use the notions of workspaces in your OS I use xmonad as window manager (but gnome would do the trick) . e.g You set a workspace with a shared sceen with browser + vim*. and other workspace with a terminal for commands. With keyboard you quickly switch between then and (for xmonad) I can even switch the workspace layout. Use vim. Vim is great by itself and with a set of plugins its even better. The learning curve is not that high and it sure worth it.
It's almost a year since I did this changes because of a Tendinitis and now I do everything more quickly and my right hand is getting better!
If you are a windows user, consider setting a virtual machine for development!
to learn vim:
just execute vimtutor (comes with vim)
play around with the free version of vim-adventures.com/
(it's good enough to learn, but it's so fun that you will want to
have a license for some months)
Quick start: seriously, just open vim
ESC gets out of any mode to normal mode
i or a (there are other keys) puts you in insert mode,
if you need to select something use visual mode
h(left) j(down) k(up) l (right)
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