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How to organize the all apps list on windows 8

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

Windows 10’s All Apps list functions a bit differently than the All Programs list in Windows 7. You can’t just drag-and-drop shortcuts or right-click All Programs and select Explore anymore.

Use this trick to add your own custom shortcuts to the menu or remove existing shortcuts. For example, you could clean up the menu by removing unnecessary folders or organize your desktop apps into folders.

Organizing and Customizing Existing Shortcuts

To modify, organize, or rearrange an existing app shortcut, open the All Apps list, locate the app shortcut, right-click it, and select “Open file location”.

Note that you can’t do this to a “universal app” from the Store. You’ll have to right-click it and select Uninstall to remove its shortcut — this will also remove the entire app. If you want to remove the shortcuts to apps that are part of the default Windows 10 system, you’ll have to use this trick to remove preinstalled apps.

You must right-click a shortcut to a desktop application. You can’t even right-click a folder in the All Apps list — you have to right-click a desktop app shortcut itself.

You’ll see a File Explorer window appear with the shortcut selected. Make changes from here and they’ll automatically be picked up by the All Apps list.

For example, you could:

  • Rename the shortcut by right-clicking it, selecting Rename, and entering a new name.
  • Change the shortcut’s properties by right-clicking it, selecting Properties, and changing its options. This might be necessary if you want to customize a program’s startup options or just change its icon.
  • Delete the shortcut from the Start menu by right-clicking it and selecting Delete. This would be particularly useful with useless shortcuts like the links to websites some programs include.

We might want to move this particular shortcut out of a folder. First, we’d right-click it and select Cut or press Ctrl+X. Next, we click the up arrow next to the address box to “Go Up”.

You’ll end up in the top-level folder and you can paste the shortcut here with Ctrl+V. It will then appear in the top-level All Apps list. You could then remove the original folder if it has no shortcuts left in it, although the All Apps list will always hide empty folders anyway.

Repeat this process all you like to further clean up your All Apps list, moving application shortcuts from unnecessary folders to the main list.

(If a shortcut doesn’t appear in this folder, go to the All Apps list, right-click it, and select “Open file location.” Windows stores these shortcuts in two separate folders.)

You could also arrange the shortcuts into folders. For example, you could make a “Games” folder and move all your game shortcuts from their individual folders into there. They’d all appear under the Games folder in All Apps, making for easier scrolling through the rest of your apps list.

Add Custom Shortcuts

Adding your own desktop application shortcuts to the All Apps list is simple, too. You just need to add them to the appropriate folder on your system. These are the same folders that will appear when you right-click shortcuts and select “Open file location”.

You can access them by copy-pasting the below addresses into a File Explorer window, the Search box in the Start menu, or a Run dialog. You can’t just browse there normally without hidden files visible, as these folders are hidden by default.

Start menu shortcuts for your user account:

Start menu shortcuts for all users:

Create any shortcuts you like here. For example, you can right-click an .exe file elsewhere on your system, select Copy, access this shortcut, and then right-click and select “Paste shortcut.” Rename the shortcut anything you like and it will appear in your Start menu.

This is particularly useful for portable applications and similar applications that don’t automatically install shortcuts.

Although you could actually copy-paste .exe files directly into the Start Menu folders on Windows 7 and earlier and they’d appear in the Start menu, you can’t do this on Windows 10. if you place an .exe file directly into one of these folders, Windows will ignore it and not display it in the Start menu. Instead, you’ll need to place the .exe file elsewhere and then create a shortcut to it in one of these folders. Windows will only show shortcuts in the All Apps list.

Windows 10’s Start menu works differently under the hood. It’s actually managed by a system service that scans the above folders for changes and displays an All Apps list based on them. In practice, it works similarly.

Ars Technica found that the initial release version of Windows 10 could only handle 500 entries in this shortcut database before it breaks and stops showing new shortcuts, so don’t add too many! Microsoft will hopefully fix this low limit in a future update to Windows 10.

