A little desktop tidiness goes a long way

You may have the habit of putting apps and files that need your immediate attention on your desktop, but not moving them to proper folders when you’re through with them. What you end up with is a mess that makes it hard to find what you need and easy to lose important files forever. Prevent this by following our tips for clearing your desktop.

1. Arrange, sort, and prioritize

Before you delete everything from your desktop, think about what you really want to keep. This will vary from person to person, but most people use their desktop for storing files, folders, and apps that they want to access quickly.

Take the time to sort your files and folders. An easy way to do this is to right-click on an empty area of your desktop (where there are no icons), mouse over on View, and select Auto arrange icons. This will organize your icons into a grid format. Then, right-click on the empty space and hover your mouse over Sort by and select Date modified to arrange the icons by the date they were last opened, with the latest on top.

2. Create a folder for holding files and another for keeping app shortcuts

People often use their desktop to store downloaded files, photos, screenshots, and even email attachments, which can lead to a messy desktop.

However, you don’t need all these on your desktop. Instead, create a folder on your desktop that will serve as your dumping ground for all your nonessential files and folders. If you don’t intend to keep a file, icon, photo, etc. for long, put it in this folder. Revisit this folder every once in a while to delete the files you no longer need.

It also helps if you create a shortcut folder. When you install new programs on Windows, a shortcut icon is often automatically added to your desktop. But these desktop shortcuts should be for frequently used programs only. Create a separate folder for programs that aren’t used that often.

3. Clear out unnecessary files

Once you have your folders set up, it’s time to get rid of the clutter. If you haven’t used a file, folder, etc. in the past two months or so, get rid of it. Examine your desktop and uninstall programs you no longer use. You’ll also want to delete outdated files you no longer need and place the rest in relevant folders.

4. Use the taskbar or Start menu for apps

In Windows 10, you can pin apps to the Start menu and the taskbar. This is a great alternative to having program shortcuts on your desktop. To pin apps, open your apps list (i.e., click the Start button at the bottom-left corner of the screen) and right-click on the application you would like to pin. Select Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar for the option you want.

5. Choose a wallpaper you love looking at

An interesting way to minimize clutter is to pick a wallpaper that you enjoy looking at — whether it’s your favorite motivational quote, a photo of your family, or a picture of your dream house, car, or destination. Having an image you like serves as a reminder to keep icons to a minimum, so if you can’t see the image anymore, then you have too many icons, and it may be time to get rid of a few.

If you are looking to learn more about how to use Windows more effectively, contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Add hours to your day with these PC hacks

Because there are only so many hours in a workday, it’s vital to make the most of your time. If distracting websites, unorganized files, and cluttered inboxes prevent you from getting work done, follow these tips to better manage your time and stay productive at work.

Monitor productivity levels

Start by tracking how much work you complete on an average day. There are many useful apps for this. For example, Google Chrome has an extension called RescueTime, which records your most frequently visited sites and tracks how much time you spend away from your computer. This app will provide you with a productivity rating and a detailed log of how you spend your time at work.

If you discover you’re wasting a huge portion of your day on social networking and other online productivity killers, you’re more likely to make conscious adjustments to how you manage your time.

Block sites that waste your time

Visiting non-work-related websites hinders productivity. A quick five-minute break to check your Facebook feed may not seem like much, but a few of those per day add up to a lot of time.

If you and your employees have trouble staying away from social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then it’s a good idea to block access to them using URL filters.

Alternatively, you can use browser extensions like StayFocusd or Strict Workflow, which allow you to set a limit on how long and how often users can visit non-work-related sites.

Get rid of clutter

You can also decrease distractions and increase your output by deleting old files, uninstalling unused programs, and organizing documents into appropriately labeled folders. Doing so makes finding files easier and improves your computer’s performance as well.

As for the clutter in your email inbox, Gmail and Outlook both have features that filter out unimportant messages. Simply enable Priority Inbox on Gmail or Clutter on Outlook to get a clean, spam-free inbox.

Stay on track with to-do lists

To-do lists help you break down large projects into manageable, bite-sized tasks. Plus, crossing things off the list is surprisingly satisfying since it gives you a sense of accomplishment and total visibility over your progress.

