5 ways Windows 10 can make your life easier
Our guest bloggers made their ever-changing shopping lists simple with Windows 10. Find out how…
Windows 10 has evolved enormously over the past few years and users are seeing the benefits. From scribbling on webpages with Windows 10, to the emergence of 2 in 1 laptops, Windows 10 has adapted itself to be more intuitive and simple to use as part of our day-to-day lives. We teamed up with Instagram sensations, Mother of Daughters and Father of Daughters, to put Windows 10 to the ultimate test. Could all these new features help make busy family life that little bit less hectic? Let’s find out…
1. Write as if on paper and share your edits with others
Window Ink allows you to write directly onto your screen, so you can write notes in meetings easily and naturally in your own handwriting - just like in a notebook (no more typing up your notes back at your desk). You can even highlight and annotate webpages. All you need a Windows 10 tablet or laptop with a touchscreen and digital stylus like the Surface Pen.
Whether you’re writing a family shopping list or working on a collaborative report, Windows 10 Ink also allows you to share your changes with other people.
Bloggers Clemmie and Simon Hooper from Mother of Daughters and Father of Daughters tried out the feature with a Surface Pro tablet.
‘I wrote you a shopping list using the pen and then shared it with you,’ Clemmie explains.
‘Which changed halfway through the shopping list,’ Simon says with a smile, before adding, ‘which is good because it synced live so it was very useful’.
How to do it…
- While in your Office document, select View
- From the dropdown that appears select Toolbarsthen Ink Annotations
- Click the Annotations Penbutton
- You can now start drawing or writing with the default red felt-tip pen
Top tip: You can use the drop-down menu to select different pen types and colours
2. Keep track of your tablet or laptop with Windows 10
Have you ever misplaced your laptop or tablet? You’re not alone. Now Windows 10 can keep track of it for you, making it easy to find your laptop or tablet when your memory fails you or someone ‘helpfully’ tidies them up.
How to do it…
- On your laptop, open the Start menu
- Select Settings
- Choose Update & Security then select Find My Device
- Find My Device will be marked as Off. Click the Change button to turn it on
- Select the Save My Device’s Location Periodically option
Your Windows 10 laptop will automatically update its location across the internet so you will be able to see it on a map on another device.
Top tip: You can also activate Find My Device on a Windows 10 tablet
3. View your screen on the TV
Sometimes your laptop, tablet or smartphone screen isn’t big enough for what you’re doing. Using Miracast, you’re suddenly given the big-screen treatment.
How to do it…
- Connect your Miracast device to your TV. Note – you may also need to plug it into a power source
- If your TV hasn’t done it automatically, change the TV’s input source to the Miracast HDMI connection
- Open the Start menu on your Windows 10 computer
- Click on Settings, then select Devices
- Choose Connected Devices
- Click Add a Device
- Select your TV/Miracast device
The screen on your Windows 10 computer will now be mirrored to your TV. You can work, watch movies, even play games and everything will appear on the big screen.
4. Send messages from your phone by using Cortana on your computer
Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant. It’s designed to help you get information, manage your calendars and find things.
It recognises both typing and your voice. But you can also use it to send messages from your phone using your laptop.
How to do it…
- From Cortana, click Settings
- Turn on Send Notifications Between Devices
- Type Name in Cortana, or if you have voice activation set up, say Name
- Type or speak your message – for example, ‘Hey Brian I can’t make the 4pm meeting, can we move it?’
- Click or say Send
5. Set up the Start menu tiles the way you want them
The original and much-missed Start menu is a feature of Windows 10 after being absent from Windows 8. But it’s made even better with the addition of Live Tiles – apps that show latest information on their surface without you having to click into them.
The tiles can be customised so you’re getting the information that’s important to you – be that weather updates, news or your social feeds.
Here’s how to do it…
- To remove a tile from your Start menu, right-click on it and select Unpin from Start
- To pin a new tile, click All apps from the Start menu, right-click the chosen app, and select Pin to Start
- Move tiles by clicking on them and holding the button ‘til you’ve dragged the tile into place
- Resize tiles to better fit your screen – Right-click the tile, select Resize and choose small, medium, wide or large
Top tip: Have apps you often use together? Such as work or news? Group them, then click on the 2 white lines at the top right corner of the group to type in a name.