If you’re new to Windows 8, figuring out how to find all of your desktop programs and apps isn’t intuitive. Here’s how in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.

If you’re new to Windows 8, figuring out how to find all of your desktop programs and apps isn’t intuitive. Here’s a look at how to do it in Windows 8 and the upcoming upgrade — Windows 8.1.

Update: Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018, and will reach end of Extended Support on January 10, 2023. With the general availability of Windows 8.1, customers on Windows 8 had until January 12, 2016, to move to Windows 8.1 to remain supported.

Search Apps and Programs

If you’re on the desktop, hit the Windows Key on your keyboard to get to the Start screen and start typing in the name of the app you’re looking for. The Apps Search box will automatically open.

Then you’ll see a list of the desktop and/or modern-style apps listed under the results.

Display All Apps

If you want an easy list to see everything, right-click on the Start menu and select the All Apps icon in the lower right corner. In fact, this is the perfect way to get a missing app tile back on the desktop or Start screen.

Show All Apps in Windows 8.1

The new version of Windows — Windows 8.1 currently in Public Beta — makes accessing all of your apps at one time much easier. For example, from the Start screen, either swipe down on your screen. Or, on a traditional PC or laptop, click the down arrow.

That will display all of your desktop programs and modern-style apps in alphabetical order.

Or you can click the dropdown menu and sort them by different categories that are easiest for you.

Also, remember that you can organize the Start screen to list desktop programs first if you’re working on the desktop most of the time on a traditional PC without a touchscreen. For more, check out our article: How To Make the Modern Interface Less Annoying. And don’t forget you can use the same menu to make Windows 8.1 to boot straight to the desktop.

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

Windows 8 awkwardly forces the Start menu programs list into a flat “All Apps” list. Many programs haven’t been properly updated for this new reality and fill your All Apps list with useless shortcuts to help files, websites, and uninstallers.

On Windows 8.1, you’ll be able to have the Start button open the All Apps list directly, so having a nicely organized All Apps list will be very helpful. The list pulls its shortcuts from the traditional Start menu folders.

Remove a Shortcut

To remove a shortcut, simply right-click that shortcut in the All Apps list and select Open File Location on the app bar that appears.

Windows will automatically open the Start menu folder that contains that shortcut. Simply delete the shortcuts as you’d delete any other type of file.

Windows pulls shortcuts from two different folders. One is system-wide, while one is specific to just your user account. If the shortcut is located in the system-wide Start menu folder, you’ll have to pass a UAC prompt before you can delete it. Deleting such a shortcut will also delete it from the Start menus of any other Windows user accounts you have on the computer.

When you go back to your Start screen, you’ll see that the deleted shortcuts have vanished from your apps list. Repeat this process enough times and you can make your All Apps list much more concise.

Feel free to delete shortcuts to websites and help files you won’t open, as well as uninstaller shortcuts.

You can typically right-click any application in the All Apps list and select Uninstall to uninstall it on Windows 8. If you can’t, you can always uninstall that program later from the standard Control Panel.

Organize Desktop App Shortcuts

As Windows stores Start menu shortcuts in two different places, you’ll have to modify two different folders to organize your Start menu.

You can open these folders by right-clicking any shortcut that lives inside them and selecting Open File Location. You’ll also find these two folders at the following locations:

Just manage these folders like you would any other file structure. For example, you may want to put all your utilities into a single Utilities category. To do so, you’d create a new folder named Utilities, place the shortcuts you wanted into it, and delete the existing shortcuts.

Shortcuts you place in a folder will appear categorized together under a heading with the folder’s title.

If you place shortcuts in the top-level Start menu folder, they’ll appear mixed in with the modern apps you have installed.

Shortcuts can be renamed like any other file, so you can simply right-click a shortcut, rename it, and its name will change in your All Apps list.

Add Custom Shortcuts

Adding a shortcut to another application — perhaps a portable app or any other type of program that doesn’t install a Start menu shortcut — is also simple.

First, open your All apps list, right-click a shortcut, and select Open File Location.

