Doing things on your computer could sometimes take more time than you think, and there are several applications that help you do it all faster. They let you save time and get to the real work quicker.
Here are eight of them. There’s a bonus tip at the end, so keep reading!
1. Startup Delayer
If your computer takes ages to boot and if you usually wait for several minutes before you could actually start working, get Startup Delayer.
You can use Startup Delayer to launch specific programs some time later after boot so that you get to the important stuff quickly, without a hitch.
Delay startup programs. Time saved: a couple of minutes.
Tired of downloading the same old applications again and again when configuring a new computer? Ninite gives you a single installer for all essential Windows apps.
Once you choose the software that you’d like to install from Ninite.com, you can download the Ninite installer that magically fetches all your chosen applications and installs them without asking you anything.
Installation unattended. Time saved: Up to 2-3 hours.
3. Desk Drive
If you frequently deal with USB drives and CD ROMs, you usually have to open the My Computer window from the start menu or the desktop and then get to your drive by clicking on the respective icon. That’s a drag.
Desk Drive puts shortcut icons to removable drives you insert right on your desktop as soon as you insert them, so that you can access them in a jiffy.
Quickly open new files from your desktop. Time saved: a few seconds, but a lot of convenience this is.
4. Stalled Printer Repair
If you frequently print documents, you’d have definitely been annoyed by the printer job queue in Windows. Every once in a while, a printing job gets stuck and you simply can’t do anything about it.
Stalled Printer Repair, when running, grabs all these stuck printer jobs and displays them in a window. You can use the ‘Purge Printer Jobs’ button to nuke the printing tasks in the queue that are blocking other tasks.
Shoot stalled printer jobs into oblivion. Time saved: an hour+, and lots of frustration.
5. Lifehacker Texter
Tired of typing the same text over and over again? Texter comes to the rescue by letting you expand phrases into frequently used blocks of text.
If you’re into web development, this will be insanely useful to you – you can use Texter to expand code tags. Download it from Lifehacker here.
Forget hurting your fingers typing the same thing over and over. Time saved: a couple of minutes every hour
6. Gmail Canned Responses
Canned Responses in Gmail does the same thing as Lifehacker’s Texter, but works exclusively inside Gmail on any computer you’re signed in. You have to activate it from Gmail Labs first.
If you get a boatload of emails everyday and if you’re tired of typing the same reply for many of them, you gotta use Canned Responses.
Time saved: a few minutes to a few hours, depending upon your email volume.
7. Special Characters Menu
Hunting down that special character in charmap.exe is pretty stressful. It’s not really that organized and there isn’t a quick way to locate that one character you frequently use. Enter Special Characters Menu.
The program runs at startup and pressing Win+C pops open a menu that gives you quick access to a list of your favourite special symbols. This list is editable, so you can put your frequently used items there.
Typing special characters is a breeze again. Time saved: a couple of minutes.
8. Everything Search
Windows Search is slow as hell. Everything is an awesome replacement, and it works by monitoring changes in the NTFS Change Journal – there’s no such thing as ‘indexing’.
It consumes minimal resources, and the search works as you type – pretty much like Google Instant on for your local files.
Forget Windows search. Time saved: a few minutes to a quarter of an hour.
9. Bonus: Use the Snap To feature to put your mouse pointer where it should be
You can call this a stupid geek trick, but you might as well find this useful. And this isn’t an app but it’s a feature in Windows. Do you start looking for the mouse pointer when an annoying dialog box pops up?
You can save a few minutes by letting Windows automatically place the mouse pointer on the default option in any dialog box. All you need to do is activate the feature from Control Panel > Mouse > Pointer Options