In last month’s blog, we discussed the long-awaited phased rollout of Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system. As we assist our clients in making the switch from Windows 10 to Windows 11, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce some of the fun and useful components of the new operating system. Widgets are one very cool aspects that make it easier to quickly view the things that matter to you most on your desktop. Let’s take a little closer look at the newly designed widgets for Windows 11 and how they can make your workday more organized and efficient.
What Are Widgets?
Not familiar with widgets or need a reminder of what a widget is? According to TechTarget, a widget is “an element of a graphical user interface (GUI) that displays information or provides a specific way for a user to interact with the operating system or an application.” In layman’s terms, a widget is a small application that allows the user (you) to see at-a-glance important information such as the weather, time, traffic, or calendar all in one location on your desktop. Widgets can be found in different locations depending upon the operating system and your individual settings. They can include icons, pull-down menus, buttons, selection boxes, progress indicators, on-off checkmarks, scroll bars, windows, window edges (that let you resize the window), toggle buttons, forms, and many other devices for displaying information and for inviting, accepting, and responding to user actions. (TechTarget)
How To Get Widgets on Your Desktop
Widgets are great for people who love to have quick access to the info they need right on their desktops. Getting the widgets there, however, is a bit tricky if you have not used them before. If you plan to have multiple widgets on your screen, it may be easier to download a Windows third-party app called Widget Launcher. This allows users to pin widgets to the desktop depending upon what their preferences include. After the Microsoft Store downloads Widget Launcher onto your Windows 11 PC, click Open to launch the app. You can also open it by pressing the Win key + S, typing widget launcher in the search box, and clicking on the app in the search results under best match.From here users will be able to see a list of all the available widgets in the middle panel. Then all one needs to do is select the widget and hit launch. That widget will then appear on the desktop. (Voila!) Other methods for choosing and arranging your widgets include: hitting the Win key + W in Windows 11. This allows a user to bring up the widgets board. Hovering over the Widgets button on the left side of the Taskbar does the same thing. If you are on a touch-enabled device, you can also swipe from the left edge of the screen to open the feature. On the board, you can add or remove widgets as well as customize and rearrange them however you like.
A Peek at Microsoft Widgets
As you become accustomed to Windows 11, you may want to set up your own personalized widget section or board so you can see your calendar of meetings, view the weather, and even keep track of your favorite sports teams all while you work. Here’s a quick peek at what Microsoft is offering for widgets in their Windows 11 operating system currently.
One of the more popular widgets from Microsoft is the weather widget option. Weather widgets are customizable to your location or you can set several locations to scroll through to see how your commute may pan out or as you check out the forecast in your favorite vacation spot. This particular widget can be customized by size and allow users to see the current temp and precipitation possibilities all without having to take out their phone or conduct a Google search. It’s right there in front of you all day.
Having busy lives at home and work means we need to get organized on our calendars. Keep track of meetings both virtual and in-person, appointments, and upcoming family events all on your calendar that can be pinned to your board. View your calendar by day, week, or month as a whole to keep you on track and on time for your meetings!
Sports & Entertainment
Are you a major sports fan but don’t always have time to keep track of all the teams? Try this sports widget, aptly named to follow your teams on the MLB, NHL, NBA, NCAA, and other major sports leagues.Follow all the leagues or customize it to track only your favorite teams when they play. This will save you time every morning looking up last night's scores. In addition to sports, some widgets can display your favorite form of entertainment from movies to concerts and your favorite Broadway musicals. By clicking on a movie, the widget will begin playing it directly from the Microsoft store. In another instance, customize the display for trending movies, and how you can acquire a ticket to said movie.
Wondering if the commuter rail is running on time or whether Route 128 is a parking lot? Check out the traffic widgets that can help you plan the optimal time to start your commute home.
Whether you are in the financial industry or an entirely different field, keeping a close eye on your investment stocks throughout the day in an easy-to-find location can be a lifesaver in today’s rollercoaster of an economy.
Again, just like the other widgets, news widgets can be customizable to the news sources you value the most. Can’t read the news story during work? Bookmark it for later and keep your news and updates organized.
Widgets can make your life infinitely easier when it comes to keeping track of the important things in your life. From weather and sports to calendars and news, widgets are a customizable, one-stop location for finding your more critical info throughout the day.