You’ll see a Start menu folder appear. You can now add any shortcut you like to this folder. If you have an .exe file, right-click the .exe file and select Copy. Right-click in the Start menu folder and select Paste Shortcut and you’ll get a shortcut.

Place the shortcut anywhere you like — for example, you may want to create a new folder and place it in there. The shortcut will then be categorized in its own section, like other desktop application shortcuts are.

Removing Modern Apps

There’s no way to remove Windows Store apps from the all apps list without uninstalling them completely. The All Apps page just lists all the Modern apps you have installed.

To remove a Modern app from the list, you’ll have to right-click it and uninstall it.

Activate Your Changes

Our changes sometimes took effect immediately, but sometimes did not. Even restarting the Explorer.exe process didn’t force an update. To fix this, we logged out and logged back in again — you may have to do this if your changes don’t take effect immediately.

Of course, just as users who customized their Start menus on previous versions of Windows had to keep customizing them as they installed new software, you’ll have to keep organizing your shortcuts as you continue to install new software.

With any luck, software developers will stop including so many extraneous shortcuts in their Start menu folders and give everyone a less cluttered All Apps list.

Now with hundreds of apps in my device, it’s really a pain to find an app. Sometimes I don’t know its name, which makes it difficult to search. Is there a way to group the apps in my device? Somewhat similar to what we have in marketplace is fine.

4 Answers 4

Games are always grouped in the Games hub and don’t appear in the app list. Otherwise, there is no official way to group apps except pinning them to Start. I’ve seen some people use live tiles/pinned web pages as titles for dividing categories on the Start page, that may be a workaround.

You can use an application such as New Group* to simulate groups on your start screen. It is not ideal, but is a reasonable workaround.

There is no way to organize the app list. But you do not need to:

If you have more than (I think) 40 apps installed, the same organization as in the People Hub kicks in; just tap a highlighted letter to easily jump to that part of the alphabet.

There is search button in the top left of the app list which searches for partial matches in all app names. It even has an option to search in Marketplace for apps you do not have installed yet, making it easy to find and download new apps right from there. Warning: this search button is new in Mango, so upgrade your phone if you do not see it.

Apps you use a lot, you can always pin to your home screen, which you can organize any which way you like.

Quickly Create Organized Lists

AnyList suggests common items as you type, and automatically groups items by category to help save time at the store.

Easily Share Lists

Stay in sync with family and friends by sharing a list with them. Any changes made to a shared list will show up instantly to everyone sharing the list.

Add Items With Siri

Use your voice to add items to AnyList via Siri, so you never forget to buy something you need.

Organize Your Recipes

AnyList helps you organize your personal recipes and allows you to easily add recipes from other sources, like email messages and popular websites and blogs.

Plan Your Shopping

Simply tap on ingredients to add them to your shopping list, or plan for an entire week or month with our meal planning calendar.

AnyList for Mac & PC

Use our Mac and web apps to access AnyList from your Mac or PC. Changes are instantly synced with your iPhone and iPad.

Recipe Web Import

Save recipes from popular websites and blogs directly into AnyList from your web browser on iOS, Mac, or PC.

Meal Planning

Plan your meals for the coming weeks on a calendar, then easily add ingredients for upcoming recipes to your shopping list.

Item Photos

Add photos to list items to keep everyone on the same page and make sure the right item is purchased.

Themes

Show your style by customizing the look of your lists with multiple fonts, colors, and textures.

List Folders

Stay organized by creating folders to group related lists.

AnyList makes shared grocery lists simple and intuitive.

AnyList sets the standard for grocery shopping list apps.

I don’t recommend going to the grocery store without it.

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How to use the new Show App List In Start Menu feature in Windows 10 Creators Update

How to use the new Show App List In Start Menu feature in Windows 10 Creators Update

This new feature makes it easy to get a functional version of the classic Start menu.

If you have been reading my articles for awhile, you know that ever since Windows 8 first came on the scene, I have been tweaking the Start menu in hopes of finding a better way to organize and launch my applications. Well, in the Creators Update, Microsoft has put forth a new way to display and use the Start menu with a feature called Show App List In Start Menu.

