Tabbed interfaces have become popular with time for a simple reason that they can present a lot of information without making you feel the ill effects of information overload. There are tabs in your browser, file manager, dialog boxes and other places. So why should the screen be left behind?
Stick is an application that lets you attach tabs to the sides of your screen so that you have a convenient tabbed desktop. The tabs can contain a wide variety of content ranging from contents of a folder to web pages to RSS feeds to Notes to a calendar or calculator.
Let’s have a look.
You can download stick from iWonderDesigns. The application is available as an installer as well as a portable version that you can run off your USB drive. When running for the first time, Stick prompts you start building a tabbed desktop by adding the tabs. Go ahead and create some that you would like. You can create 6 types of tabs:
- Lets you store notes in rich text format which makes it perfect for things like a To Do list you can access quickly from your tabbed desktop, or any kind of random scribblings you access often.
- The navigator tab can be used to create a tab to point to your favorite folder location or any URL of your choice. Excellent for things like Gmail and Google Reader that you like to keep open.
- RSS Reader
- I mention Google Reader above, however Stick offers an RSS reader of its own. Complete with auto refresh and previews you can view one or more RSS feeds in an RSS tab. It can also notify you of new items in the feed via a popup.
- Displays a list of all items you have opened, similar to the Windows Taskbar
- A Calendar and Calculator
It can take some time to think out a perfect tab setup for your desktop. You can of course add as many of them as you want to begin with and then narrow down or refine your choices to get the perfect setup. I have a To Do tab, some other random note tabs, a Gmail tab, a Twitter Tab, another for a quick Google search, and some that point to local folders that I access often.
You can simply move the tabs around to stick to any edge of the screen. You have to move the tabs one by one to wherever you want them to be which is a pain. It would be nice to have the ability to move all the tabs as a group.
Stick offers you a dedicated Tab Manager that you can use to create and delete tabs. In addition, the Tab Manager lets you change the properties of any tab. Properties include options like always on top, autohide, autoshow, keyboard shortcuts to toggle visibility of any tab, transparency and themes.
You can store a set of options for the tabbed desktop as a template and thus change the options of all tabs together in a snap. This comes in handy when you would be working full screen or want to get rid of all the distraction for whatever reasons.
Stick is loaded with options and lets you tweak almost every aspect of the tabs to your liking. It is a great alternative way to display information which I prefer over gadgets and sidebars that keep staring at your face.
Do you have other creative desktop setups or favorite applications you use for similar purposes? Please mention them in the comments!
(By) Varun Kashyap – Programmer, Blogger and Tech Enthusiast, who tweets @VarunKashyap and blogs about tips, tricks and latest on the web at TechCrazy Blog