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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/00-Emergency-Shortcuts.jpg”>A mouse might be one of the best things that happened to the personal computer. It makes the computing experience graphically friendly and pointing and clicking easy. But from the productivity point of view, most of us will actually work faster and more effectively with our hands off the mouse than constantly going back and forth between the mouse and the keyboard.
For example, selecting and copying several groups of text would be faster – and less tiring – using a combination of arrow keys+Shift and Ctrl+C, rather than using the mouse.
You will also work faster if you can use shortcuts to open your favorite files and applications instead of constantly rummaging through your Start Menu and/or Windows Explorer. That’s exactly the idea behind SE-TrayMenu [No Longer Available]: to put your favorite applications (and files) in your Windows’s System Tray for quick access, and optionally assign shortcut keys to them for even quicker access.
The Small Wonder
SE-TrayMenu is available as a normal Windows-based application and portable app. The download size of the compressed portable version is just a little bit over 100KB, and yet this minuscule app can greatly improve your computing workflow. The app will reside quietly in the system tray and every time you hover your mouse over the tray icon, a list of applications will pop out. You can click one of the items to quickly open it.
But the real power of this app lies inside the “Settings“. Right click on the tray icon to access it.
There’s the usual “Main Settings” with the usual items like the option to launch the app every time Windows starts.
There are also quick drop-down menus to access Layout options,
And color themes.
We’ll discuss this two items later on.
The main story is in the “Applications” tab. This is the place where you can add, remove and edit applications and files that you want to make available from the system tray.
The “Add” button gives you three options: to add executable files individually, add items from the frequently used applications list, and add items from the Start Menu.
The first option is actually set to add applications to the list, but you can slightly modify it to enable adding any kinds of files (including documents and multimedia). Click the drop-down list from “Files of type” and choose “All Files“. This action will reveal files outside of the application realm.
Choosing the second and third options will give you long checklist of applications. Adding them to the list is as simple as checking the boxes next to the applications.
To add shortcuts to open the applications, select one application from the list and click the “Edit” button. You could choose one of the available shortcuts from the “Shortcuts” drop down list or you could assign your own preferred “complex” shortcut combinations.
After saving the settings and closing the “Settings” window, you can open your chosen files and applications just by pressing the respective shortcut keys combination. If you ever forget the combination, just hover your mouse above the tray icon and click on the item that you want to open.
Beautifying The Look
Another thing that you could do to enhance SE-TrayMenu is modify the look to your liking by choosing the combination of Layout and Theme. The “Main Settings” tab provides you with quick options to modify those two, but if you want to customize them further, you can use the dedicated menu.
The “Layout” tab allows you to choose the number of columns, image size, margin, spacing, etc.
While the “Color Theme” tab gives you access to more detailed elements of the theme such as color and font type.
The combination of Layout and Color theme elements gives you many appearance possibilities for the applications/files list. For example, you could make it look like this:
Even though the real purpose of this app is to minimize your interaction with the mouse and help you to be more efficient, it’s also nice to have a good looking list of applications.
As a keyboard lover, SE-TrayMenu is a must-have application for me. But what about you? Would you use this application to help you access your favorite applications and files? Or do you have your own favorite application to do it? Please share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.
Image credit: ActiveSteve