It took me a while to warm to the Windows Vista Sidebar, but it’s now won me over and I have it running pretty much full time. Here’s a list of the gadgets I’m using right now:
Clock (standard system gadget)
Notes (standard system gadget)
iWeather – this is a tweaked version of the standard weather gadget, the main difference being that it allows you to click the city name to open a full forecast
Remote Desktop Gadget 2.0 – connect to another system over the network using Remote Desktop Connection without having to open the Remote Desktop client
App Launcher v3 – customizable collection of icons to launch favorite programs
Windows Search Indexer Gadget – from Brandon Paddock, this is an awesome way to keep tabs on the Windows Search service
What are your favorite gadgets?
20 thoughts on “Favorite Vista Sidebar gadgets”
My own, because it solves a problem I was having and couldn’t find a solution for. It’s still rough, but things are coming along.
Weather Underground Vista Gadget
Looks like the weather gadget + 3 day forecast.
I use three Outlook-related gadgets:
For Prioritized Messages (Disclaimer: My company’s gadget):
This way I can keep tabs on what’s important to me without having to open Outlook.
I agree with Brad on the two gadgets for Outlook, the appointments and tasks. I also like the CPU/ram meter (one comes with Windows, but I needed to download a special one for quad cores).
I really like the Sidebar, but there is alot of room for improvement with gadgets. To start, alot of Windows Live products could have one (Messenger, Mail, etc.) and a cool looking Windows Media player one
The local gas price gadget:
I turned it off. It crashes every few days for me, without bringing any real added value… so I turned it off a few months ago. Don’t plan to turn it back on.
I got myself a Dell XPS about three months ago and it came with Google Desktop, which includes it’s own sidebar. I must say, I love the functionality of it and great items that can be added to it. Has anyone done a comparison on them head to head. Would love to see something of the sort.
I must say though, sidebar and their add-ons have been a great addition to my computing experience. Teaming that up with RocketDock and I have never been happier nor more efficient in my daily functions and random tangents.
I run the calendar standard gadget (helps planning), weather service (no clue as to why, I could also look out of the Window).
Clipboardmanager (www.honzazeman.com) keeps a history of copy/paste operations allowing me to select previous copy actions.
Imp’s drive info, the harddrive on my laptop is too small not to keep proper attention as to when I should go for long term storage of files on a real computer.
The official Microsoft Office Recent Documents gadget, keeps a list of recently opened Office file links ready.
Doing podcasts with guest in multiple time zones I find the Digital World Clock gadgets usefull
Another vote for the Wunderground gadget. Tripp does not point out that it also has flyout for current radar and local webcam (especially handy for those of us who DO NOT HAVE WINDOWS in our offices.)
Also use the Remote Desktop, Firewall profile, and multicore meter. And my favorite is probably XM Radio Online player: http://www.buildagadget.com/Blog/xmonlineradio
Some of my favorite gadgets are less utilitarian… namely my photo gadget (the standard system one). It’s nice because it rolls through my entire home photos collection at random, so I’ll see photos that I haven’t looked at in years, and it frequently evokes memories that are happy and pleasant. It’s enough to make my work day enjoyable at least twice a week. 😉
Aside from that, I also use the wikipedia search gadget and the spell checker gadget, along with the Windows Live Writer gadget!
Love your blog, BTW… always a good read.
Is there a non-gadget version of the indexer tool? I would love to use that without having to run the sidebar….
Serdar, all sidebar gadgets can be run independently of the Sidebar. Just drag it onto the desktop and then close Sidebar.
Excellent — I’ll give that a shot.
I prefer this XBox Live Sidebar Gadget, it uses Silverlight and looks very, very purrrty.
i use the weather bug gadget since they stopped adding spyware to their software i find their stuff useful.
and thanks to Merijn for posting to the Clipboardmanager manager. i’ve been looking for something like this.
i all so use Remote Desktop Gadget 2.0 i have a computer store/ shop. so it’s really nice to be able to help my select customers with out them haveing to bring their pc into the shop for minor things.
I like this one from Dell where Olivia Munn answers questions like a magic 8-ball. No practical use whatsoever.
I removed a sidebar gadget that cycled through My Pictures because it was acting up. I thought I could close it then go back to Gadgets and select it again…like rebooting. However, it was no longer in Gadgets and I can’t find it in the Sidebar Gallery. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.
THANK YOU for mentioning the Remote Desktop Sidebar gadget. It has saved me money and works perfectly. I have Vista Premium 64-bit and was really annoyed that Microsoft made it so expensive to upgrade to Business or Ultimate for basically just this feature. This widget is awesome! It removed my last roadblock keeping me from moving to my Penryn-based Vista system from my AthlonX2-based XP system.
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