Every now and then I discover a Windows utility that really makes my life easier and my tasks more productive. My latest discovery is Stardock Groupy.
Groupy allows Windows users to drag and drop multiple applications and documents together to group them into a tabbed interface for easy access and reference.
Right now, for example, I have my work email, Jira board, Slack chat and video conferencing applications grouped together into a single group.
I’ve been using Groupy for the last month—more or less since I began working from home ahead of the official government UK lockdown—and I have found it very helpful, especially as my monitor fills up with multiple applications.
The problem that I wanted to solve was that when I opened multiple applications to carry out a task, I would spend a lot of time switching between applications, dotting back and forward to the taskbar or using the Tasks Switcher (Alt + Tab) or Task View interface (Windows + Tab). I found this especially when using multiple Explorer windows. It would be much easier, I thought, to group related applications together within tabs.
While some applications, like Chrome, Opera and Firefox, allow users to create tabs to group together related pages, until now this has not been possible with most other applications. Microsoft had reportedly been working on a Sets feature to integrate into Windows 10 but it seems to have been shelved, so the only alternative is to use a third-party application.
I tried a few alternatives including Groupy but found that I liked its interface most. Groupy seems to wrap a container around all the applications within a tabbed group adding good-sized oblong tabs with a three-dot menu to access various settings on the right of the final tab in a group.
I found the default behaviour of dragging one window on top of another to be a little fiddly to find the engagement point but discovered that the option that requires the Shift key to be held down when combining windows solved this immediately.
Another useful feature is that you can tell Groupy which applications you would always like to group. I now group all Microsoft Word windows, and clicking the plus (+) on the Groupy tab bar opens a new blank Word document. This makes working on writing projects where I am moving back and forth between different documents really helpful.
I also love that, like browser tabs, you can reorder tabs within the group, rename tabs and create saved groups of your most frequently used groups.
Groupy has a 30-day trial, after which it currently costs £4.99. I found it so helpful, I bought it within a week of installing it.