When Microsoft first showed this feature last fall in a Windows 10 Insider Preview, it was actually named just the opposite: Hide App List In Start Menu. Of course, the previous name was more appropriate. Regardless of what it’s now called, the feature offers tremendous flexibility in how you display and use the Start menu.

Show App List In Start Menu is enabled by default. So to take advantage of this feature, you have to disable the Show App List In Start Menu setting. Let’s take a closer look.

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The Show App List In Start Menu feature

You can see that right out of the box, so to speak, that the Start menu in the Creators Update looks the same as in the previous version of Windows 10 (Figure A). The All Apps list appears on the left and the tiles appear on the right.

Figure A

The Start menu in the Creators Update looks the same as in the previous version of Windows 10.

SEE: Windows 10 Creators Update: The smart person’s guide

To access the Show App List In Start Menu feature, you right-click on the Taskbar and select Taskbar Settings, as shown in Figure B. When the Settings > Taskbar screen appears, select the Start tab.

Figure B

You can easily access the Settings > Taskbar screen by right-clicking on the Taskbar.

When the Settings > Start screen appears, locate and turn off the Show App List In Start Menu toggle, shown in Figure C.

Figure C

On the Settings > Start screen, turn off the Show App List In Start Menu toggle.

Now, when you then access the Start menu, you’ll see that it displays just the tiles, as shown in Figure D. This is called the Pinned Tiles view. In the upper left, you’ll see two new buttons that allow you to switch between the Pinned Tiles view, which is the default, and the All Apps view.

Figure D

On the far left of the Start menu, two new buttons allow you to switch between the Pinned Tiles and All Apps views.

When you click the All Apps button, the Start menu displays the All Apps list, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

When you click the All Apps button, the Start menu displays the All Apps list.

If you click the hamburger icon at the top left of the Start menu, you’ll see a menu showing the new button titles, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

The menu displays the new button titles.

A slight drawback

While it is nice to be able to quickly and easily switch between All Apps and Pinned Tiles views, the Start menu will always return to the Pinned Tiles view by default. Not really a deal breaker, but I would have preferred to have the Start menu retain the view I select.

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Toss the Paper Scraps and Post-Its for Easier Task Management

As a home business owner, you probably wear many hats. Not only do you have to provide quality products and services, but you have to market, manage finances, provide customer support and more. Even if you have a virtual assistant or other help, keeping track of tasks and projects ultimately falls on you. And that doesn’t include all the things you have to do in your private life as well.

Striking a perfect balance between work and home requires an organized and prioritized to-do-list. The challenge is to find one that fits the way you work, and is accessible whenever you need it. Below is an updated lists of some of the top task management tools available to help you work effectively and efficiently.

NOTE: This list is in alphabetical order.

Any.do

Any.do is a popular to-do management option that offers some great bells and whistles. It has a daily planner feature, list management, sub-tasks, notifications, collaboration and access across devices.

Currently, you can use Any.do on the web, Android, iPhone, Chrome and Mac. It has a free version, and a couple of paid versions for as low as $3 per month.

Evernote

Evernote is more of a note keeping resource, but you can set up to-do lists and some people have been clever enough to create GTD (David Allen’s Getting Things Done) type lists using Evernote. In fact, Evernote can do a great deal to help you store ideas, lists, and more.

The “Clipper” can be added to your browser so you can store articles, recipes, and more in your Evernote folders. You can take photos or audio recordings on your phone, and save them in Evernote. And you can email to your Evernote account.

Evernote is portable and can be used in Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, WebOS, Blackberry, and more.

Evernote is free up to 60 mb of storage. The paid options allow for more storage and few more bells and whistles.

Nirvana

One key concept of the GTD method is to get all the ideas, to-dos and other clutter out of your head and written down somewhere. That’s where Nirvana can help. ”Nirvana is all about getting things out of your head and into a trusted system, then effortlessly drilling down to the thing you should be doing right now.”

