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, with most useful shortcut keys for Microsoft Word and Excel.

About the author

Violeta Matei is a freelance writer with a technical background. In the beginning of her working career, she had the opportunity to learn Microsoft Excel, Word and Powerpoint and to apply these learnings in her daily work. She even wrote two e-books on the most useful keyboard shortcuts in Excel and in Word. Since embracing an online career path, Violeta has been writing detailed guides on using and troubleshooting Windows, MS Office and WordPress and she started to learn photography. Since she works from home, she shares various tips and tricks that can help people improve their life and make their homes better.