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Here's a link to the actual productivity tips Xah suggests: http://xahlee.org/emacs/effective_emacs.html

Go Xah!

EDIT: long ago I went nuts customizing emacs but have made a nearly complete recovery. Here are the only bindings I have a hard time doing without:

  (global-set-key "\C-h"       'delete-backward-char)
  (global-set-key "\M-^"       'query-replace-regexp)
  (global-set-key "\C-x:"      'goto-line)
  (global-set-key "\C-x\C-e"   'compile)
  (global-set-key (quote [f3]) (quote call-last-kbd-macro))
  (global-set-key "^[ "        (quote just-one-space))

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