Join the Battle Against Unnecessary Mouse-Clicks in YNAB
Mouse-click after agonizing mouse-click registered on the screen as he chose a date for the transaction, added a payee, categorized, noted a memo, recorded the amount, and finally – years later (it seemed) – clicked ‘Save and add another.’
“Friend,” I thought to myself, “if you don’t start using the tab and arrow keys to speed this up, I’m going to have to hurl myself out your window.”
Listen up, YNABers. I’m about to give you some transaction entry pro-tips that will save you literally hundreds of seconds per year. You’re welcome. 🙂
With one of your accounts screens open, type control-n on your keyboard ( control-n or command-n on your Mac).
YNAB starts a new transaction for you, automatically highlighting the date field – set to today by default.
If your transaction date is today, simply strike the tab key on your keyboard and watch your cursor jump over to the payee field. Quite a bit quicker when you skip the mouse-click, right?
But suppose you’re entering a transaction for July 1? You still don’t need your mouse. Use your right and left arrow keys to move the cursor to the part of the date you need to change, type in the correct number, and hit tab to move on to the payee field.
If you don’t want to type in your changes to the date, just stick with the arrow keys. With the date field highlighted, hit the up arrow key to select a later date on the calendar, or the down arrow key to select an earlier date. When the date you want is highlighted blue, just hit tab. The date you chose stays in the date field as you move on to entering the payee.
You probably already know about YNAB’s slick autocomplete functionality in the payee field, but you may be gumming it up with mouse-clicks. That ends today.
After tabbing over from date, start typing in the payee name. If it’s a payee you’ve entered before, you’ll see YNAB helpfully populate the field with payee names whose first characters match those you’re typing. You’ll also see a dropdown menu containing other similar payee names.
Your instinct is to grab your mouse and click the payee name you need. DON’T DO IT. If YNAB’s first guess at the payee is correct, just hit tab and move on to categorization. Brilliant.
If YNAB’s first suggested payee is not the one you’re looking for, use your down arrow key to highlight the correct payee from the list, and again, just hit ‘tab.’
If it happens to be the first time you’re entering the name of this payee, just type it out and hit tab. Do not touch that mouse.
If you used a memorized payee, YNAB automagically chooses the category for you based on the category you used with that payee before. YNAB doesn’t always get it right (because I don’t only buy ‘Groceries’ at Costco), but if it gets the category right you’re just a tab-click away from entering the memo.
If YNAB’s first category guess isn’t what you need, use the same silky autocomplete function by typing in the first few characters of the category name – or arrow down to the right one and – yup – hit tab to move on to the memo.
Type in a memo and hit tab to move on to the transaction amount.
Outflow and Inflow
Quick tip of the hat to YNAB’s developers: If you categorized the transaction as Income, tabbing over from memo will skip Outflow and drop you in the Inflow. A nice touch.
Another hat-tip to the dev team: There’s no need to enter ‘.00′ for round transactions like $350.00′. Just type in ‘350’ and move on.
Save and add another…or not.
With all the transaction’s fields complete, you have two options for wrapping up:
If you have more transactions to record, hit Enter (aka Return) and YNAB loads up a new blank transaction for you.
If you’re finished entering transactions, hit the tab key twice (noticing how the buttons highlight as you tab over them), and hit Enter (Return) to save the transaction without loading a new one.
So there you have it. Mouse-free transaction entry for the YNABer on the go. What are you going to do with your new-found free time?