Prior to coming to Stardock, I never got to work from home. I was the director of an afterschool program for K-4 kiddos and if you couldn’t be in the “office,” then you couldn’t work. Making the shift into an industry that is already largely digital was certainly different, and even though I would work the occasional day from home, I generally prefer to be in the office (there are some pretty great people there, after all).
Now I’m working at home on the daily (like most everyone else), and the adjustment has been more challenging than I thought it would be. A day here and a day there working without all of the benefits I have at the office (like my 3-monitor, 2 PC setup) is no big deal, but now every day? I’ve had to make some adjustments.
We have an entire catalog of Windows customization and optimization software, and I put a solid few of them to good use, particularly in the office. Multiplicity, for example, allows me to control my dual PC setup without having to waste precious desk space on a second keyboard and mouse (because duh, that’d be less desk for my action figures, right?)
Now, I’m only working with one PC at home (although I do have my laptop for when I need it), so I don’t really need Multiplicity right now. But, I’m down a monitor and my setup isn’t as efficient as it is at the office. So, to that end, Groupy has been indispensable in helping me save space and navigate my tabs (sooooo many tabs) more efficiently.
Sometime last week, I needed to stream some Star Control: Origins on Steam for a promotion. My normal setup at the office involves 2 PCs, and El Gato, and (typically) a second person. I usually run production and monitor the chat while they play. Suddenly, I’m flying solo with less equipment, but I still needed to maintain and monitor the same amount of things - Teams, Steam Chat, X-Split scenes, etc - and so I turned to Groupy. I’ve had Groupy installed on my home computer since we released it, and while I do occasionally Twitch stream from home, I’ve never had to do it for work before.
Being able to hotkey between my tabs was absolutely essential. When you’re live streaming, you don’t want to break the viewers’ immersion, so not having to stop and drag windows around or squint at my messages was the key to keeping things running smoothly. For my hotkey, I use the default (Win+~), which works just fine for me.
Grouping Teams, XSplit, and my web browser together into tabs also saved me space. I have precious little to go around with my secondary monitor (obviously my first was taken up with the game), and this made it much more possible for me to keep everything up that I needed at one time.
Now, if I’m being honest, I’m a fairly plebeian Groupy user. I know lots of other people, like our CEO Brad for example, who utilize the program to a much greater extent than I do. It works for them and they love it. While my needs are much simpler, Groupy has still allowed me an ease of use with my Windows programs that I never had before.
Are you a streamer and have you tried Groupy yet? Let me know how you use the app in the comments!