Features include help in sorting out what to focus on, scheduling tasks, organizing projects, reference lists (stuff you need to keep), tagging and filters, search, creating checklists, and email to capture to-dos or to send you reminders. It’s free, but offers a pro version with the ability to manage more stuff, and deal with recurring tasks.

Currently, Nirvana is available on iPhone, iPad, Android and the web. OS X and Windows versions are coming soon

Remember The Milk

Many to-do tools have come and gone, but Remember the Milk (RTM) has stood the test of time. Like many other to-do apps, it will let you list your tasks, give you reminders, and share you list with others. One cool feature is that you can add or get reminded of a task by text, Twitter or email. You can even receive your reminders by IM.

One feature that is really helpful is that RTM integrates with other tools such as Google Calendar and Outlook, and Evernote.

RTM is available across several platforms including web, Mac, iPhone/Pad, Android devices, Blackberry 10, and Kindle Fire. As of this writing (June 2016) a Windows and Linux option are coming soon.

RTM is free, but has a premium version with more features.

Todoist

The first cool think about Todoist is that it’s got apps for everything including web, Android, iOS, OS X, and Windows. Plus it has browser add-ons for Chrome and Firefox. Finally, you can integrate with Outlook and Gmail.

Todoist offers lots of great features to organize your tasks, including sub-task and sub-project listing, the ability to share and collaborate, and to prioritize your to-dos. It offers notifications when important tasks are due and real-time syncing if you need to move between devices.

Todoist is free, but also offers premium features including reminders, commenting, and labels and filters.

Vitalist

If you’re a fan of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) methodology, then Vitalist may be the tool for you. According to the Vitalist website, “Vitalist is all about actions, projects, and contexts. Actions represent the things you need to get done. Projects and Contexts help you organize them.”

Vitalist not only helps you create your to-do list, but it can help you deal with the tasks in longer term projects. It does have apps for mobile devices and integrates with other tools including your calendar, Jott, and Twitter.

The basic version may offer all you need to get things done. It offers unlimited actions, but only 5 of each projects, contexts, contacts and smart searches. Paid versions give you more options and storage for as little as $5 a month.

Wunderlust

Newer to the task management scene, but making a big splash is Wunderlust. It’s available on just about everything including Mac OS X, Android (phone and tablet), iOS (phone, iPad), web, watch, Windows 7,9, and phone, and Chromebook. It also works with other tools such as Gmail and Evernote.

Like others before it, Wunderlust can do quite a bit including add tasks and set due dates, get notifications, group related lists into a folder, share and collaborate, You can store notes, use tags, email to Wunderlust, and even print your to-dos. It’s free, or you can get the pro version for about $5 per month, that allows you to upload and attach files to your to-dos, among other added features.

Tip / Trick

Start Menu is one of the demanding features of Windows 10. A lot of people just dislike the Windows 8’s Start Screen. With Windows 10, Microsoft may satisfy half part of that since the new Start Menu is a combination of the tradition menu with the Start Screen. More to that, Microsoft decided to build the new Start Menu with XAML, which can limit its functions. One obvious limit is that you can’t drag and drop things to the Start Menu.

In this post, I’ll show you how to easily add anything you want to the All Apps list of the Start Menu.

How to add a file to All Apps list

Before we start, you may want to know how this works. As in previous version of Windows, items in the Start Menu are stored in a system folder. And they are all shortcuts. This is important because you don’t want to copy the actual files to the folder or it won’t work.

So in Windows 10, the Start Menu folder is located at

Once you’re in this folder, you can right click and choose New -> Shortcut and browse to your actual file. The other faster way is to navigate to your file, right click on it and select “Copy”. Then go to the Start Menu folder and right click, select “Paste as shortcut.”

How to add a folder to All Apps list

To add a folder to All Apps list, you must create a shortcut via the right-click menu. If you use the “Paste as shortcut” method above, your folder shortcut won’t show up in the Start Menu.

