At this point I think everyone probably has “faster window movement” in their dotfiles:

nnoremap <C-j> <C-w>j
nnoremap <C-k> <C-w>k
nnoremap <C-h> <C-w>h
nnoremap <C-l> <C-w>l

You might even be using “more intuitive” splits:

set splitbelow
set splitright

So what about a bit of mix and match for something that is both faster and more intuitive? My Halloween treat to you:

" Navigate windows with auto-create if navigating at a window edge

function! s:GotoNextWindow( direction )
  let l:prevWinNr = winnr()
  execute 'wincmd' a:direction
  return winnr() != l:prevWinNr

function! s:JumpWithCreate( direction )
  if ! s:GotoNextWindow(a:direction)
    if a:direction == 'h'
    elseif a:direction == 'j'
    elseif a:direction == 'k'
    elseif a:direction == 'l'
    execute 'wincmd' a:direction

nnoremap <silent> <C-h> :<C-u>call <SID>JumpWithCreate('h')<CR>
nnoremap <silent> <C-j> :<C-u>call <SID>JumpWithCreate('j')<CR>
nnoremap <silent> <C-k> :<C-u>call <SID>JumpWithCreate('k')<CR>
nnoremap <silent> <C-l> :<C-u>call <SID>JumpWithCreate('l')<CR>

Navigation will work as normal except that when you are at, say, the right edge of your editor and you navigate to the right it will open a new vertical split to the right and navigate into it. The same goes for left, up and down.

I frequently find myself creating a new split and using ctrlp to open a new file. You can use <c-v> or <c-x> to split from ctrlp’s find mode, but if you know you want to split out the result before a search I find it is much more intuitive (and hence faster) to split first, especially if you are particular about where the resulting window ends up (and if you are counting, the split-first workflow with the remappings above only adds one <CR> keystroke).