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3 Ways to Use Your Computer More Productively

Many people keep their desktop and files in such a state of disarray that it can be unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming to find the right file or shortcut. To use your computer more efficiently and to help you get the most out of it, there are some simple things you can do to optimize performance and productivity. Keeping your files and shortcuts properly arranged will make it easier and faster to find the file or program that you are looking for.

1 - Organize Your Start Menu
Once you have quite a few programs installed, the start menu can quickly become cluttered. This is not such a problem with the new start menu introduced in Windows Vista, but it is still nice to have things organized efficiently. Even with Windows Vista and Windows 7, it will be far easier to find a program shortcut for a program you don't use much if you have your start menu categorized.
Categorizing your start menu does not have to take long. In Windows Vista and later, simply open up the start menu, select 'All programs' and right click on any folder in the start menu and click 'open'. This will take you to a start menu subdirectory. Click 'start menu' in the address bar at the top of the explorer window to go to the start menu root directory.
Here you can create folders for different categories such as 'Internet Programs', 'Games' and 'Productivity' etc. You can easily move over the shortcuts you need into these folders you create. This is also a good opportunity to delete any unused shortcuts and folders. A program will typically install a whole selection of shortcuts that just clutter up your start menu. Getting rid of these from your start menu will make it tidier without having any effect on the programs themselves.

2 - Organize Your Desktop
You can organize the desktop in a similar way to how you organize the start menu. You may want to hide all desktop icons by right clicking the desktop, going to 'view' and making sure 'show desktop icons' is deselected. If you use the start menu to access your programs, then there's often no point in having icons on the desktop.

3 - Use the 'Pin to Taskbar' Feature
This feature was introduced in Windows 7 and has a similar function to the old quick launch toolbar in previous editions of Windows. If you prefer the old quick launch, there is also a way to get it back in Windows 7. For programs that you use most regularly, such as your Internet browser, you can pin them to the taskbar. To do this, right click on an icon in the start menu and select 'Pin to Taskbar'. You can also pin a program to the taskbar by right clicking its icon on the taskbar and clicking 'Pin this program to taskbar'. Unfortunately, you cannot pin specific files or folders to the taskbar in this manner. If you wish to do this, you will need to use the old quick launch feature.


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