First you need to be in the Start Menu folder at

Then right click at the empty space and choose New -> Shortcut. In the dialog, hit Browse and look for your folder. Finally hit OK to create the shortcut.

Now you’ll see the folder shortcut appears in your Start Menu. And that’s all!

Start Menu in Windows has been updated with every version of the Windows operating system. In Windows 10, Start Menu has more options for customization for the users. On the left side of the Start Menu, users can view the list of all applications. The list is pretty useful for accessing the applications easily from the Start Menu. Users can hide or show the app list according to their needs. By default, the list will be enabled in the Start Menu, but we will show you methods through which you can remove the apps list in the Start Menu.

Removing apps list from Start Menu

Removing All Apps List through the Settings App

All apps list in the Start Menu can be removed through the Settings app. There is a toggle option in the Settings app that can enable and disable the apps list. This is the default method for removing all apps list from your system’s Start Menu. However, if this toggle option is grayed out, then check the below methods.

  1. Hold the Windows key and press I to open the Setting app on your system. Now head over to the Personalization. Opening the Windows Settings app
  2. Choose the Start from the left pane and toggle Off the “Show app list in Start Menu” option. This will disable the apps list from the Start Menu. Disabling the app list in the Settings app
  3. To enable it back, you just need to turn On the toggle for the same option.

Removing All Apps List through the Local Group Policy Editor

Another way to disable this list of applications in the Start Menu is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. This setting will have three different options that the user can choose from. Each one of them works differently, so choose the one that you want for your system. The information for each option can be found in the details of the setting.

However, the Local Group Policy is only available for the Windows Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate versions. Skip this method, if you are using the Windows Home operating system.

Note: The setting is available for both the Computer Configuration and the User Configuration. The path is similar for both, only the category will be different.

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R buttons together. Now type “gpedit.msc” in the box and press the Enter key to open the Local Group Policy Editor window. Opening the Local Group Policy Editor
  2. Navigate to the following category path in the Local Group Policy Editor: Navigating to the setting in the Local Group Policy Editor window

Note: We are using the setting that is available in the Computer Configuration. You can also use the setting that is in User Configuration.

  • Double-click on the setting named “Remove All Programs list from the Start menu” and it will open up in another window. Now change the toggle option from Not Configured to Enabled. Enabling the setting
  • To apply the changes, click on the Apply or Ok button. This will disable the apps list from Start Menu.
  • To enable the apps list again, you need to change the toggle option back to Not Configured or Disabled in step 3.
  • Removing All Apps List through the Registry Editor

    If you do not have the Local Group Policy Editor on your system, then you can achieve the same result by using the Registry Editor. It just requires a few technical steps from the users for configuring this setting. We always recommend users to create a backup before making any changes in the Registry. By following the below steps, you can easily remove the list of applications from the Start Menu.

    Note: The value can be set in both the Current Users and the Local Machine hives. The path will be the same, but only the hive will be different.

    1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R buttons on your keyboard. Now type “regedit” and press the Enter key to open the Registry Editor. If prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), then click on the Yes button. Opening the Registry Editor
    2. Navigate to the following path in the Registry Editor window:

    Note: We are using the Local Machine hive in this method, but you can also use the Current User hive if you are setting it for a specific user.

  • Right-click on the right pane and choose the New > DWORD (32-bit) Value option. Name this newly created value as “NoStartMenuMorePrograms“. Creating a new value in the Registry
  • To set this value as a “Collapse” option, double-click on it and set the value data to 3. Setting the value for the “Collapse” option
  • If you want to set the “Collapse and disable setting” option, then set the value data of this value to 2. Setting the value for the “Collapse and disable setting” option
  • For the third option “Remove and disable setting“, set the value data for this value as 1. Setting the value for the “Remove and disable setting” option
  • After choosing one of the settings, make sure to restart your system to apply the changes. This will disable the apps list according to your setting.
  • You can always enable it back by change the value data to 0 or removing this value from the Registry Editor.
  • In this article, you’ll learn how to use color categories in Outlook to organize your to-do list and actionable emails.

