A couple of weeks ago, I made the transition from Vista to Windows 7, and reported on my initial positive experience with Windows 7. I also reflected on how technology can get in the way or be an enabler of productivity. Windows 7 falls in the enabler category.
I am happy to report that my excitement about Windows 7 wasn’t just temporary. I believe that this switch is saving me substantial time, maybe an hour or more per day, and here are 3 ways in which this is taking place:
First: It is much faster. It loads faster and performs faster. This anxiety of having to reboot the computer right before or during teaching a class (for one reason or another) is gone. Restarting Windows 7 takes only a couple of minutes as opposed to my old Vista which took a lot longer (10 to 15 minutes). Not only it loads faster, it operates faster. The same machine seems to have gotten a new life injected in it with Windows 7.
Second: The ability of pinning and unpinning applications to the Taskbar, and pinning and unpinning documents to applications, makes is easy to keep the applications you use most and the documents you use most at your fingertips, and in the same place so they become familiar and you don’t have to do unnecessary thinking—let technology do this kind of thinking while we focus on the core stuff.
Third: The way you can quickly preview the currently open applications and documents is quite intuitive and makes switching between applications easy and intuitive. This is greatly appreciated in a Web 2.0 and 3.0 world where information is abundant and tasks are increasingly complex and dependent on many people and services.
Remember to reflect on your technologies and on whether they are helping or hindering your productivity (operating systems related, applications related, or hardware and accessories related), and consider making some optimizing and starting 2010 with a boost in productivity!