4 Windows Applications to Improve Your Productivity

Right out of the box, Windows is a great operating system for situations in which you want to get some work done fast. But did you know that with the help of a few simple applications, you can actually organize yourself and boost your productivity? Many people are using computers at one point or another in their workday. In this instance, it’s important to squeeze every second you can out of your time. Below are 4 Windows applications that will help you achieve that!

1. PasteBin’s Desktop Application

If you’re a professional programmer, chances are you’re working with others in a team. Sometimes you’ll want to send some code over to someone to review before committing it to the server. Programmers aren’t the only people who use this. Anyone who needs to communicate some details or paste large amounts of text via instant messaging services often use PasteBin rather than trying to cut the text into pieces. The problem with this is that you always end up opening a tab on your browser and logging in. The incessant repetition translates into lost time. By using PasteBin’s desktop application, you no longer have to worry about this.


You can paste all the text you want and submit it just like you would via PasteBin’s web interface. In the link I shared, you’ll also find the iPad app, the Windows 8 app (works on RT tablets), and the Google Chrome extension.

2. Peek Through

There will be times you will want to minimize a window to see what’s going on behind it. Instead of doing that, you can use a tool called Peek Through, which allows you to make the Window slightly transparent with a keyboard shortcut.


It’s a pretty neat tool for when you want to just have a look at something while typing.

3. Free Opener (Opens More Than 80 Different File Types)

I can’t stress this enough: some of the Windows applications we use to open files bloat up our computers and take a lot of time to load up. They occupy a lot of RAM, and using several different Windows applications to open many different file types can be a burden on someone who needs to use many of these simultaneously, and it will hurt productivity. The solution: just use Free Opener.


Free Opener is a universal file opener that allows you to view more than eighty different types of files, including PDFs, MS Office formats (from ’97 to the most recent “x” formats), WMVs, AVIs, MPEGs, and even QuickTime’s video format. There’s a long list of the files you can open right here. When looking at the list, the word “wow” comes to mind. Happy file opening!

4: Famulus

If there’s one thing missing in Windows, it’s the ability to apply text shortcuts to file paths. Let me explain what I mean. Let’s say you want to open a file in “C:\some long path\some folder\a very far away place\text.txt.” You would have to go to the folder to open the file unless you put a shortcut on your desktop. But what if your desktop is already chock full of shortcuts? There’s only so much you can do. Here’s where Famulus provides an elegant solution: You can now type a “nickname” to that path on the keyboard. You can essentially shorten that entire path to “text” and type it up on Famulus’ search bar. If you configure the shortcut properly, a text file you once had to reach into an abyss to open will now open with the word “text” typed into the bar.


Oh, and one extra note: You have to press and hold the asterisk (“*”) key on the number pad of your keyboard to bring up the search bar. This could be an issue on laptops or keyboards that don’t have number pads.

Got Any Other Productivity-Boosting Ideas?

If you know any other Windows applications that can really boost the productivity of its users, leave a comment below for all the readers to benefit!

Miguel Leiva-Gomez
Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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