    In the last article, we created a folder structure to organize the emails we need to keep for future reference. We need a different approach to organize emails that need us to take action. But why would we want to do that? Why not just flag emails and use that as a to-do list?

    Here’s why: you don’t keep your to-do list and your filing cabinet in your mailbox right? Your mailbox is for receiving, your filing cabinet is for storing important papers for later and your to-do list is for getting things done. Your email inbox works the same way, it’s supposed to be for receiving, yet a lot of people keep emails in their inbox to remind them to do something.

    The downside is that your inbox doesn’t allow you to prioritize and organize your tasks as well as other tools.

    This prevents us from taking advantage of one an important productivity strategy, batching. Batching refers to the process of grouping similar tasks together. It’s more efficient than multitasking and switching back and forth between different kinds of tasks.

    In order to group emails that need similar action together, we’re going to use categories.

    How to Use Categories to Get Organized

    To add a category to an email, select an email, right-click and go to categorize. If you’ve never used categories before, then the defaults will be named after different colors.

    To modify your categories or add more colors to Outlook Categories, go to All Categories.

    Since we’re going to use categories for actionable emails we need to create different categories for different kinds of actions.

    When we create categories, we’re going to number them so they arrange themselves in order of priority. That way, as we start to work through our tasks, we can follow the order we set when we created our categories.

    Outlook Categories Best Practices

    Here is a versatile category structure that works for a variety of workflows.

    1 Purpose / Goals

    The Purpose and Goals category is the most important category and it is reserved for the most important actions. This category will help you think strategically and keep you from getting distracted by unimportant urgent tasks. This category is for all of the actions that help you grow as a person.

    2 Needs Action

    You don’t want to keep people waiting, so this category is for phone calls and emails that you need to send ASAP. Bills you need to pay also belong in this category, unless you’re not going to pay them right away.

    3 Waiting for Reply

    The Waiting for Reply category is for things you don’t want to forget to follow up on. If you sent an email or left a voicemail and you’re waiting for a reply. Don’t leave the email unmarked in your inbox. Assign it to this category so you remember to follow up.

    4 1:1 with _person’s name_

    1:1s are for meetings you have with others. You’ll put things into this category if you want to remember to address them the next time you meet with that person. You’ll need to create a 1:1 category for each person you work with on a regular basis.

    5 Projects

    Similar to the category above, create a category for each major project you’re working so you can keep making progress on it.

    6 Notifications

    Notifications is going to be for items you need to be aware of. That’s not very actionable, I know, but this category is best paired with Outlook rules. You can use rules to categorize emails automatically so unimportant emails such as social media notifications or emails you’re cc’d on can appear in the notifications category.

    7 Read

    Remember all those emails and newsletters and PDF attachments you need to read? Put them in this category so you can get a cup of coffee and sit down to read them all at once.

    8 Later

    This category is for all the things you need to do, but in the future. You can put tax documents in here or other things that you don’t need to take care of right away. Bills that you don’t want to pay right away. Things you want to remind yourself to do in a few weeks.

    You can move things into the Needs Action or other category when you’re ready.

    9 Someday Maybe

    Someday Maybe is for all those things that you want to do…one day. All those shiny things you get distracted by and sign up for and then discover you don’t have time for, those can go in here. Emails that give you an ideas for a future businesses that you want to organize go here. Connections for a future podcast go here. Basically it’s all those bright ideas that you might want to do someday…maybe.

    How to Sort Emails by Category in Outlook

    Once you create categories, you can sort your inbox by category so similar emails are together.

    To do so, go to By From. To change it back to being sorted by date, go to Date (Conversations).

    So not only have you organized your inbox, but you’ve organized your work so you’re no longer staring at your inbox thinking about how to get started. Just start with the first category and work your way down the list. If you don’t make it all the way down some days, that’s ok, because you’ve taken care of the highest priority items first.