You can choose from a wide variety of digital to-do lists like Google Tasks or Trello, which allow you to set deadlines for small tasks and write clear instructions for each. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to use and are great for keeping track of your workflow.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Mastering keyboard shortcuts makes it easier and faster to perform functions you’d typically do with a mouse. There are more than a hundred useful shortcuts, but here are the most common shortcuts you should keep in mind:

  • Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X – copy, paste, and cut selected items
  • Ctrl + Z – undo an action
  • Alt + Tab – switch between open apps
  • Alt + F4 – close the active app

For more of these, take a look at this updated list of advanced shortcuts for Windows.

In this digital age of short attention spans, focus is key to achieving business success. Drop us a line today if you’d like to know more about how tech can help improve focus and overall productivity for you and your business staff.

This post was originally published on this site

Add hours to your day with these PC hacks

Because there are only so many hours in a workday, it’s vital to make the most of your time. If distracting websites, unorganized files, and cluttered inboxes prevent you from getting work done, follow these tips to better manage your time and stay productive at work.

Monitor productivity levels

Start by tracking how much work you complete on an average day. There are many useful apps for this. For example, Google Chrome has an extension called RescueTime, which records your most frequently visited sites and tracks how much time you spend away from your computer. This app will provide you with a productivity rating and a detailed log of how you spend your time at work.

If you discover you’re wasting a huge portion of your day on social networking and other online productivity killers, you’re more likely to make conscious adjustments to how you manage your time.

Block sites that waste your time

Visiting non-work-related websites hinders productivity. A quick five-minute break to check your Facebook feed may not seem like much, but a few of those per day add up to a lot of time.

If you and your employees have trouble staying away from social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then it’s a good idea to block access to them using URL filters.

Alternatively, you can use browser extensions like StayFocusd or Strict Workflow, which allow you to set a limit on how long and how often users can visit non-work-related sites.

Get rid of clutter

You can also decrease distractions and increase your output by deleting old files, uninstalling unused programs, and organizing documents into appropriately labeled folders. Doing so makes finding files easier and improves your computer’s performance as well.

As for the clutter in your email inbox, Gmail and Outlook both have features that filter out unimportant messages. Simply enable Priority Inbox on Gmail or Clutter on Outlook to get a clean, spam-free inbox.

Stay on track with to-do lists

To-do lists help you break down large projects into manageable, bite-sized tasks. Plus, crossing things off the list is surprisingly satisfying since it gives you a sense of accomplishment and total visibility over your progress.

You can choose from a wide variety of digital to-do lists like Google Tasks or Trello, which allow you to set deadlines for small tasks and write clear instructions for each. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to use and are great for keeping track of your workflow.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Mastering keyboard shortcuts makes it easier and faster to perform functions you’d typically do with a mouse. There are more than a hundred useful shortcuts, but here are the most common shortcuts you should keep in mind:

  • Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X – copy, paste, and cut selected items
  • Ctrl + Z – undo an action
  • Alt + Tab – switch between open apps
  • Alt + F4 – close the active app

For more of these, take a look at this updated list of advanced shortcuts for Windows.

In this digital age of short attention spans, focus is key to achieving business success. Drop us a line today if you’d like to know more about how tech can help improve focus and overall productivity for you and your business staff.

This post was originally published on this site

Sluggish PC? These desktop decluttering tips can help

Everyone needs a fast, reliable PC to work and be productive. A slow computer, however, negatively affects your productivity. One of the many causes of a sluggish computer is a cluttered desktop. Learn the fixes that will help improve your PC’s speed.

Do a bit of recon

Before you go on a deleting spree, sort out the files and folders on your desktop to know what you need to keep. An easy way to do this is to right-click on an empty area of your desktop and select Auto arrange icons. This will organize your icons into a grid format that makes it easier for you to view all the icons on it. Then, right-click on the empty space and hover your mouse over “Sort by” and select Date modified to arrange the icons by the date they were last opened, with the latest on top.

Create holding and app shortcut folders

People often use their desktop to hold downloads, photos, screenshots, email attachments, and other files, which easily messes up the desktop. In truth, you probably don’t need all these shortcuts on your desktop.

To prevent shortcuts piling up, create a folder on your desktop for all nonessential files and folders. Use this folder to store temporary items, including those you don’t intend to keep for long. Then, delete the files inside the folder once you no longer need them.

It also helps to create a shortcut folder. When you install new programs on Windows, a shortcut icon is often automatically added to your desktop. However, desktop shortcuts should be for frequently used programs only, so create a separate folder for shortcuts to seldomly used programs.

