Fences, Groupy, and Start10/11 are the real MVPs
Thursday, October 14, 2021 by Tatiora | Discussion: Stardock Blog
If you know me, then you know that the idea of me writing about any form of organization is a ploy of comedy in and of itself. Still, as all over the place as I am with just about every aspect of my life, that doesn't stop me from trying to be more organized.
I spend quite a lot of time at my computer, both for work and for leisure. Beyond a few very important things, I don't really have much of a system for where I put documents or shortcuts - they just sort of get lobbed on the desktop as a problem for future Kristy to swear over while she tries to find wherever the $*#! she put that really important program she needs right now.
Obviously, this isn't very efficient, and is certainly more than a little frustrating. I've gotten a lot better about this in recent years, and I admit that the primary reason for that is the software I started using when I came to Stardock back in 2015. A few programs in particular have defined my workflow over the years, and I'd like to share a brief overview of them with you. Let's take a look!
This program seriously revolutionized how I manage my Windows desktop space. I use it both at work and at home, and whenever I find myself trying to navigate a PC without it, I feel a little bit lost. I run two monitors at home and actually have them split for work and play, just so I can find what I need more easily. I talk about it a bit more in a blog here.
If I didn't have two monitors, I would probably use the "pages" feature in Fences so that I could swipe between my personal leisure apps and my professional work programs. I also take a lot of screenshots, so being able to double-click on the desktop to hide all of my icons is super convenient. Most of all, though, I just love how I can make categories and then sort items into those fences based on setting specific rules pertaining to them. If you haven't made use of that feature, definitely make sure you try it out!
Where do I even begin with Groupy? It was honestly a program that I had no idea I needed until I had it, and now I can't live without it. Not only is Groupy a huge space saver, but it also lets me sort my work into categories, which is really important for what I do. Because I'm on the marketing team, I have my hands in a lot of different projects at once, sometimes bouncing between multiple different titles within a single day. Groupy helps me keep them all apart.
When I stream, I love being able to group Xsplit, my Twitch channel, my Discord, and any other notes or websites I might need for the game I'm playing onto one monitor while my game takes up the other monitor. I then set a hotkey and use it to tab between them easily while I'm streaming - I don't know if I can ever go back to not having this app! If you want to read about it in a little more detail, you can check out a blog I wrote here.
I held onto Windows 7 as long as I possibly could before I built a new PC for myself and had no choice but to move onto Windows 10. The thing about change is that we all tend to resist it at first - I think it's a fairly natural thing! - and then eventually fold over into acceptance when we realize that maybe it wasn't so bad after all. In the case of Windows operating system, this seems to be a very cyclical thing - and I know many of us are experiencing this very emotion with Windows 11 right now!
When I got to Stardock, the IT team asked me if I would like Start10 installed on my computer. When they explained to me what it was, I absolutely said yes - and then was overjoyed to see the return of my familiar and favorite menu style. When Microsoft announced Windows 11, we launched immediately into developing Start11, which I currently have installed (along with the new OS) on my laptop. Start11 not only helps me restore my favorite versions of the Windows menu style, but also extends that to support a bunch of new menu ideas like the concept of pages and minimalism.
The newest update to Start11 released today, actually - if you're a Start11 user, make sure you try out Release Candidate 2!
Those are my top 3 organization apps for my Windows PC. What are some of your favorites and how do you use them to keep yourself organized? Share with me!
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