Do you want to be more productive when working? Well, you don’t need any complicated software or training CD to make your desktop conducive for productivity. Simple and seemingly insignificant changes in your PC can help you take your productivity levels up a notch. I’ll show you some tips that can turn your Windows taskbar and monitor into productivity-boosting tools!
How to Beef-Up Your Taskbar
The taskbar is where most of the pinned programs, notifications, system messages, etc. are. With a few steps you can expand it to fully control center.
The Address Bar: In XP SP3 (and in later versions of Windows as well), unfortunately, the address toolbar, which can be found in every taskbar of previous versions, is disabled. In Windows 7, this can be easily fixed and activated by right-clicking Toolbars > Address.
Taskbar on a 16:9 Display: With today’s conventional 16:9 monitors, the default location of the taskbar is counterproductive. You can hardly see it at the bottom of the page, especially when web pages, images and texts cover most part of it. What you can do is put your taskbar the right side of your monitor.
This is done by clicking and holding onto the taskbar and dragging all the way to the left. By the way, don’t forget to unlock the taskbar by right-clicking it and unchecking “Lock Taskbar”.
Tweaking Your Desktop Monitor for Maximum Productivity
It’s hard to work when you have to sift through windows and windows of files and folders. Here are a few tricks I have used to turn my messy display into a neat desktop:
Resolution and Frequency: To change resolution and frequency, go to “Control Panel > Adjust Display Resolution” to check your monitor settings ( For XP: “Control Panel > Display > Settings”).
Flat screens are sharp only if they work with the highest native resolution. The graphics driver recognizes this usually (but not always), and it shows in Windows as the “Recommended” option. To make sure this option is selected, go to “Advanced Settings > Monitor” and check the “Refresh Rate.” If you are using an LCD or LED monitor, set it to the highest possible value possible.
Change DPI Setting: If the native resolution of the objects too small for you, you can compensate for this by customizing the DPI (dots per inch). You can find this option under “Control Panel > Display”. Select one of the three default values or click “Set Custom Text Size.” Under XP you reach the DPI configuration via “Control Panel display > Advanced Settings.”
Make It Easier To Read Texts In Your Monitor: You see, the dialog box in “Control Panel > Display” provides another option. If you are having a hard time viewing blocks of text on your monitor, you can go to “Adjust ClearType Text” and enable this option. For XP users, you will find the ClearType options by going to “Control Panel display > Presentation Effects”.
Use Virtual Desktops: Switching through different windows when working can be a pain! I know because I used to juggle at least 5 different programs in one screen. One thing you can do (if you can’t buy multiple monitors) is to use virtual desktops.
For this, Multidesk is my first choice. It allows you to create up to 4 virtual displays that you can tab through. Download the tool and put a shortcut in the Startup folder. With just a click on the tray icon, you can switch to your desired desktop. When you right-click the screen and choose “Settings,” you can even define your own hotkeys for the four virtual screens.