Quick Tips – Master the Windows 7 Taskbar

thumb_f4b6dca0e2911082f0eb6e1df1a0e11dWant to look like a PC Pro and get more done faster? With these simple tips, you’ll have the skills to impress your co-workers with a few keystrokes. The Windows 7 Taskbar is the menu bar that stretches along (typically) the bottom of your screen. These are some lesser-known productivity tips to streamline your Windows 7 experience.

Drag and Drop Applications

Being organized is the first step to being productive. Be sure the programs you use the most are on your Windows 7 Taskbar. In most cases, you probably have a lot of icons all over your desktop for the various applications you need to access, plus a whole slew of icons you don’t need and don’t even know what they are for. Make your life easier by getting the applications you use on a regular basis down on your Windows 7 Taskbar. All you need to do is click and drag them down. It will create a shortcut. If you drag files (like Word Docs and Power Point Presentations) it will pin the application to the task bar, and when you right click on the application, it will give you a menu with that file in it, so you have easy access to it without hunting around for it. Do this if you use common files all the time.

You can also change the order of your taskbar by dragging the icons, which brings us to the next tip:

Launch Taskbar Applications with Keyboard Shortcuts

This will really impress your co-workers when they watch you summon applications with a quick keystroke. The first 10 icons in your taskbar (from left to right) can be loaded by holding down the Windows key and hitting a number key (1,2,3,4,5, etc.). Putting your most used applications first will let you launch them quickly in this fashion.

Display Additional Time Zones

This is handy when you deal with multiple time zones on a daily basis. Click the time and date area on the lower right of your screen. A display will pop up displaying a calendar and clock, and it will give you the option Change Date and Time Settings. Click that. Click the Additional Clocks tab on the window that appears. You can add two additional clocks based on time zone, and give them specific display names to make them easy to remember.

Customize your Notification Pane

Windows 7 will limit the icons that display on the right side of the Taskbar. These icons usually represent notifications and applications running in the background like antivirus and instant messengers, although many other applications might put some handy features in there as well. To access all of the hidden icons, click the little triangle icon. This also gives you the ability to customize what is displayed and what gets tucked away.

Clicking Customize will display a list of all of the available notifications, and let you choose whether you show the icon all the time, only display the icon when there is a notification, or don’t display it at all.

When you don’t rely on hunting around for applications on your desktop or in your start menu, you can get more done faster. Keep everything you use on a regular basis right at your fingertips and get things done!

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