7 Tips to Boost Your PC Productivity

Last Updated Oct 22, 2008 12:41 PM EDT

windows-logo1.jpgUse Windows at the office? Want to work faster? Abhijeet Mukherjee, writing on Dumb Little Man, has collected seven simple tricks that will help you optimize both your computer's speed and your time at the keyboard.

If you're under the rule of an iron-fisted system administrator you might not be able to implement some of these tweaks, but others you can put into practice right away.

Some of the highlights:

  1. Streamline your startup. You can prevent unnecessary programs and services from starting up automatically -- and slowing down your boot time -- by using msconfig to remove the sluggish culprits.
  2. Learn keyboard shortcuts. Of course, you already know the basics like Ctrl+C to cut and Ctrl+V to paste, but there are dozens more Windows keyboard shortcuts that can make your life easier.
  3. Use application launchers. A good application launcher can start programs from your keyboard, preventing excessive mousing. Or, you can create keyboard shortcuts for important folders.
  4. Declutter that desktop. Put those errant files where they're supposed to go, delete the ones you don't use, empty the trash, and remove icons you don't use.
  5. Put important folders in your taskbar. It's a great time-saver. You can also create an entirely new taskbar for your key folders.
  6. Try AutoHotKey. AutoHotKey is a free tool geared toward more advanced users that can help you avoid repetitive tasks -- like typing the same sentence again and again.
  7. Use automation and timing tools. Apps like WakeUpOnStandBy, which is free, can automate the tasks of putting the computer to sleep, going into hibernate mode or shutting it down.
Mukherjee includes many extra suggestions throughout his post, so give it a read as well to get more ideas.

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.