Today I’ve got a bunch of free Windows programs for you seven of them to be exact and all of these have to do with productivity in some way so whether you’re trying to get work done or just, in general, these should all help and they should also come in handy.
1. Microsoft Sticky Notes
This is built into Windows 10 7 & 8 I believe and basically, it’s just a virtual sticky note that you can stick on the desktop and how it works is you search for in the Start menu you can pin it to the taskbar whatever and then you create these sticky notes we’re using the plus button to create a note.
you can also customize the color resize it type whatever you want in it that you would expect also there’s a little toolbar at the bottom to do some text formatting like you can create bullet lists or change the text format like bold, italic, underline strikethrough. one important thing to remember though is there is kind of like a dashboard with all the sticky notes you have made and if you close a sticky note it doesn’t just delete it.
So, you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting them by closing them they’ll stay in the dashboard and if you do actually want to delete completely you delete it through that list, this also means if you don’t want to have all your sticky notes open all the time you can close some and just keep the important ones on the desktop all the time or if you want to add one back to the desktop you can have it open back up from there.
So, just know if one of the sticky notes disappears or you accidentally close it it’s not gone you can still open it from that list and I like to just keep sticky notes pinned at the taskbar because I use it all the time sometimes it doesn’t start up with windows for some reason but they’re not lost again you just open the program then they’ll open back up so just be aware of that but the super-useful program I use it to keep notes all the time.
2. Microsoft To Do
This is available in the Windows Store and basically, Microsoft if you didn’t know bought the app Wunderlist which was a really useful to-do list, and Microsoft just kind of rebranded it and made it their own and this is available on all platforms.
There’s a web version there’s also obviously the Windows app version there’s also one for Android iOS and Mac too and basically like the name of the apps yes this is just an app that is meant to keep track of tasks that you want to do in the future at some point and you can sync it with your Microsoft account across all your devices.
You can see when you create tasks there are some premade groups like ones that are called important that you can star so you can mark them how you want you can also create your own lists multiple of them group lists together with all that sort of stuff and you can also customize each individual task by right-clicking.
You can do stuff like setting a due date either setting it by Dubai tomorrow or some other date in the future and what’s also really useful is you can share lists with other people so you can create a link that will out people to add a certain list to their account and then it’s shared and synced between you two.
So, this is really good obviously if you’re doing a group project or something and you want to make sure that everyone knows what needs to be done as a group and you can also like assign different tasks to individual people so everyone’s on the same page so this one might be more useful than sticky notes if you actually want to have a specific to-do list instead of just taking random notes
3. Microsoft Whiteboard
Which I guess is basically a really cool collaboration software so you can do it for brainstorming or whatever and basically, you create this so-called whiteboard which is just a big blank white page, and then you can add a whole bunch of stuff to it and again sync it between accounts and collaborate with other people. it’ll all show on their account too if you share so you can draw pictures using a pen tool and it also has a feature that will convert drawings to more proper shapes.
So, if you like to draw a square it’ll actually convert it into an actual straight square there’s also a tool for like ruler stuff like that and you can also add all sorts of different notes so you can add notes that look like sticky notes or a grid of notes or just a list of items or just a random plain block of text or whatever.
You can also do stuff like adding image files from your computer you can also add Word documents and PDFs right into the whiteboard that are accessible and of course like I said you can invite others to join a whiteboard and then everyone can contribute and make changes that will show up on everyone else’s account and you can even create a web link. So, it’s available from the web if the person doesn’t have the actual app downloaded so it’s all really cool and really useful.
4. Microsoft OneNote
It used to be a paid program but now it is available for free and you can kind of think of Microsoft OneNote as being a digital version of any type of physical notebook you might have lied around. You create these virtual notebooks which are then divided into sections and then pages. So, it’s all organized and then on each page, you can add really whatever you want pictures images whatever you can add basic text just like a list you can just type anywhere.
It doesn’t have to be like a Word document you can create list items and then even add checkboxes to it so it’s like a to-do list kind of and obviously you can create multiple of these notebooks and you can also share notebooks between people if you want to collaborate. now I’m not sure if you can share individual pages with people I was trying to look for that I couldn’t find in the future but you definitely can share entire notebooks.
If you want and like I said you can also insert other stuff like using a pen tool to draw you can add images and do most of the other text formatting stuff like you can do in Microsoft Word-like bolding, italics changing the font size color a bunch of other stuff you can probably see on here but I’m not going to show you everything it would just take too long.
5. Office Lens
Which is basically a document scanner made by Microsoft now technically this is available as a Windows app but it’s probably more useful if you get the phone app version which is available on both Android and iOS. So, basically, you just take a picture of a document you point the camera at it it’ll automatically crop to the document the business card whatever, and then you can also add filters to it.
It’ll be easier to read so you don’t have to take a regular photo it’ll kind of more look like a scanned document, and then once you do take a picture of it to scan it you can then draw on it add text notes to it stuff like that and this is especially useful because it ties into other apps on your Microsoft account like OneDrive and OneNote.
Which we just talked about so you can see if I save it to OneNote now it shows up as a page in that notebook that I was using before syncs together and like I said it is available as a Windows app in the Microsoft Store on Windows and it’ll just use the webcam on your computer for that but for me, it didn’t really work well with my particular webcam the Logitech c920 – for whatever reason you can see the camera frame rate was like really bad it wasn’t focusing on the note couldn’t really control the webcam.
I don’t know what the deal is with that it would probably work better if you’re using a Microsoft made Windows tablets like a surface pro or something that had a native webcam in it but you can try it yourself but again, I’d probably just use the smartphone app and kind of sync it with your other apps.
We have a couple more that are not made by Microsoft still free still super useful so this next one is called Pushbullet you’ve heard me talk about this one before it’s basically an extremely useful program for sharing text links images whatever else between your devices.
It’s available on Windows Android iOS and I believe even Mac so what you do is you install it on each of your devices and then log in to an account you create, and then you can kind of think of it as a group chat with yourself across your devices so you type text into it or paste something into it or paste an image into it and then it’ll send it to another device and it’ll just show up over there.
This is obviously really useful I’m sure you’ve come across a situation where you’re looking at something on your computer you want to send it to your phone or vice versa you can do it easily with this app and it’s also available as browser extensions like there’s one for Chrome in which case if you’re on a web page you want to link to on your phone you just literally right click and then send it to whatever app and then you can do it that way so all-around super useful if you put it on all your devices and I think there might be a pro version but I just use the free version and it’s totally fine.
It’s basically a super fancy version of just regular Windows notepad so very much like regular Windows notepad. this is really good if you just want to take quick and dirty notes that you actually want to save as a text file and it’s especially useful if you maybe want to type something out that’s going to need a little bit more space than if you were to just put it in a stick as we talked about before. so, if you want to copy a bunch of text and just put it in a text document you can put in Notepad++.
It’s a lot easier to navigate and there are just so much more features so for example, it has things like tabbed notes. so, you don’t have to open up multiple windows and one really useful thing is you can also have it.
It doesn’t just delete the text files if you close the program or accidentally close it but I think you do have to enable that setting. so definitely do that you go to settings back up and then check to remember the current session for the next launch and then it’ll keep the file even if you close out the program and then of course.
It also has a lot of other useful features for like programming it supports so many different markup languages and formats so if you do programming, you’re opening a source file it’ll show everything there so yeah those are seven useful programs.