Saturday, July 4, 2020

Executive Education

Default Windows programs every business owner should use

When you run a small business, your PC is the engine that drives everything forward and enables you to process the incredible amount of data, communications, and creative endeavors that your industry demands.

When you run a bigger business, this scenario becomes multiplied by the number of PC users in your company. Parallel to whatever other tools your trade may require, each colleague relies on the virtual toolbox of the PC to stay on top of their work and strive to new levels of excellence.

It’s surprising, then, that many business owners fail to recognize the full potential of these modern machines. For within Microsoft’s Windows operating system exists a number of lesser-publicized apps and programs, equating to a whole hidden layer of that toolbox.

From efficiency and communication tools to creativity-enhancing software, Microsoft has managed to cover a whole lot of areas where you might otherwise expect to need to invest in extra software. Here’s a few you might want to tell your team about.


Perfect for developing ideas individually or as a team, OneNote is a shareable 21st century scrapbook. Pick a topic or goal, and you and your colleagues can each edit your ‘notebook’ by adding and organizing notes, sketches, webpages and other materials. It’s great to always have a couple on the go, so when it comes time to develop a new product or service you already have months of materials at your fingertips.

Sticky Notes

Open the app and hit the + button to add virtual Post-Its to your desktop. Drag and drop them somewhere convenient on your screen, and you need never worrying about losing important reminders to a stray breeze again.

Windows Ink

Windows Ink facilitates the use of a digital pen in all sorts of other Microsoft applications, for example allowing you to edit Word documents and Powerpoint Slides, marking them up as though they were paper. You can even use it to scrawl equations into OneNote (above) – OneNote will then give you the answer and, if you choose, the steps it took to produce that answer.


Microsoft’s version of Siri is an umbrella app for the others listed here – and more. You can use voice recognition to navigate Windows, make enquiries, dictate an email, or even ask for a joke. Naturally, this frees up a lot more time in your working day to focus on the stuff that humans do best – ideas and face-to-face interaction.

Contact Support

If you have trouble with these or any other elements of Windows 10 it is now easier than ever to bypass your busy IT department and go straight to the source. Microsoft has agents just waiting for Live Chat with you, and there are plenty of tips to check out while you’re waiting.

Task View

Task View is a real life-saver when you’re working on various programs at once. Hitting the Windows key and Tab button at the same time triggers your OS to shrink all open apps into one birds-eye view window, so you can see what’s open, where you’re at with them, and navigate quickly from one to another. 


This one’s something of a misnomer, in that it won’t facilitate you passing mortal judgment on your crew nor fix the lighting situation, whatever the day of the week. In fact, what it does is work as a fix for one of the big problems of Windows 10: the way that all the control settings are spread over a number of different locations. Frustratingly, it takes a couple of less-than-intuitive steps to achieve GodMode. You need to create a new folder on your desktop, and name it GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. Thereafter, you’ll find all your settings switches in that one folder.

Snipping Tool

As computers have become more central to business, the use of the print-screen function to take snapshots of the computer screen for tutorials and other sharing activities has become more and more common. Now, it’s much simpler to snip just the pertinent section of a screen by using the Snipping Tool, which can be accessed from your Start menu.

Dark Mode 

The increasing use of computers at work also has ergonomic implications. You and your employees will be much happier, healthier, and more productive if you take care of the way you sit and study your screen. In particular, you can give your eyes a rest by setting your screen to dark mode: go to Settings (Windows key + I), select “Personalization,” choose “Colors,” and – under “App Mode” – choose “Dark.”

Windows Hello

Logging in each morning may not exactly take a long time, but at that time of day you just want to do away with fuss and get on with things. Window’s Hello function enables you to do so by facilitating fingerprint or face-recognition log-in. The stuff of science fiction!


Microsoft’s People app positions itself as the contacts book of all contacts books, allowing you to add and synchronize your contacts with all of your other lists (in your email accounts etc.) It also helps you keep up with what your clients and colleagues are up to by integrating social media feeds into the interface.

3D Builder

If you’re in the architecture game, you probably already have a suite of powerful design tools. But if environmental planning and design form just a small part of your daily grind – for example, when planning a new office layout or drafting rough product ideas – 3D Builder is a cheap alternative. So cheap, you’ve already got it on your Windows PC.


Microsoft’s Maps app now allows you to save maps offline for transfer to other devices, which is great when your crew’s got deliveries to make but you want to cut down on data spending. The Get Directions feature is the place to get started.

Game DVR

Even if your business isn’t all about producing gaming videos, Game DVR can be super-useful for what you do. An app for recording your computer screen, Game DVR can be set to record only specified programs, which is handy if you want to produce training videos or to share work with clients.

This is just a handful of the apps that Windows 10 has hidden away – and you can find more details in STL’s great new visual guide. Save your business time and money by utilizing these powerful tools throughout the working week.

Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj
CEO and editorial director of the CEOWORLD magazine, an extensively kudized author, noted journalist, syndicated columnist, and ostensible entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.