    More Help Organizing Outlook

    This article is an excerpt from my FREE one-week course Organize My Email Inbox, that will teach how to organize your emails and tasks with a productivity system. To learn how to use categories to effectively organize emails and tasks, including how to use rules to categorize emails automatically, enroll in my free class.

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    In Windows 8.1, whenever you click the Start button, the system takes you to the Start screen with live tiles by default. If you miss the old function of the Start button which lists all installed apps on the system, you are in luck. This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide for you to bring the old function back. Continue reading to find out how.

    Although it is possible to list all the apps on the system when clicking on the Start button, the interface is not exactly the same. Power or control panel shortcuts are not listed.

    1. First, go to the Desktop view. If you are in the Start screen, click on the Desktop. If the tile is not pinned to the Start screen, pressing the Win key will do the same thing.

    2. Next, right-click on the task bar at the bottom of the screen, and choose Properties. If the task bar is hidden, moving the mouse to the bottom will make it slide up.

    3. In the new pop-up window called Taskbar and Navigation properties, switch to the Navigation tab.

    4. In this tab, make sure to enable the Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start option. This will replace the Start screen live tiles with the app list view when you click the Start logo or press the Win key on your keyboard. To access the tiles, simply swipe down, or click the arrow icon.

    When the app list replaces the tiles, you can choose to show the desktop background on Start instead of the theme background.

    For people who use multiple screens, make sure to check Always show Start on my display when I press the Windows logo key.

    5. This is how the apps list looks with the desktop background.

    Here is how the apps list looks with a solid color that matches the theme.

    When not creating exciting new Android games, Lê Hoàng is here crafting tutorials, tweaks, and fixes for your enjoyment.

    If you are using the latest version of Windows 11, you might know that the operating system ships with a new start menu and new file explorer icons. Actually, Windows 11 is more advanced than Windows 10, and it includes many new features that were not seen on other desktop operating systems.

    Additionally, Microsoft has changed the functionality of Windows 11’s Start Menu. If you have been using Windows 11 for a while, you might have noticed that the Start Menu doesn’t show all apps by default. Instead, it shows the newly installed apps, recently opened files, and the apps pinned to the Start menu.

    Yes, you can view the All Apps section, but you need to click on the All apps button located beside the Pinned text. While the stock look of the Start Menu suits well with the operating system, users can customize it to their liking.

    For example, you can customize the Windows 11 Start Menu to see all apps by default. If you do so, Windows 11’s Start Menu won’t display the pinned apps and recently used files which could have been a privacy concern for many.

    Show ‘All Apps’ By Default in Windows 11 Start Menu

    Hence, if you are looking for ways to open All Apps by default in Windows 11 Start Menu, you are reading the right guide. In this article, we will share a step-by-step guide on how to Show all apps by default in Windows 11. Let’s check out.

    1. First of all, open your favorite web browser and open this Github link. Next, download the latest version of ExplorerPatcher.

    2. Once downloaded, you need to run the ExplorerPatcher software to install it on your device.

    3. Since ExplorerPatcher doesn’t have any interface, you won’t see anything during the installation. Once installed, right-click on the Taskbar and select Properties.

    4. This will open the ExplorerPatcher’s Properties page. You need to switch to the Taskbar option.

    5. On the right, select the Windows 11 (Default) on the Taskbar Style.

    6. Now switch to the Start Menu option as shown below.

    7. On the right, check the option Open Start in All apps by default.

    8. After making the changes, click on the Restart File Explorer button, as shown below.

    Important: At the time of writing ExplorerPatcher software has many bugs. You might have to make multiple attempts to open the Start Menu.

    If the interface has lagged or the screen is blacked out, you need to press the CTRL+ALT+DEL key and select the Task Manager. On the Taskmanager, click on File > Run New task. On the RUN dialog box, enter explorer.exe and hit the Enter button.

    That’s it! You are done. Now the Windows 11 Start menu will show All Apps by default.

    It’s pretty easy to customize Windows 11’s Start Menu with ExplorerPatcher software. I hope this article helped you! Please share it with your friends also. If you have any doubts related to this, let us know in the comment box below.