Time Saving Tuesday

Some programs take forever (okay, maybe like 10 seconds) to launch which can be very time consuming if you are constantly opening and closing the program throughout the day. You could just leave the program open but then your Taskbar may start to get cluttered after you have several windows open.

The easy solution for this is to minimize your applications to the System Tray. Instead of taking up a large portion of the Taskbar you can make the programs just display one small icon in the System Tray. There are many different kinds of software and solutions out there that will help you accomplish this but I am only going to focus on a few of them. All of the solutions that I list below are FREE!

Firefox Minimize

If you are a Firefox (or Thunderbird) user then you can always have Firefox minimize to the system tray by using this extension. It offers multiple options like minimizing to the System Tray when you try to close Firefox. If none of those options appeal to you then you can always minimize Firefox to the System Tray by selecting “File => Minimize to Tray” from the menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+M on the keyboard.

Opera is much easier to minimize to the System Tray…just press Ctrl+H. Yep, it is that easy!

Microsoft Outlook users are also in luck! If you are running Outlook 2003 then you just have to right-click on the Outlook tray icon and select “Hide When Minimized” from the menu. Those people who are running older versions of Outlook could try OutTray which is a great piece of free software.

Minimize All Programs
Minimize All Programs

If those program specific customizations aren’t enough for you then 4t Tray Minimizer is what you need. It will allow you to minimize ANY program to the System Tray. The picture to the right shows that you can minimize any program by simply pressing the button that is added to the corner of each program. If you also don’t want to clutter your System Tray then you can select to minimize all programs to the same icon! There is a free version of this program available but they also offer a professional version that you can purchase. The only difference is that the free version does not store your customization settings.

I hope you now realize how useful your System Tray can really be. It is able to visually hold more programs so that you can work more quickly and more organized. If you know of any other great minimize-to-tray programs then feel free to let us know.