Last Updated on September 23, 2023

When I first started using Windows, I wasted a lot of time looking for the applications I wanted to launch or minimizing all applications to finally get to see my desktop. And these are only two examples. As I decided to get more productive, I discovered a bunch of useful tips that improved my work. In the beginning it was hard to remember to use these, but after a while I realized that I did not have to interrupt my thoughts anymore with all the technical stuff, I wrote better and faster, having my ideas more organized.

Here you are, some of the best tricks that worked for me so well:

Make your own, customized shortcuts to favorite applications
1. You can create your own shortcut-key combinations to your most used applications:
– right-click the application’s icon and select Properties.
– Go to Shortcut tab
– click in the Shortcut box
– enter your own key combination, such as Ctrl+D, in the “Shortcut key” field. If the combination is already assigned, Windows will choose something similar.

2. You can create a shortcut to writing a new mail message without opening Outlook:
– right-click anywhere on the desktop free surface
– choose New -> Shortcut
– in the Shortcut box type mailto:
– press Next
– if you want more speed, you can then assign a shortcut key combination to this item (see point 1)

Use the most common shortcuts for Windows XP
· Minimize all windows to see the desktop: Windows key + D
· Open Windows Explorer: Windows key + E
· Open the Run dialog box: Windows key + R
· Open the Search dialog box: Windows key + F
· Open the Utility Manager dialog box: Windows key + U
· Go to log in accounts panel: Windows key + L

Have your favourite applications at ease

For one-click access to frequently used apps, you can do the following:

– Right-click the taskbar,

– Select Toolbars, and check Quick Launch

– Drag your shortcut icons onto the Quick Launch bar to the right of the Start button

– To view more of them, click the double chevron for a list, or hover your mouse over the dotted area until it turns into a double-sided arrow and slide it over to the right.

That’s it for now with Windows XP, you can check my other articles such as Using Macros in MS Excel.