This came in as a post to the Origami-L mailing list, from Anna of Origami Austria (Origami Österreich).
Apparently at one of their meetings, they discovered a “faster” way to fold the traditional crane (also known as a tsuru).
Essentially, it involves using a double-rabbit-ear fold to speed up the folding process- if you’re good at eyeballing this sort of thing, it should really make things easier. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks promising. They also put together a very nice PDF for it. (this is the english version- follow the link to their site above if you want the German PDF.)