Best productivity hack on Windows 10 ever

I am vivid reader and consumer of articles about productivity, achieving more and using this limited time we are left with in most efficient way.

From testing various mobile and desktop applications, selecting particular part of the day for certain task type up to different techniques (like Pomodoro) — tried them all.

And ashamed to admit, one obvious, easy to find and easy to apply feature, sat there on my desktop / laptop computers quietly, waiting to be discovered.

Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

Did you ever asked yourself what is this icon for (Task View):

Win10 - Virtual Desktop
Task View

Or, what Windows + Tab keyboard combination does?
Same here — I stumbled on that completely by chance, trying to switch windows with Alt + Tab. Curious as I am, immediately asked Google what is that.

In turned out that it is deadly simple, highly effective and does something every one of us is trying — reducing noise and enabling you in this chaotic world to concentrate on one thing and to do it right. And not even new feature 🙂 – first version was build by Xerox PARC in 1980s (!!!) and implemented for Windows 3.x as Rooms for Windows.

Virtual Desktops (VD) are way to run multiple desktops (= your working surface) on same computer. That means that you can arrange open applications / browser windows, documents … anything you need on any set of Virtual Desktops. That also means that you can organize all of above according to task you are doing.

Instead of just switching applications, you switch whole environment and get in focus (“zone”) in no time.

Possible usages: one “noisy” VD for all IMs, browsers, social networks, one VD for important private stuff, one for work; even better (how I do it) — you can create VD per task, like having one to write next great Medium story 🙂 and other to write next great web application.

Start is easy:

  • Create: click on Task View and select (bottom right) or use WIN + CTRL + D:
    Create Virtual Desktop
    (click for larger image)
  • Switch between VDs either with WIN + TAB or with WIN + CTRL + LEFT/RIGHT (previous / next)
  • In Task View you can drag/re-arrange applications from one Desktop into other
  • Close current Virtual Desktop with WIN + CTRL + F4
  • Finally, you can fine tune Settings for this in Settings / Multitasking – most important part is which applications will appear on task bar – only for active Virtual Desktop or all active applications.

Try it, stick with it for couple of weeks and you will wonder how you lived without this feature before 🙂

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