I just tried using two of your tips on the weekend. The pinhead stitch is wonderful especially since I am doing a rather large chart - Lady with Unicorn - Sense of Taste. This has many colour changes and this stitch really helps. Also marking off all one colour in yellow highlighter then a darker colour on top really speeds things up and it is much easier on the eyes, not searching for the next symbol of the colour.
'I am Half-Sick of Shadows,' said The Lady of Shalott John William Waterhouse