Be ruthless in decluttering

Once you have your folders set up, it’s time to get rid of the clutter. If you haven’t used a file or folder in the past two months or so, you should seriously consider getting rid of it. Uninstall programs you no longer use, delete images you no longer want or need, move unimportant files elsewhere, and place the rest in relevant folders.

Once completed, take a look at your browser to see where it stores downloaded files. If your browser downloads files to your desktop by default, go to Settings and change the target location to the Downloads folder.

Stick with your plan

Once you have decluttered your desktop, try to stick with the rules you’ve made. Whenever you download something, ask yourself whether it should go to the desktop or someplace else. Of course, sticking with these rules won’t always be easy, so aim to clean up your desktop at least once or twice a month.

Use the taskbar or Start menu for apps

Pinning apps to the Start menu and the taskbar is a great alternative to simply having program shortcuts on your desktop. To pin apps, open your apps list (click the down arrow from the Windows Start screen) and right-click on the application you would like to pin. Then, simply select Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

Strategically position your wallpaper

An interesting way to minimize clutter is to pick a wallpaper that you like, which could be your favorite picture or slogan. Frame the image so the focus is in the center of your desktop. Then, place your icons around the image in a way that allows you to still see the image. If you can’t see the image, that means you have too many icons and it’s time to get rid of a few. Having a wallpaper that you like can serve as a reminder to keep icons to a minimum.

If you are looking to learn more about using optimizing your Windows PC, contact us today for more tips and tricks from office IT experts.

This post was originally published on this site

Sluggish PC? These desktop decluttering tips can help

Everyone needs a fast, reliable PC to work and be productive. A slow computer, however, negatively affects your productivity. One of the many causes of a sluggish computer is a cluttered desktop. Learn the fixes that will help improve your PC’s speed.

Do a bit of recon

Before you go on a deleting spree, sort out the files and folders on your desktop to know what you need to keep. An easy way to do this is to right-click on an empty area of your desktop and select Auto arrange icons. This will organize your icons into a grid format that makes it easier for you to view all the icons on it. Then, right-click on the empty space and hover your mouse over “Sort by” and select Date modified to arrange the icons by the date they were last opened, with the latest on top.

Create holding and app shortcut folders

People often use their desktop to hold downloads, photos, screenshots, email attachments, and other files, which easily messes up the desktop. In truth, you probably don’t need all these shortcuts on your desktop.

To prevent shortcuts piling up, create a folder on your desktop for all nonessential files and folders. Use this folder to store temporary items, including those you don’t intend to keep for long. Then, delete the files inside the folder once you no longer need them.

It also helps to create a shortcut folder. When you install new programs on Windows, a shortcut icon is often automatically added to your desktop. However, desktop shortcuts should be for frequently used programs only, so create a separate folder for shortcuts to seldomly used programs.

Be ruthless in decluttering

Once you have your folders set up, it’s time to get rid of the clutter. If you haven’t used a file or folder in the past two months or so, you should seriously consider getting rid of it. Uninstall programs you no longer use, delete images you no longer want or need, move unimportant files elsewhere, and place the rest in relevant folders.

Once completed, take a look at your browser to see where it stores downloaded files. If your browser downloads files to your desktop by default, go to Settings and change the target location to the Downloads folder.

Stick with your plan

Once you have decluttered your desktop, try to stick with the rules you’ve made. Whenever you download something, ask yourself whether it should go to the desktop or someplace else. Of course, sticking with these rules won’t always be easy, so aim to clean up your desktop at least once or twice a month.

Use the taskbar or Start menu for apps

Pinning apps to the Start menu and the taskbar is a great alternative to simply having program shortcuts on your desktop. To pin apps, open your apps list (click the down arrow from the Windows Start screen) and right-click on the application you would like to pin. Then, simply select Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

Strategically position your wallpaper

An interesting way to minimize clutter is to pick a wallpaper that you like, which could be your favorite picture or slogan. Frame the image so the focus is in the center of your desktop. Then, place your icons around the image in a way that allows you to still see the image. If you can’t see the image, that means you have too many icons and it’s time to get rid of a few. Having a wallpaper that you like can serve as a reminder to keep icons to a minimum.

If you are looking to learn more about using optimizing your Windows PC, contact us today for more tips and tricks from office IT experts.

This post was originally published on this site