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Today’s social media marketer needs to be a Jack or Jill of all trades, with the constantly updating social media world requiring a broad range of tools – from imaging, text and video apps, to scheduling and analytics tools like Buffer and Hootsuite. And that is before you even factor in the ever-changing social websites themselves.
Fortunately, many of these apps are free, at least for their basic packages, and geared towards consumers, making them intuitive to learn and operate. However, this accessibility comes at its own price – power and functionality are limited, updates are constantly rolled out requiring branding and strategy overhauls, and everyone is now on social media, making it harder and harder to stand out.
Therefore, it may come as something of a mixed blessing to learn that your PC actually contains a ton of under publicised tools and apps that can help you to produce and organise your social media content, as well as boost your productivity by making your computer life easier in general.
Microsoft have always thrown a bundle of more or less forgettable extras in with their Windows package, but with Windows 10 they have really stepped up, adding a whole range of Microsoft versions of other brands, game-changing software, as well as a few innovations of their own. And if you are already running Windows, you can access them in just a couple of clicks.
Take Sticky Notes, for example. The classic “digital post” is a real saviour for professional tweeters, who can scribble down a rough draft of a genius tweet with a digital pen the moment it comes to them, and come back to it later when they are good and ready to finish it. Further, by using Windows Ink you can create smart notes, which add information to your scribbles – for example, by prompting you to add information to your schedule or set a reminder. Bundle this up with Buffer, and you are always going to be several tweets ahead of the competition.
And this just scratches the surface fo what you can do. Search out Snipping Tool for smarter screenshotting; People for a definitive digital address book; 3D Builder for spatial imaging; and you will soon find your social media game has reached another level.
OneNote – What it does: Sketch ideas, take notes, make to do lists and capture webpages or articles.
Key Features: Sharing Notebooks and editing together in real time.
Sticky Notes – What it does: Smart post-its on your desktop for writing down just about anything.
Key Feature: Setting reminders from your to-do lists.
Windows Ink – What it does: With a digital pen, access loads of cool features, like Intelligent Sticky Notes, Sketchpad and Screen Sketch.
Key Feature: Screen sketch. Capturing what is on your screen, writing on it and sharing it.
Cortana – What it does: This virtual assistant has moved to your PC where you can type commands and questions and get it to do just about anything.
Key feature: Track flights and packages.
Contact Support –What it does: Allows you to contact Microsoft support directly through online tips and live chats.
Key Feature: Live support chats
Task View – What it does: It takes all apps you have running and “spread them out” so you can see all of them at the same time.
Key Feature: Screens are held on a permanent screen before you select which app you want to go back to.
GodMode – What it does: Puts all your settings and configurations in one place and sorts them into categories.
Key Feature: Creating one location for your settings.
Snipping Tool – What it does: Take segmented screenshots of your screen, quickly and easily.
Key Feature: Snipping only a section of your screen, instead of the whole desktop.
Dark Mode –What it does: Change your apps from light to dark and give your eyes a rest in low light conditions.
Key Feature: Displaying backgrounds black instead of white.
Windows Hello – What it does: Allows you to log into your PC faster by recognising your face or reading your fingerprint.
Key Feature: Logging in less than 2 seconds (3 times faster than a password).
People – What it does: Instead of managing multiple separate address books, you can use people app to access all your contacts in one place.
Key Features: Seeing your friends’ latest social media activity.
3D Builder – What it does: Make your own 3D models from scratch.
Key Feature: Taking a picture with your webcam and making it 3D.
Offline Map –What it does: Offline maps (in the Maps app) allows you to download maps onto your device and use without connection.
Key Feature: Using the “Get Directions” feature.
Game DVR video capture –What it does: Take video captures of your screen – for recording clips of tutorials etc. Key Feature: Capturing only the app you want to record, not the whole desktop.