People like to become more productive for varying reasons. Some want to get to The Top, wherever that is, more rapidly. Others have a mission they fervently want to fulfill—the sooner, the better. And some of us just want to make more time for a workout at the gym, or quality time with the family.

All lofty goals—and Windows 7 can help you reach them, if you take advantage of these five productivity features.

See what you want. In the information age, most of us need to collect or compare information from multiple sources, and that often translates to multiple windows on your desktop. Keeping them arranged for maximum visibility and convenience will absolutely save you time, and may even help prevent errors. Snap makes it easy for you to tame all those windows. For a refresher, watch this video.

Snap your windows

Use Snap to view windows side by side

Find what you want. Windows 7 Search performs more quickly and does more tricks. Use the Start menu search box to find programs, files, web pages, email messages, and more without the need to sift through submenus, directories, email folders, and other hierarchies. No matter how cleverly those places are organized, Search will save you time finding what you need. And don't forget the power of choosing See more results, then using filtering features to zero in (get more filtering tips).

Go where you want—in a hurry. Windows 7 Jump Lists have a way of knowing where you want to go, usually because you've been there recently. They appear on both the Start menu and the Taskbar when you point to a program icon (get more details). Take advantage of these!

PinJumpList

Pinning an item to a Jump List on the taskbar

Multi-task with ease. The Windows 7 taskbar dramatically simplifies the art and science of juggling multiple activities—it's your computer's dashboard. Customize it to work help you work the way you work best (learn how).

Work in a good place. Personalizing your PC—with desktop themes, sounds, wallpapers, gadgets, and more—makes it a welcoming, familiar environment that can't help but boost your output. Get a refresher on personalization options.

Personalize your PC

Make your PC your own

What lofty goal will you pursue in all the time these Windows 7 features save you? Overcome a critical business challenge? Invent a profitable new product, service, or app? Find a shorter route to the coffee place? De-clutter your cube?

You'll think of something.

Keith