'Targets' - shameless pun. I apologise. Microsoft, admittedly, have done some good things over the last few weeks, and again they've rolled something out which could really benefit students. I've personally never seen anything like this; probably my naive nature or lack of research, no doubt they'll be one out there, but this has really caught my attention.
Office Labs "Speed Launch", codename 'Crocuts', is a small and simple shortcut manager which lets you access your current or to-do documents, links and files with a single shortcut key. It allows you to access what you currently need, but also common tasks which you may ordinarily use; search, wiki, common templates, videos and local addresses on your computer or network. It came out a few days ago, and (besides being rather ill) wanted to try it out for myself over a long-ish period of time to see what it was capable of.
It leaves a small semi-transparent target on the desktop, floating above the surface waiting to be used, although inconspicuous enough not to get in your way. You can assign shortcuts to a website, a video, any file or folder on your computer, and even start web searches through Wikipedia or Google. By pressing Windows+C on your keyboard or a double-tap on the floating target, again a subtle touch, brings up your shortcuts.
The best thing I've found so far though is the ability to truly multitask without confusion. It's exam resit season, and those who want to work on more coursework or exam revision, this tool makes life that little bit easier. You can juggle your 5 or 6 documents which hold your research and notes, whilst be able to keep track of them and not get lost.
After much jiggery-pokery, I've found the optimum place to put the floating target; sitting on the taskbar directly vertical of the first icon next to the clock. Of course, if you don't have your taskbar in the normal place it probably doesn't apply, but there's nothing more annoying then having something floating over a window which you need to access.
There's a full FAQ on the Office Labs website, along with a video tour of the main features, and of course the download information. I promise in future not to use so many puns; it's been far too easy to whop them out in this post.