The best, most efficient way of navigating between windows

By Forrest Smith -

I’ve been trying to get faster and more efficient while doing my daily work. I used to rely on just using the mouse to navigate between programs — obviously not the best way of doing it. I then moved onto alt+tab. This works pretty well when switching between two programs, but add in three, four programs (or even more), which is totally typical for me, and chaos ensues. The main problem I have with the alt+tab solution is that as you work between programs, the order of the programs within that alt+tab popup are always moving and changing based on what you program you were in previously. I would often times stare blankly at this collection of small thumbnails, trying to decipher where I was tryinng to go, and then realize that it would have just been faster to use the mouse.

In my search for a better solution, I realized that you can navigate between open programs (or even open up a new program), by using the windows taskbar and your keyboard. All of the programs that you pin to the task bar can be opened by pressing the windows key and then a number key representing the program’s position on your task bar. ¬†For the first program shown, you would press windowskey+1, the second program (when read left to right), would bey windowskey+2). This is the perfect way to switch between programs!

I’ve since loaded my work and home computer’s taskbar with the programs I most often utilize in the same order so I can easily train myself that windowskey+1 equals chrome, windowskey+2 equals photoshop, etc… I can now easily and quickly navigate through programs without some of the ambiguity of other methods — I know exactly what’s coming up when I press that windowskey+3 (my code editor).