Monday, May 16, 2011

The Top 3 of 55 Secrets to Master the Software Apps You Use Everyday

At Great Personal Expense™ I read through all 55 secrets – not secretes any more because they are published on the web! – and have distilled from them 3 which ought to satisfy any busy entrepreneur who needs more time:

(1) Change Windows Explorer's default folder:

Tired of clicking through Windows Explorer to find the one folder you use regularly? You can save precious time and mouse clicks by making Windows Explorer open your favorite folder by default. Right-click the Explorer icon in your taskbar, and then right-click Windows Explorer and select Properties. In the Target field, add a space and a file path at the end of the ‘%windir%\explorer.exe' section, so that the new (longer) path looks like this: ‘%windir%\explorer.exe C:\Users\yourusername\yourfolder'.

I’d go one better, and create (at most) a half-dozen shortcuts, one for each major project.

Visit for this image! Top55Secrets.png

Here’s a screenshot of the (right-click then ) Properties box for one of my shortcuts.

(2) Restore your Quick Launch bar:

Windows 7 added a lot of neat features to the taskbar, but in the process it got rid of the Quick Launch bar. Fortunately, bringing Quick Launch back is fairly easy. Right-click the taskbar and uncheck Lock the taskbar; then right-click the taskbar again and choose New toolbar. Type %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch into the file path, and then click the arrow button on the right to navigate to that folder. Quick Launch will be back in action.

I’d go further and use the old 95%/5% rule (95% of the time we are using 5% of our applications). Settle on a number – a dozen is good enough – and drop your top twelve most-frequently launched applications onto the Quick Launch bar.

Stop wasting time loading programs by following the rule “Never Close, Never Minimize”, and use Alt-Tab instead.

(3) Track time with Notepad:

Type .LOG (in all-capital letters) on the first line of a Notepad document, and Notepad will automatically stamp the current date and time in the doc every time you open it--handy for logging events or notes.

I liked this so much when I met it 15 years ago that I turned it into a billing application, which YOU can download for FREE from my web site.

When the phone rings, I click the Quick Launch icon BEFORE I pick up the phone; that way the start of the conversation is logged. If it is a long conversation, I tap the F5 function key when we are done. Now nobody gets away with a 2-minute chat that consumed 35 minutes of my precious time.

Talk to Me !

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