your taskbar is huge, would you like to consider using Free Launch Bar or TrueLaunchBar so that you can put all the frequently access applications in a folder, like this:
IDEA: disable all taskbar button flashing
I like my taskbar just how it is. I have always had a taskbar like this since day 1 of being a Windows user. It's a technique I inherited from my dad. He thinks it's more 'mentally ergonomic' than the default position & style of doing things. I wouldn't have it any other way and I get lost on pc's that don't have it my way.
It's quite organized. And I don't have to open folders to get to my shortcuts...or navagate through my start menu.
What you see is not the normal quicklaunch you usually see on the taskbar in Windows. I closed that.
Each line on my taskbar is a toolbar for a specific type of shortcut. They are all in folders that I add as toolbars. If there are too many on a line there is a tiny bar button that will show a menu for the others, or just slide the seperator bar to see the rest, which is what I prefer doing. There are much more icons there than you see in the screenshot! The most used in each group is on the top line.
For example...the first toolbar/line you see is all my drives on this pc and a few other related things. Next bar is folders containing the contents of every drive I copied from 2 other computers. Next is system related tools. I have bars related to multimedia, art, communications, programming & web design, games, etc.
Also, the taskbar buttons for open windows are easier to identify when more text is showing on them than you would get with a smaller taskbar. So even if I had no shortcuts at all on it, I would still keep it that size.
I have this on autohide so it's not like this is sticking out like that during normal use. It should only be seen when I make it pop out by hitting the right side of my screen with my mouse. It gives me more screen space to work with when it's hidden.
I hate using the start menu and have even avoided the use of it for shutting down my pc or rebooting on my other computer by having shortcuts to do that job....on my taskbar. And I hate desktop icons...not convienient to have to minimize any windows to see the desktop when I could just move my mouse to the right and accomplish the same thing with my taskbar.