Windows 8: Pin to Start

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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Windows 8.  One of my favorite features is the Start Screen, and all the ways I can personalize it. My Start Screen is filled with the things I use most, the people I love, and my favorite websites.  If you’re using Windows 8 but have not taken advantage of pinning the stuff you use most to the Start Screen, well, you’re really missing out.

Putting something on the Start Screen (so that whenever you want to use it, go to the site, etc, it’s right there, just a tap or click away) is called pinning, and when you pin something to start it creates a tile for that item on the Start Screen.  A lot of people will compare this to putting shortcuts on your desktop, but you have more control over where the tiles go and how they’re organized on the Start Screen than you do on the desktop.  Plus the tiles are more modern looking and more touch friendly (bigger). 

It’s probably obvious that you can pin apps and programs onto the Start Screen, but I love how so many Windows 8 apps give you ways to pin specific aspects of the app onto the Start Screen. For most of them, you’ll just access the item or website and then right click or swipe from the bottom edge of the screen.  If a “pin to start” option exists, it will show up as an option (sometimes represented by a pushpin icon).
Here are some examples:

Internet Explorer 10
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In IE10 you can pin specific websites to the Start Screen.  Just go to your favorite or most used site, right click (or swipe from the bottom edge) and then tap or click the pushpin!

Mail
If there’s a specific mailbox or folder you access more often, you can pin it to start.

People
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Pin your favorite people to the start screen, then you have quick and easy access to their latest social network updates!

Kindle
Too many books in your library?  Pin the one you’re reading now to the Start Screen, so you don’t have to keep scrolling through your entire collection.

Weather
For quick access to weather in a certain location, pin it to the Start Screen.  Pin several locations and make it really easy to get the latest forecast for any cities you may be travelling to.

Food and Dining Apps
There are TONS of great food and dining apps for Windows 8 including a super robust and full featured AllRecipes App and a beautiful cocktail recipe app called Cocktail Flow.  I fantasize about finding great recipes for a multi-course dinner and pinning all of those to my start screen and using my PC in place of a cookbook, or choosing 5 drinks for our next party, pinning those to my Surface Start Screen and letting guests use that as their drink menu!

XE Currency
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I’m loving my currency app to keep up with all the different exchange rates.  If I just want to glance at the latest rate for one particular currency, then putting it on my Start Screen is the way to go.

And that’s just a few examples.  If you’re using Windows 8 and you find yourself constantly rooting around for the same things, try pinning it to Start, you’ll get there faster.

Are you using Windows 8? What do you have pinned to the Start Screen?

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