If you’ve read any of my stuff in the past, you know that I absolutely love using keyboard shortcuts. They decrease the amount of time necessary to complete anything on your computer, and as we all know, time is money! While some Mac keyboard shortcuts should be well-known to almost everyone (Cmd+C=Copy, Cmd+V=Paste, etc.), there are tons out there that most people don’t know about. To help solve your dilemma, I’m presenting three useful tips for remembering keyboard shortcuts for any application on your Mac.

1. Help Menu – As of Mac OS X Lion, the help menu within all applications serves as a great reminder of an application’s different keyboard shortcuts. Simply click on the help menu, then search for whatever action you’re looking for. Help will automatically search for the best match within all possible menu actions. Just arrow down to the menu item you’re looking for, and help will automatically highlight where the corresponding menu item is in the menu tree, along with the item’s keyboard shortcut. Obviously, this is also very handy if you don’t even know where to go to access a certain menu item.

2. CheatSheet – CheatSheet is a free application downloadable from the Mac App Store. It’s a simple application that just pops up a window with all menu items and their corresponding keyboard shortcuts. Hold down the command key, and CheatSheet will spring to life, showing all menu items in column format, with each item categorized under its respective menu bar heading. Another cool thing about CheatSheet is the ability to access these actions straight from your CheatSheet itself, simply by clicking on the action you want to invoke. CheatSheet automatically changes to match your currently active application, and simply pulls all the shortcuts and actions from the app’s menu bar items.

3. Custom Keyboard Shortcuts – Do you hate how certain shortcuts are esoteric and don’t make any sense? For example, to access downloads in Finder/Safari, you hit Cmd+Option+L. How does that possibly make you think of downloads? If you’d like to instead change it to Cmd+Option+D, you can do so right from the Keyboard pane of System Preferences. This is also very useful for assigning shortcuts to menu items that don’t have one set by default, and it’s nice that the typically rigid Mac OS actually gives you the power to do something like this. Check out this article for more tips on how to set custom keyboard shortcuts.

Do you have any more tips for remembering keyboard shortcuts on your Mac? And is the help menu trick available in previous versions of Mac OS X? (I really don’t know and couldn’t find out anywhere else! Enlighten me please readers!)