Last Updated Oct 22, 2008 12:41 PM EDT
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Put important folders in your taskbar. It's a great time-saver. You can also create an entirely new taskbar for your key folders.
- 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.
- 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.