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Recently I came across this little free tool called Sideslide that I find extremely useful in my daily computing.
Sideslide is basically a desktop extension that helps you unclutter your desktop and is highly configurable. It has a great set of tools that any typical computer user would need in his everyday work. The main workspace is your ‘drawing board’ to which you can add different kinds of objects: Containers, news feeds, pictures, reminders, file and directory shortcuts, command prompt commands, web URLs and notes.
Let me run you through some of the main features of Sideslide.
Docks to the side
Firstly, it doesn’t occupy any desktop real estate till you actually need it. It remains docked to one side of your screen and slides out only when you move your mouse pointer to that side. You can choose to dock it to the left, right or top side of your screen. You can also change it’s theme to suit your taste.
One of the main utility of Sideslide is that you can create shortcuts to files, programs and webpages on Sideslide. But what makes it different from having shortcuts on your desktop is that, in Sideslide you can group the shortcuts in separate containers. If you have lot of containers, you can either fold them up or you can shrink them to the size of an icon. In the icon mode you can change the icon image so that you can easily identify the containers. So you can have a large number of shortcuts without cluttering the screen. Another cool feature is that you can add tags to shortcuts and when you right-click and choose the particular tag, only shortcuts tagged with the keyword will be visible.
Sideslide has a built in RSS feed reader. You can add your favorite feeds and the latest headlines appear in a separate windows within Sideslide.
It has a basic note taking tool also thrown in. It is pretty useful when you want to store snippets of text for later use. I would have liked to have the ability to group the notes into separate containers just like you can do with shortcuts. But presently it does not allow notes to be placed inside containers. All notes are placed on the main area of Sideslide. But that’s not much of a problem since you can shrink the notes to icon size and so will occupy very little space. If you want to paste copies text from clipboard, you can just right-click on the main area and select Paste clipboard.
Again, this is quite a basic reminder that is included. But I find it sufficient to set quick reminders. Most importantly, since Sideslide is available right on my desktop, I can set the reminder in just a few seconds.
There have been times when I tell myself that I need to set a reminder for a particular task and then a couple of minutes later end up forgetting to set the reminder itself.
Apart from the above features, I really appreciate the easy interface and the ability to configure Sideslide to your choice. You can rearrange the objects by dragging them to wherever you want. You can shrink or expand all the objects with just one click.
I would consider this tool to be a must-have for everyone.
Update: I forgot to mention a very important aspect of Sideside and that is that it is completely portable. That means you can install it on your USB drive. By default, Sideslide saves the profiles (containers, workspace settings, etc) in folder …\Application Data\Sideslide on your computer. So if you are installing on your USB drive make sure to run LocationChooser.exe, found in the Sideslide folder, to change the location to your USB drive.