Check out the bottom-left of my Surface Pro 3 desktop, on the Taskbar. Icons there are the File Explorer, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Internet Explorer, OneNote, and "Send to OneNote". To launch one of these programs, I can touch the icon, click on the icon, or press the WindowsKey+[icon number]. This works even if I am not on the desktop, or am working in some other app, such as reading a Kindle book, or browsing the Web. In other words, you already have universal hot keys to launch apps. For example, if I want to jump to my email (via Outlook for me) directly while reading a Kindle Book, I can press WindowsKey+2 All I need to remember is the order of where I like to place that icon. From my partial screenshot shown, I can: Press WindowsKey+1 to launch File Explorer Press WindowsKey+2 to launch Outlook Press WindowsKey+3 to launch Word Press WindowsKey+4 to launch PowerPoint Press WindowsKey+5 to launch Excel Press WindowsKey+6 to launch Internet Explorer Press WindowsKey+7 to launch OneNote Press WindowsKey+8 to launch Send to OneNote By the way, I use Start8 by Stardock for my Start menu, shown in the second partial screenshot, which has nothing to do with the tip above. You already have that! Try it. Note: This has been around for some previous Windows versions, but is particularly useful with Windows 8 and later, since it has different modes in addition to Desktop.