Prioritise tasks using the Windows 7 taskbar
When you look at the Windows taskbar, you probably would never think that it can be used as an effective to- do list. Windows 7 allows you to drag application icons on the taskbar to the left and right, however, and you can use this to prioritise your tasks at hand. Arrange your open applications from left to right according to priority. For example, if answering email is your most important task, keep Outlook to the left, followed by that Word document you need to work on before lunch, then your case management system and finally the game of solitaire that you hope to win once you have completed your pressing tasks.
Create keyboard shortcuts for your most-used applications
Did you know that you can create keyboard shortcuts to make opening your most-used applications as easy as pushing a combination of ‘Ctrl’ plus ‘Alt’ and any other key of your choosing? Find the icon for the application, right-click on it and choose properties. In the shortcut Tab, you will see a box labelled ‘Shortcut Key’ which contains the word ‘None’. Click ‘None’ and hit the key you would like to use in the shortcut. If you chose ‘V’ you will see ‘Ctrl+Alt+V’ in the box. Click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’. Now when you hold the keys ‘Ctrl’ plus ‘Alt’ plus ‘V’, your chosen application will start.
Use pinned tabs
If you use certain web browser-based applications a lot or have certain websites that you visit on a daily basis, you can save a lot of time by pinning those tabs open in your web browser. Simply right-click on the tab containing the app or site that you wish to launch automatically, and choose ‘Pin Tab’. The wording varies from browser to browser, but generally you will know you are pinning a tab because the words ‘Pin’ and ‘Tab’ will be on the same line.
Every day you will find yourself sending the same emails, writing the same documents and building the same PowerPoint presentations. Waste no more time. Figure out which tasks are the most repetitive, and make templates for them. Standard response emails, letters to clients – pretty much any task you can think of which is done on a daily basis deserves a template. The time you take to figure out what can be kept in template format and making the templates is time you will save yourself (and others) in the future.