One annoyance I’ve had with Windows after using Manjaro and i3 for a few months last year is that there wasn’t really a good tiling window manager for Windows.
Microsoft’s PowerToys project makes a suitable replacement that doesn’t break things, called FancyZones. See below for my layout:
I’ve got a big zone on the left where I keep my browser, email, and whatever else I’m working on that needs a lot of space, and then I have two smaller zones on the right for my terminal, editor, file manager, and chat apps.
Here’s a screenshot of my settings, this is what I found most ideal:
I turned off “Hold shift key” so that whenever I move a window, the zones are enabled and I can just drag the windows between zones. This is a must for zone-focused setup, which is what we want for a tiled WM replacement. We also want to move newly created windows to their last known zone.
You can set up your own custom zones or choose a template. If I had an ultrawide, I would totally use the Priority Grid setup.
The only small issue with this setup is that windows that you haven’t zoned before do not automatically go into a zone, you’ll have to drag them to whichever zone you want them to be in. This is not a huge annoyance since once it has the zone down, it opens in that zone automatically, if your settings match mine above. And there’s some windows you don’t want going into zones automatically anyway.
Groupy by Stardock is well worth the $9.99 (currently on sale for $4.99). Check this out, you can have Telegram, Slack, and Discord all in one window, or multiple folders, browsers, etc. And then you can keep that window in a FancyZone and quickly toggle between them:
Why wouldn’t you just use the taskbar?
Great question - this just organizes everything a little more logically and it works great with the tiled setup FancyZones provides. Groupy has a free trial and I recommend trying it out and see if it works with your workflow - I definitely was skeptical at first and now I am a big fan.
I really dig this new setup and it saves me time moving and resizing windows around to where I prefer to have them. I used to use WindowGrid to make it easier to resize windows on a grid (check it out, it’s still pretty cool), however it’s not as convenient as having your windows automatically resize and fit themselves to their designated zones every time you open them.