I am late-come to the idea of sidebar gadgets (having been on Windows XP for a long long time). But one of the ways I procrastinate is doing fiddly obsessive cat-vacuuming things that I can justify as eventually increasing my productivity, and so after several iterations I now have an assortment of Windows 7 sidebar gadgets that are genuinely useful to me. (And also provided me with some fine, fine cat-vacuuming.) Allow me to share the fruits of my obsessive gadget-combing with you.
I have these from top to bottom on the right-hand edge of my screen.
- A digital clock. This one has a large display of the time, a small display of the date, and a monthly calendar that opens in a flyout if you click on it.
(Yes, I know you can see the time at the bottom in the taskbar (and hover for the date and click for the monthly calendar), but this is much easier for me to see and use in both size and location.)
- The Windows-default CPU meter.
- Weather Underground's gadget. I used to use this smaller gadget, but I never actually remembered to check the forecast by clicking on it, so the current one is a compromise, as it shows a three-day forecast but is still relatively compact.
- A timer. I very often set a timer for "just ten minutes of" whatever. This one saves screen space by dispensing with buttons (you click to set and start it); it also counts up, which I find useful on occasion.
I did modify it to take out the tenths of a second, because I found them distracting, and to center the displayed time. (Change the file extension to .zip, unzip it, edit the html file, re-zip it, change the file extension back to .gadget.)
- Stickies. The included Windows sticky notes gadget doesn't ask you to confirm that you want to close a note. After I lost several critical notes because I clicked the wrong spot, I went looking for replacements.
This is not technically a gadget, but I have it set so that a single click in the taskbar opens new notes at a spot in my sidebar and I keep existing notes there. I've ended up using a lot of its features, like setting alarms and rolling stickies up, but the key point here is: the program asks you if you really want to close a sticky.
- A calculator. Another minimalist gadget from the same designer that did the timer.
- iTunes Accessory plus Tray It!. I prefer the combination of iTunes minimized to system tray + sidebar gadget over the mini-player because this way I can adjust star ratings without opening iTunes back up.
So what do you all find useful to have always visible/accessible on your computer workspace?comment(s) (how-to) | link