Your laptop taskbar is the space dedicated to giving you quick access to apps and other programs. When you purchase your laptop, certain options are automatically there. However, the items the manufacturer thinks are helpful usually aren't. To make your workday easier, be certain to customize the items pinned to your taskbar.
Not sure what to pin there? Here are a few ideas based on what I have pinned for quick access.
Whether you are a freelancer or not, you need an internet browser in your taskbar. My browser of choice is Chrome. Why Chrome? It has the best add-ons for the work I do.
Upwork Time Tracker
While I do have independent clients who have come to me after finding me here or being recommended to work with me, about half of my freelance work is through Upwork. This app allows me to track time to get paid on hourly assignments and also includes the messaging app so I can communicate with all my Upwork clients.
I am a freelance writer and editor. While there are alternative programs that one could argue are better for my line of work than Word, most clients do not use them. As a result, Word is my default word processing program.
About two years ago, my anti-virus program expired without me realizing it and I ended up with a Trojan that made it impossible to work. The impact on my income was devastating. As a result, I am diligent about keeping my anti-virus active and I keep it pinned so I remember to check in on the status of my laptop daily.
I am an American living in Mexico. This means I am eligible for work for US companies, but sometimes I am restricted due to my IP originating in another country. With Tunnel Bear, I can fix this problem quickly.
Is it a distraction? Yes. But sometimes I need one. I also like that it allows me to communicate with everyone I need to get in touch with using just my laptop, rather than going back and forth between it and my phone.
This app is native to my laptop and nothing special. However, it does just what I need it to do.
Music is a big part of my workday and my life in general. I use Spotify to play my ambient and instrumental playlists as I work so I can feel a bit more relaxed without the distraction of lyrics.
Yet another native app. And once again, it is simple but does what I need.
Finally, some of my clients keep their work organized using Slack. While it is still pretty new to me, I am starting to adapt to the system and find it to be one of the best ways to work with teams. Keeping it in my taskbar ensures I never miss an alert during the workday.
So, how about you? What programs and apps are pinned to your taskbar?
Freelance writer and editor with an education background, working from home and living abroad.