Join us as we interview Windows experts from around the world to learn about how they’re making Windows work for them and share their tips on how you can become a power user too.

These Windows  Community enthusiasts are everyday users of the features and apps and are passionate about Windows technology, often advocate for their adoption.

They have a vast reservoir of tips, tricks, and stories about how they first became exposed to the world of Windows use, their career trajectories, and advice on how to become an expert user .

Meet power user Mayank Parmar, a technology news reporter from India, who uses Windows features and apps to develop and write stories. In this article, he shares his tips on must-have features and apps that can make anyone a power user.

Windows Community: Thanks for joining us at Windows Community. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Mayank Parmar profile

Mayank: My name is Mayank Parmar. I’m a technology news reporter from India covering Microsoft and Windows-related stories on my website, I’ve been writing about Microsoft, Windows, Surface, and Xbox since 2015. I’m focused on improving the quality of the content and publishing new stories about the latest Windows tools, apps, and upgrades.

Windows Community: When you write Windows-related stories, how do you decide what the content will be?

Mayank: I think about how it will help users. I pick topics that are both helpful and interesting. For example, Windows 10 May 2019 Update comes with the Windows Sandbox feature. Many users would like to configure it. So, I’ll do a story on Windows Sandbox complete with step-by-step instructions, so that even a beginner could understand and get started.

Windows Community: What do you consider the top three things that anyone starting to use Windows should know?

Mayank: First, in Windows 10, there's a dedicated Settings page to configure Touchpad gestures. It gives users with touchpad enabled laptops access to a range of built-in gestures that make it easier to navigate the user interface, webpages, and to switch between apps. Just go to Search and enter Touchpad settings.

Touchpad settings

Secondly, I’d recommend the built-in Game bar screen recorder in Windows 10. It not only captures game and apps content; it can also record live any program on the computer to share. Best of all, you don’t have to use it with game play.

Gamebar recording

And lastly, the personalization settings for Windows 10 are also quite handy. They allow me to change the appearance of my desktop, lock screen, start menu, taskbar, and font.

Windows Community: What’s the #1 key to become a more efficient user in Windows?

Mayank: Mastering keyboard shortcuts to turn multiple mouse clicks into a single press, could help one become a more fluent user.

Windows Community: Can you expand more on this? It sounds simple, but it would be great if could you explain a little bit more about how it helps you and how you use it?

Mayank: I, personally, like doing things on the keyboard as much as possible, so I avoid using the mouse, and it’s faster when multitasking. For instance, the Shift+Alt+(Up/Down) reorders list items in Microsoft Office apps. Similarly, Alt+Tab displays all open apps and lets me switch between them quickly without using the mouse .

Windows Community: What are your two favorite apps , and how do you use them?

Mayank: Snip & Sketch and OneNote. All of my articles include at least one screenshot. Snip & Sketch makes it easy to capture a screenshot on the desktop of a particular feature or app. Instead of capturing a full-page screenshot and cropping/resizing it in Paint, I use Snip & Sketch.

Snip and Sketch example

OneNote comes in handy when I have to cover a product launch or developer conference. I can create a note quickly and insert images with Snip & Sketch. It also lets me prioritize notes, insert to-do items, add filters to notes I’d like to share with co-workers in the future, and manage multiple projects.

OneNote example

Windows Community: How does Windows help you to be most productive?

Mayank: Cortana. It helps me find the answer to my queries, locate relevant system settings, set alarms, and track packages. I also use Cortana to create reminders which are synced quickly to the Microsoft To-Do app across all platform. In addition, it can translate a variety of languages right from the search box.

Cortana example

Windows Community: Do you have a dream Cortana feature that could help you with your productivity?

Mayank: Cortana has all the important features, but support for more languages/regions and more offline commands could make it even more useful.

Windows Community: What Windows features do you find indispensable to your daily life that you want to recommend?

Mayank: Virtual desktop and Snip & Sketch. You can access a virtual desktop from Task View or Windows Key + Ctrl + D keyboard shortcut, and use it to open up a new set of windows, independent of what you're working on. This is a great way to add additional working space when we don't have multiple monitors. I regularly use a virtual desktop to manage multiple tasks at the same time.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I use the Snip & Sketch app to take screenshots all the time, including as I’m working across multiple windows with a virtual desktop.

Windows Community:Are] there any lesser-known Windows features or apps you would recommend?

Mayank: One overlooked Windows 10 feature is Nearby sharing which allows you to share files between two Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled computers running Windows 10. This is handy for quick collaboration or document updates.

Windows Community: What do you think about Windows Community?

Mayank: The best thing about Windows Community is the interaction between users and Microsoft employees. Windows Community is a great resource on the web to find useful computing tips and engage with the engineers who make Windows products. Windows Community has helpful featured videos, and articles that are as useful for beginners as they are for power users.

Windows Community: What advice do you have for less confident users when it comes to technology?

Mayank: My advice is to start using technology, it’s self-guiding, will bring about wonderful experiences, and will boost your productivity.

Windows Community: What’s next for you?

Mayank: I enjoy every aspect of writing article, but nothing makes me happier than seeing the articles that I author help users. I plan to remain focused on quality control and expand the coverage to include more helpful stories.

*This interview is with Mayank Parmar from The opinions here are his, and do not necessarily represent Microsoft’s, and is not considered an endorsement by Microsoft.