So let’s say you’re at work and you’re on the clock. You’re supposed to be working, but your friend two cubicles over just sent you a link posted to something funny. It was funny and then you got distracted looking at some of the other postings there. Suddenly you hear footsteps rapidly approaching your desk! Those footsteps sound like your boss and they’re headed your way! You have seconds to minimize the distractions and bring up the real work but you also can’t do it too quick or else your boss will hear you clicking furiously and be suspicious, too slow and they’ll walk behind you just to see you diving for the minimize button.
Fortunately, for the slackers that can relate to the above story, MagicTweak has a freeware solution to your problem: Magic Boss Key.
Doghouse Diaries came out with a perfect comic on Friday to illustrate the concept just as I started working on this article:
Magic Boss Key installs easily and runs in the background, minimizing to a system tray icon. It is Windows 7/Vista/2003/XP/2000/Me/98 compatible and uses minimal resources. You can configure the Magic Boss Key to hide all windows, hide your task bar, and hide your desktop icons at the press of F12 or with a left and right click together. You can also choose to have some windows remain up while minimizing all others. For example, if you had some spreadsheets open in the background but also had non-work-related windows open, you could set your hot key to minimize everything but the work-related documents so your clean desktop didn’t look suspicious. I found this behavior to be a little inconsistent. Sometimes when I would press F12, all the windows would minimize including my exceptions. Upon pressing the hotkey again, the exceptions would show up. Press the hotkey again and all the windows would be restored again.
Another cool feature of Magic Boss Key is the ability to mute the sounds playing from hidden windows. It does require the ability to install software which most people probably won’t have in a corporate environment. There are other uses for the software too, like just being able to see your wallpaper without icons on top. You might find another use for this freeware title.
You can download the free Magic Boss Key software from Magic Tweak here: http://www.magictweak.com/freeutil/magicboss/magicboss.php
Or, you know, you could just work all the time? I didn’t think so.