When I am cleaning windows; multiple desktop management

Are you a person who has multiple applications open at once? Maybe to compare versions of a document or to enter data in more than one spreadsheet? Perhaps you use more than one monitor? Do you have your email open in one window and your calendar in another? A couple of quick and easy tools will allow you to view multiple applications simultaneously and move between applications with ease.

Multiple Desktops

Linux and Mac users have for some while been able to run multiple desktops and have a number of applications arranged on one desktop and others on another desktop. This arrangement allows the user to group applications related to a task to be viewed together, or I use multiple desktops to allow me to have all the documents I require for a meeting open, one on each desktop, with a simple keyboard shortcut or mouse gesture I can open any window to switch between documents. What about windows users? Windows 10 due out 29th July will include multiple virtual desktops, if you have never seen how it works and why you might want use it check out this youtube. If you are not going to upgrade (free for one year to windows 7 and 8 users) then try out dexpot [1].

Side by Side comparisons
snap-desktopThis time starting with Windows, which has a feature called snap. Snap allows you to move windows to centre, minimised left or right hand side. This feature can be used by dragging a window to the side where it ‘snaps’ into place. Alternatively, and this works for multiple monitors too, it is activated and controlled by the windows and arrow button keyboard shortcut.

Below is a screen shot just showing the draft for this blog and the youtube clip side by side. This feature is activated and controlled by the windows and arrow button keyboard shortcut. This would be especially useful if I was watching the youtube whilst taking notes, but is here as an example and provides a glimpse of some of the topics which may appear at some point…. Personally I most use side by side to see my calendar (and that of my colleagues) whilst reply to emails about availability, or the ability to see an email and my reply to it.

In addition if you do use more than one monitor you might like to now that you can also snap to the side of the monitor using the same keyboard shortcut windows + arrow

So what about Macs? Why not try a nice neat little app called Hyperdock [2]  (though it costs 7 euro) it is well worth it, you might also like to try cinch [3] which is free if you can live with the nagware (otherwise £7) I prefer Hyperdock , though of course your mileage might vary (YMMV).

In summary, whilst many of us live with clutter and maybe even find it makes us (look or feel) creative, often clearing away the clutter on our workstation helps us to focus on the task in hand without distraction. I feel a post coming on about turning off notifications, or digital clutter, but that is for another day. Meanwhile one of my colleagues (Daryl Theobalds) is writing about how to get the best out of Microsoft Onenote which should appear in the next  couple of weeks so, watch this space.

[1] http://dexpot.de/

[2] http://hyperdock.bahoom.com/

[3] http://www.irradiatedsoftware.com/cinch/

Posted in Concentration, Distraction, Focus, Memory (short term), Sensory Overload, Visual Distraction | Leave a comment

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