Hot off of the creator’s desktop comes a new program called Lightning that is like a cross between a super clipboard, Window’s Quick Launch toolbar, NotePad and a screenshot manager all rolled into one. Lightning’s goal is to speed up the normal repetitive procedures that one finds themselves performing throughout the day. It achieves this by creating a simple interface that can be pulled up quickly using a two button key combination (Cntrl + Win Key). Other than a shortcut on your desktop, there are really no other indications that Lightning is installed, or even running on your PC. That is, until you strike the key combination to pull up the interface.
Lightning brings a pretty interesting mix of lightweight applications together that really help to increase efficiency by bundling and centrally locating frequently used resources.
- NotePad: In a flash, you can pull up the included notepad and jot down notes as if you had a pencil and paper nearby. You can literally have the notepad up and be taking notes in two to three seconds. And, when you are done, you can save them or e-mail them around.
- To Do List: This is a neat idea. Instead of pulling out your big calendar to mark down something trivial that needs to be done, you can just put it on your To Do List. And, as the name suggests, in a lightning, the interface is up. Click on the Add To Do button in the interface and type away. This is a great way to stay on top of those unexpected things that get thrown at you, such as picking up your kids from different practices, etc.
- ClipBoard: As I’m sure you guessed from the opening selection, the clipboard feature is one of the anchors of this program. Of course, it wouldn’t be any kind of third party clipboard if it didn’t store a larger amount of entries, which this one does with seven text entries in all. The eighth entree is automatically deleted to make room for the newer information. The Lightning clipboard also lets you lock any clipboard entry, so it is not rotated out when an eighth entry is made. This helps to protect commonly used information. The included clipboard will hold up to seven entries, but this does not include screenshots. Those are handled separately by the Screenshot Manager component of Lightning.
- Screenshot Manager: The Screenshot Manager actually does two things. It allows you to continue to take screenshots without manually saving them every time. With Lightning, you can rattle off screenshots like you’re a sports photographer and simply collect them from the default location (C:\) when you need them. Man, I wish Microsoft had thought of that.
- Dropping Zone: This component of Lightning is almost like the Quick Launch toolbar for your commonly used folders. Don’t like shortcuts all over your desk? Or maybe you work intensely with a different folder(s) until a project is done and move on. Well, either way, the Dropping Zone is here to make things faster. The Dropping Zone is a component of Lightning where you can drag and drop any file or folder, which allows you to then pull the resource up easily from the Lightning interface.
- Application Launch: This portion of Lightning is almost exactly like the Quick Launch toolbar. Specifically, what this does is allow you to load up the .exe files (the files responsible for launching programs) for your favorite applications. You assign a name to the .exe file and from then on, any time you type that word in the application launcher field, the associate program will launch.
There are also configuration and setting controls that allow you to change the different aspects of the program, such as color, storage location for the various components, auto save, auto start and almost everything can be augmented to your strategy. If you do choose to try Lightning, the program walks you through a semi-tutorial so you know how to use all of the features as soon as it’s installed.
Download Lightning for yourself here and see if it can take the speed bumps out of your daily PC use!