Workspaces are brilliant. I fell in love with them the first time I used Ubuntu, but I still preferred Windows. The problem? Windows doesn't have workspaces... by default. So I found them.

What are workspaces?

If you haven't checked out the introduction video on, get over there and take a look. If you want more try Spaces (wiki) and workspaces (wiki).

Workspaces simply make your screen bigger. You can have more windows open at the same time. All it takes to see them is a hotkey press, instead of alt+tab. If you know me, I love being more productive, and doing more, faster. So workspaces just make sense.

The most costly transition time is between your mouse and your keyboard. Less so for laptops. And then your second most costly transition time is opening another window, say with alt+tab. Try using alt+tab when you have more than 6 applications or tabs open. Workspaces help you try to bypass that.

Let's start with laptops. If you work on a laptop, you sometimes run out of space. Let's run through a use case, because examples are more useful productivity-wise.

Writing an Essay

Say you're writing an essay. If you are on a laptop, Microsoft Word is already taking up 2/3 the screen space. What's left? A little slice of the screen where you can look at some references to help you. This is bad.

Enter workspaces. Now, instead of putting the two windows in the same screen, we can split them up. Put Window 1 as the Word Document. Window 2 will have a reference page. Window 3 will have another reference page. Windows 4 will have another page, or iTunes so you can change the music every once in a while.

Now, you can write a bit in the Word document, realize you need to quickly reference something, and instead of the costly and inaccurate alt+tab, press two keys and your document shows up, read a little, press two keys and right back to work. Your hands never left the keyboard. Fast? Yes. Useful? Hell yes.


In general, I use it more to zone out my desktop. I hate clutter, especially on my computer screen, because it interferes with my thoughts. So I designate Window 4 as my music window, Window 3 as my background window, and Window 1 as my productive window. I can swap between them with ease. As a testament to this, I haven't used alt+tab in such a long time, I actually forgot what the keys were.

Because I am primarily on my desktop, I have a second monitor, usually for referencing. So my screen space is suddenly huge and the amount of information I can get within a millisecond click is so much more productive.

Why Dexpot?

So why Dexpot specifically? Well, I haven't found any other workspace application in Windows, and I don't need to. Since the first time I used Dexpot, they added multi-monitor configuration, seriously stabilized the build, increased responsivenesss, increased speed, and added a ton more features that I can't even list. It's simply the best application out there. I prefer it even to Ubuntu's native workspaces.

You can define your own hotkeys to switch between tabs. You can define how you switch between tabs. You can write launch conditions that automatically send programs to specifically windows. You can set switch conditions that keep an application on a window if you switch windows. There is so much functionality, it's ridiculous.

I also really like the preview functions.

workspace preview is pretty cool

The hotkeys are more intuitive for one-handed productivity. Having one hand on the mouse is a lot more flexible. But Ubuntu requires a WIN+ARROW_KEY to swap the workspace. A pretty big waste of time to move one hand over from the mouse. Dexpot's solution? ALT+#NUM. Simple and fast. Or, it can be WIN+ARROW_KEY. Highly customizable, so anything you want.

The difference in productivity is pretty astounding once you're used to it. Give it a go here.

We all have a finite number of keyboard presses in our lifetime, so we should do our best to increase the output of each press.

We should try to do as much as we can with as little effort as we can manage, so we don't waste our valuable keypresses doing something that could've been done easier.