Windows 11 is changing the way we work – for the better. Each version of Windows has enabled us to be more productive and efficient than the last, and Windows 11 doesn’t disappoint. And as with previous versions, we’ll continually see updates to the operating system that further enhance our Windows experience. But what do we have already? In this post, I’ll highlight three of my favorite changes that come with Windows 11.
Focus Sessions in the Clock app
Especially these days when so many are working remotely more than ever, we have to build new skills for focus and self-care. The Clock app, included in Windows 11, has a feature called Focus sessions meant to help us with blocking distractions and “getting in the zone.”
For example, you can initiate a focus session and maybe choose to spend that time focused on a specific task from your Microsoft To Do list. Once you select that task, and optionally select a Spotify playlist that helps you focus, you can start your focus session. Once the focus session begins, the app blocks all notifications, plays your playlist, and enables you to zone in on the task at hand. For focus sessions at 45 minutes or more, the app helps you take breaks as well.
Snap and snap groups
Windows 10 allows us to drag windows to the sides or corners to our screen to evenly distribute our workspace. Windows 11 allows this as well, but now you can hover over the maximize icon on a window to get additional snap layouts such as 2/3 + 1/3.
These snap “layouts” are called snap groups. And now, in Windows 11, if you’re connected to an external monitor that’s using a snap group layout and you disconnect, those windows are minimized (not cluttering up your primary screen). And when you reconnect to that external monitor, it remembers your snap group and restores the windows to the same layout.
The ultimate keyboard shortcut
My favorite keyboard shortcut in Windows 11 is Windows + Period (.). In Windows 10, this shortcut brought up an emoji menu that allowed you to use emojis everywhere – emails, Twitter, Word docs, Team channel names, etc. In Windows 11, it initially brings up your recently used emojis and gifs, and gives you access to 5 other tabs across the top for additional options including:
- Recently used
- Clipboard history
My favorite of these is clipboard history, but I love that it’s all consolidated now in a single menu.
Note: If you want to go directly to clipboard history and save a click, you can also use Windows + V. This works in Windows 10 as well.
Clipboard history needs turned on the first time you visit it, but after that you can access your recently copied items from the history list and paste something you copied 10 copies ago easily. This is great for those of us who are frequently sharing the same messaging, URLs, tips, codes, usernames, etc.
Do you know the keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting content? After you’ve highlighted/selected what you’re copying you can use Ctrl + C to copy, and Ctrl + V to paste. Anything copied with Ctrl + C is saved to your clipboard history for later use.
Windows 11 is now generally available and many have already upgraded eligible home computers. But businesses are slower to upgrade in some cases because their hardware isn’t ready for the shift, or they depend on features not present in Windows 11. Curious what it takes to upgrade to Windows 11 and what might be lost? Check out system requirements and features deprecated for Windows 11.
While we’ve chosen just three features to be excited about, there are many more and many to come as well. You can check our recent Windows 11 webinar to see some of these features in action, and contact us to arrange training and Q&A for your team.