Taking toolbars to task
In my last post, I made a reference to my taskbar so I thought I'd write a bit about it. Here it is (click for a larger image):
There are a couple of things I like about this setup that others may not know. Firstly are the Administrative Tools, Control Panel, and Desktop menus in the bottom right. If you right-click the taskbar and select Toolbars, you'll see a list of toolbars you can add. If the one you want isn't there (e.g. Administrative Tools), click New Toolbar... and browse to it. I put a lot of stuff on my Desktop so I love having it available without having to minimize everything.
This is also handy at some client sites if you are constantly using Remote Desktop to get to various servers in different environments. In this case, I'll create a folder (called, say, Remote Connections), then place an .rdp file in it for each server. Add a toolbar for that folder in the taskbar and voila! Remote desktop access to any server in two clicks. I also had a toolbar for my Links folder at one point, too, but I didn't go to it often enough to justify the real estate. But if you do, that's another good candidate toolbar.
The other nice thing is the address bar embedded in my taskbar. This lets me type in my URL without having to open my browser first. It will open your default browser, too, so it works for Firefox. I also use the TweakUI power toy which allows me to create keywords for sites I search regularly like Google, MSDN, and IMDb. So I can click in the address bar, type: “imdb glengarry glen ross” (without quotes) and have the results show up in my browser without having to open it explicitly. NOTE: You'll probably want to uncheck the “Reuse windows for launching shortcuts” option in the Advanced properties of Internet options if you decide to do this yourself.
Of course, this is kind of moot if you already use WinKeys or SlickRun to their full potential but it has the advantage of having your URL history available at the click of a button.