse.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of space or are working on a surface that isn’t very level, a trackpad will be the better option. You won’t have to worry about making room for your mouse or using it on gross surfaces.
Think About the Tasks You’re Doing
Besides the location, you’ll also have to consider what you need to do. You might find that you prefer to use a trackpad for some things, while others call for a mouse.
While you work, think about what you have to get done that day. If you just need to use your computer for general purposes, like sending emails, video conferencing or inputting data, then a trackpad should be fine.
However, if your job requires you to move your mouse from one side of the screen to the other over and over, the precision and speed of a mouse might work in your favor.
If you’re a gamer, you might find it difficult or impossible to use a trackpad. Some video games require a mouse wheel and other features that a trackpad just doesn’t provide. In that case, choosing to use a mouse is your best bet.
How to Maximize Efficiency With a Mouse
As mentioned, a mousepad will work wonders in boosting your productivity as you use it. You won’t have to worry about the mouse getting stuck or not moving across the screen.
You’ll also want to get a mouse that comes with a good sensor. Many mouses meant for video games come with powerful sensors, but don’t worry: you can use it if you’re not a gamer, as well.
Mouses that have better sensors respond more accurately when you move them. It might not seem like a big deal, but if the cursor moves a fraction of an inch farther than it intended to, then it might hamper your work efficiency.
You can also configure the cursor speed in your computer’s settings. Play around with different speeds to find the one that you find most comfortable to use.
How to Maximize Efficiency With a Trackpad
One of the best parts about trackpads is that they often come loaded with shortcuts that can provide a serious boost to your productivity. For example, on some computers, you don’t have to minimize everything to see your Desktop—a trackpad shortcut lets you see it instantly.
If you have a Mac, most MacBooks will have a plethora of trackpad shortcuts for you to enjoy. Even if you’ve been an Apple user for years, odds are there’s at least one shortcut you aren’t familiar with.
Check out this link to see some of the many different gestures that you can take advantage of https://setapp.com/how-to/customize-trackpad-gestures-on-mac.
As is the case when using an external mouse, trackpads also allow you to adjust the cursor speed. If you feel that your current speed is too fast or slow, pop into your settings and look for the option to adjust it.
Don’t Ignore Ergonomics
If you’re unfamiliar with it, ergonomics seeks to modify your workplace to fit you, as opposed to the other way around. Ergonomic devices seek to maximize your productivity while also ensuring that you stay healthy and comfortable while you work.
Although you’re stuck with the trackpad that your computer has, there are many ergonomic mice that you can buy at a cheap price. These help your hand, wrists, and arms stay comfortable, ensuring that no cramps prevent you from doing what you need to do.
Adhering to ergonomic principles also means that you need to take regular work breaks from time to time. Sitting for too long can be detrimental to your health. Give your hands, eyes, and back a break by standing, stretching, and resting for a bit.
Mouse vs Trackpad: Go With What You Know
In the end, some people will inevitably prefer to use a mouse more, while others will feel more comfortable using a trackpad. If you’re trying to decide whether to use a mouse vs trackpad, choosing what you’re most familiar with is certain to be the best choice.
Do you now have an answer to the question of whether you should get a mouse or trackpad? If so, make sure to browse through some of our other blog posts for more tech-related guides and tips.