Last time we added and arranged Tiles in the Windows 10 Start area and just added apps to the Taskbar. Today we are digging deeper into the usefulness of the Taskbar. This is Day 76 of 365 Ideas for Office 365. Besides adding apps and programs to the Taskbar from the Start Menu for quicker access, you have several other settings you can customize on your Taskbar.
Customize your Taskbar
First we need to address what is on your Taskbar. Right-click in some open space (not on an icon) on your Taskbar.
In this screenshot, the black space between the Excel icon and the up carat is ideal. You will get a box that looks something like this. Quite simply, whatever has a check mark next to it is activated, and whatever does not, isn’t.
I actually hovered over Toolbars for this screenshot so I could show that in the same image.
If you turn on “Address”, you get a min url box on the task bar so you can type in a web address and it will open the browser for you.
Since it takes up a lot of real estate down there, it results in the “show more” arrows to the left. In this image, I also clicked on the drop down arrow on the right side of the url box which is why the last site I went to popped up as well as “Desktop”. Click on desktop and Windows Explorer opens to Desktop, and you can go to any other Files from there as well, like clicking on the Files (folder) icon on the Taskbar.
Customize Cortana on your Taskbar
You have 3 choices for how you want Cortana to appear (or not). You can get some of that real estate back by choosing to just show the Cortana icon instead of the entire search box. When you click in the icon, Cortana opens just like if you click within the search box.
Windows Ink Workspace is my favorite item here, but I recently have really started to appreciate the Task View button as well.
The Task View Button
This button shows all your open windows in thumbnails. I’m using two screens so it even separates my windows by screen.
Notice in the top left corner of each screen that I currently have desktop 1 and Desktop 2. If you are not familiar with this, it does NOT mean monitor screens 1 and 2. It is two separate workspaces for multitasking. In my world, I have started using it to have one desktop for my daily work, and a second for presenting. I don’t have to close everything to “hide” it, just open whatever materials I need when presenting in another desktop that’s very clean and only has what I need for that presentation on it.
You may prefer to use it to have work on one Desktop and personal things on a different desktop, and you can switch between them easily.
Timeline within Task View on your Taskbar
Notice the timeline slider on the right side. When I click and drag down the slider, it shows me what files I had open on those dates so I can easily reopen them. If that’s not powerful enough for you, it even shows files I had open on other Windows devices I was logged into. I’m currently on my work desktop, but this image shows things I did 2 days ago on both my personal Surface Pros.
On second thought, maybe this is my favorite button now.
Windows Ink Workspace
Now let’s take a quick look at the Windows Ink Workspace.
Launch Sticky Notes and you are prompted to log in (It fills in your current Windows login but allows you to choose to login with a different account if you wish.
This syncs your notes with any other device you log into. Notice that your notes can include bold print, italics, underlining, crossing out (as you finish tasks), bullets and even inserting images.
You can create any number, and when you close them, they aren’t gone forever, until you delete them. You can choose list view and see any notes you have previously made and reopen them.
This one I admittedly use rarely. It is usable with a mouse but is really designed to draw with a stylus. It is an open canvas with pencils, markers and highlighters with dropdowns for color choices and tip thickness. You can choose to draw with your finger, crop your sketch, and then either copy and paste or save the image, or share directly to social media.
Snip and Sketch
This is my favorite feature of Windows Inking.
When you click on it it takes a screenshot of your desktop.
But that screenshot is editable. Meaning, you can use all the same tools you have in Sketchpad on top of your image. So you can annotate your image, write on it, circle or draw an arrow to anything in the image, highlight text, and crop the image down to the pertinent portions. Because you have the same three options- save as image, copy and paste and send to social media, no matter what you intend to do with the screenshot, you can do it in one step. For screenshots, you also get the option to print.
Of course there’s more ways to personalize your Taskbar under Taskbar settings (Remember, right-click in open space on the Taskbar) like switching to smaller icons, and whether you want the Taskbar to appear on both screens when you have multiple displays, etc.
Next up: Minecraft Education Edition.
If you like this style of directions and screenshots, walking you through ideas for using Microsoft tools in your classroom, check out my book,
All the Microsoft Tools You Need to Transform Your Classroom: 50 Ideas for using Microsoft Office 365 for Education available on amazon in both Kindle and paperback.