Random geekery since 2005.

Husband, father, programmer, speaker, writer, blogger, podcaster, collector, traveler, golfer.

What’s In Your Quick Launch Bar?

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I’m always interested in the similarities and differences of people. Especially when it comes to simple things that can be used in vastly different ways.

Today, I’m interested in what you keep in your Quick Launch bar. In Windows, that’s the icons that show up just to the right of your Start button. I’m not a hater, so if you use a Mac, or Linux, or any other OS, you’ve got a application launching location. Let everyone see what the software you need at your fingertips is. Take a screenshot and post it to your blog, your Twitter account, or my comments. It’s up to you. But leave me a comment so we have a common place for people to find all of the posts!

Here’s mine:

And here it is expanded, with names:

And to be fair, let me tell you what some of these things are. Using the image with just the icons in it (no text), they are as follows (except for the first 3, they are alphabetical):

  • Show Desktop – this is actually just an OS command to minimize all of my windows. My desktop tends to get cluttered.
  • VS2HTML – this is an awesome little utility. So awesome, in fact, that I have a blog post on it.
  • Internet Explorer 8 – still my primary browser. IE8 is a strong entry in the browser wars. Download it here.
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2 – This is still my image editing application of choice. Expression Design is a strong application too, but I’m just more familiar with Photoshop at this point.
  • BabySmash! – a cool little game for kids, Scott Hanselman knocked this one out of the park. My kids (4yr old and 8 mo old) love it.
  • Color Pixie – another cool little app that shows me the hex/rgb/cmyk/color values for the pixel my mouse is over. Also shows screen coordinates. Download it here.
  • Expression Blend 2 – the tool I use for creating WPF and Silverlight applications from a design perspective. Download it here.
  • Flickr Uploadr – a simple tool for uploading my photos to Flickr. It allows me to do them in large groups, so I don’t have to do each one individually. Get it here.
  • Google Chrome – another browser that I primarily use for testing. And visiting some of Google’s sites. Download it here.
  • Microsoft Outlook – my email/calendar/task list, etc.
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 2007 – where I create my slide presentations.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Pro – where I write all of my code.
  • MindJet Mind Manager Pro – mind mapping software. great for planning out new software and blog posts. if you haven’t tried mind mapping before, you should. Download it here.
  • Mozilla Firefox – yet another browser. again, mostly for testing purposes, but it’s got a ton of cool add-ons that I use from time to time as well. Download it here.
  • Live Mesh – file sync, remote desktop, and online storage. It’s awesome. My blog post here. Get started here.
  • Notepad – simple. perfect. a great clipboard extension.
  • Shortcut to my Home Server – I have a Windows Home Server that I keep all of my files on. This just gets me to the root directory of the server.
  • SPB Mobile DVD – a great application for ripping my DVDs to my hard drive. and they’re ready for my Zune as well. Download it here.
  • Windows Media Player – not sure why this is in my list. It was there by default, and I’ve never deleted it. I have never had a need to start WMP, I usually just open a WMV file and it opens WMP for me automatically.
  • Windows Live Messenger – my default IM client. I also use GTalk inside the browser, but mostly it’s Live Messenger.
  • Zune – a great alternative to iTunes for non-DRM music. I’ve also got a blog post on it here. Download it here.

So you’ve got my list. Hopefully there was something in there you’ve not seen before. Sure, there are add-ons that could have made this list, like ReSharper for Visual Studio, but that’s not the point of this exercise. What’s in your list?


8 responses to “What’s In Your Quick Launch Bar?”

  1. Mark Harr Avatar
    Mark Harr

    * 3GWatcher – utility for managing at&t Sierra Wireless cell modem* Beyond Compare 2* eWallet – keeps all my numbers and passwords, and in sync w/WinMobile phone and on web* Firefox* Chrome (gotta test on alternate browsers, right 😉 )* Jeyo Mobile Companion* MyMobiler useful while developing on WinMobile apps* ShellRunAs* Snipping Tool (best Vista utility)* UltraEdit* VirtualPC 2007* Windows Live Messenger* Windows Live Photo Gallery* Windows Live Writer* Windows Mobile Device Center* Zune Jeff, I'm surprised you don't use Live Photo Gallery for your flickr uploading. Great tool for touching up photos, tagging, and uploading to flickr, including creating sets. While I am not a photo expert, I think it's the easiest and best tool for flickr out there.

  2. Nick Avatar

    Pic of Quick LaunchShow DesktopExplorerShortcut to Flash DrivemIRCFirefoxThunderbirdTogglIllustratorPhotoshopDay of Defeat: SourceiTunesWindows Media PlayerI should probably update this since I’ve started using shortcut keys more and more (Windows Key + E for explorer, etc.)My soon to be online blog

  3. Jim Holmes Avatar
    Jim Holmes

    Barf! :DA launcher app like SlickRun is a much better way for me to handle these things — but I’m a keyboard fanatic. I dislike the QuickLaunch because I have to take my hands off the keyboard and reach for the mouse.

  4. Shane Milton Avatar
    Shane Milton

    I’m not at my main box atm but one thing I do in addition to what you’ve shown is that I also have folders added as additional “toolbars”. So this way I can have a single icon for “Dev”, one for “Comm”, one for “Web”, one for “SQL”, etc. Yeah, that then takes 2 clicks, but it’s quite handy. And it saves all of those times where you accidentally click on the wrong icon and now waste 20 seconds waiting for the app to open up just for you to shut it back down. 🙂

  5. Rick Kierner Avatar
    Rick Kierner

    Neat idea Jeff. I followed your lead: Rick Kierner’s Quick Launch at http://www.Rickdoes.net

  6. eburke Avatar

    who needs quick launch when you have vista start menu search? 😉

  7. dan Avatar

    I took out Show Desktop awhile ago because you can get the same effect (on a Windows box) with Windows-D or Windows-M.Groupwise (email)Command PromptWindows Explorer (though maybe I should lose that since I see you can use Windows-E)IEEclipseRemedy (change request software)ExcelStar Team (Source control)UltraEditWordFileZillaSQL DeveloperPuttyFirefox RAD 7

  8. Stephen Russell Avatar
    Stephen Russell

    Firefox, SSIS, Show Desktop, VS2008, Blend, TaskInfo, Google Chrome, Winamp, MP3tag.

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