If you constantly find your desktop cluttered and overloaded with programs and browser windows then a virtual desktop manager might be for you. Virtual desktops are handy if you want to keep different tasks and programs separated. They are quite common on Mac and Linux computers. It may take some time but once you get used to using them, they become an essential part of a productive workflow. So if you’re up for it, below are some of the better Windows desktop managers out there:
Dexpot is an easy to use and fast desktop manager that makes managing multiple desktops very easy. It’s my favorite desktop manager and comes with plenty of useful features.
When it comes to virtual desktops, the most important feature is the ease of switching between desktops. The easier and faster the switching, the better it is. Dexpot offers a number of ways to switch between desktops, including keyboard shortcuts Alt+1/2/3/4 or using the ‘Desktop Manager’ located on top of the Windows taskbar (picture above).
Another cool feature is the ability to quickly move or copy a particular window to one of the other desktops. To access these options, simply right-click on any of the program tabs in the menubar. There is also an option to copy certain windows to all desktops at the same time. Very useful.
You can also customize each of your multiple desktops further with its own wallpaper, desktop entry/exit sounds, screensaver, manager icon and so on.
VirtualWin is another virtual desktop manager for the Windows computer. VirtualWin offers pretty much all of the features that you get with Dextop and some more. There are two things I don’t like about it though. First there is no visual menu for quick desktop switching like in the case of Dexpot, only shortcuts. It’s also a bit overwhelming and takes some time to get used to.
Although on the positive side, VirtuaWin is extensible and comes with a number of extensions that add additional functionalities. Check out VirtualWin modules here. There is a portable version as well.