Software testing is often chaotic.Anyone who has been working in the field for any extent of time has experienced an unreasonable lack of organization, poor scheduling, and daunting bug reports.Working through this mess is a task of its own. The best way to avoid this situation is to create order in your own habits. If you can create a common and consistent order for any work you touch, then you will set an example for your colleagues.By avoiding messy testing, you will save hours of your time. Hours you would spend searching for and gathering test case details are now spent executing said tests. When you can focus less on the administration work of your testing, you are free to capture and report more critical bugs.An efficient software tester can not only find more critical bugs, but they can contribute more of their energy to help their team.So how do you become more efficient?Here are seven tips to improve your software testing efficiency. 1. Organize everythingPreparing effective software testing environments and tasks requires communication with many people. If you do not have a method to store this information, then you will miss important details. Details that could end up saving you hours of your time.People are communicating through multiple mediums. It’s easy for a message to slip through the cracks. You’ve been there. You’re talking with your test lead and they insist that they made a request weeks ago, but you don’t understand what they’re talking about.When you create an organized structure to store all of your important details you’re able to gather the relevant details and form your testing strategy for that project.It’s good practice to keep all of your important communication in one place. You will need to revisit information exchanged between you and members of your team. You will do your future self a favor by making it accessible.Related: 7 Ways to Prioritize More Successfully During Test Planning2. Write detailed bug reportsIf you write clean and detailed bug reports then you will do everyone on your team an enormous favor.There are three points I would like to stress here.Write with detailWrite with clarityWrite for othersThe people who will read your bug reports will not understand or see what you did to expose that bug. When you write in detail, you allow the rest of your team and the developers to save an enormous amount of time by not having to guess any part of your environment.When you write in detail, it’s easy to write too much. It’s imperative you write only what is necessary. You don’t need to have a conversation inside your bug report. At Testlio we prefer a bug report that is short, sweet and to the point.When you write a bug report, it’s best to pretend the person you are writing it for is a person who has never used the app in their life. If you can create reproducible bug reports with this level of understanding, then you will make everyone happy.3. Write clear test casesTest cases are an important part of the software testing process. Testers on your team will be reliant on the information displayed to carry out their tasks.The efficiency of your entire team depends on being able to write clear test cases. Much like writing clear bug reports, when you write clear test cases, this makes the work of the developers and other testers easier.Don’t create long test cases. When you add more steps to a test case, you increase the probability of someone on your team failing to execute a task. Experience shows that the optimal length of a test case is between 3-8 steps.4. Take part and communicateTesting is a team effort. You’ll find keeping everyone in the loop from the beginning will save an enormous amount of time down the line.When you expose testers to a greater amount of the project, they will feel much more comfortable and confident in what their goals should be. A tester is only as efficient as their QA team.Your goal is to make sure everyone involved in the project has a solid understanding of the application. When everyone understands what the application entails, testers can effectively cover the test cases.Communicate with the test lead or manager to allow testers to be involved in the decision making meetings. Giving testers access to early knowledge will allow them to prepare early test environments. This will avoid any unforeseen issues, preventing any delays or risks while also being cost-effective.5. Ask yourself questionsTesting is a process. You are given an app, and you must decide what should be tested, what the result should be, and apply a testing technique.Ask yourself what question your tests are answering. Your testing techniques are a vault of answers. Once you understand what the question is, you just need to pick which answer makes the most sense.When you create a process, you end up reaching your desired result faster. Filter the techniques that make little sense and apply the ones that do. If those don’t work then you can go back and try the less obvious techniques.6. Be positiveA tester’s mindset can mean the difference between finding the most critical bug in the app and finding nothing.If you test an app without an expectation to find any bugs, then you will not find any. No app is flawless and you are well aware of that.There are an innumerable amount of situations which can break an app. By telling yourself from the beginning you will uproot that elusive critical bug, you’ll end up finding other bugs in the process and ignite a spark to your colleagues.When you test with a positive attitude, your teammates notice. When your teammates notice, they will follow you. Again, you are only as efficient as your team. When you excite your team to work harder, you improve your team’s software testing efficiency.7. Don’t testContrary to popular belief, one of the most important steps to take to become an efficient software tester in a project is to not test at all at the start.Instead, take a moment and play with the app. Figure out what the app’s goals are. When you understand what the goal of the app is, you’ll be able to understand the goal of each individual feature. When you understand the details intricate details of the app then you will be able to plan a very efficient and effective test case strategy.When your goals as a tester align with the goals of the app, you will be able to deliver tremendous results. ConclusionIf you want to become an efficient software tester, follow these 7 tips:Organize everythingWrite detailed bug reportsWrite clear test casesTake part and communicateAsk yourself questionsBe positiveDon’t test Software testing can be chaotic and unorganized. It’s important to make sense of everything. Otherwise, you will end up spending hours of your time searching for details lost in the mess of a conversation.Join Testlio as a freelance software tester.