Cortana's reminders and other updates pop up as notifications that "fly in" from the lower right. I particularly like the way Microsoft handles these. A reminder will plop itself into my peripheral vision and squat there until I deal with it. But email appears only briefly, sliding in with the sender's name, subject, and first lines, then vanishing--tucked away in Outlook or Mail for later.
If you miss a notification, though, don't worry. You'll find them all archived in the Action Center notifications tab, accessed by the speech balloon icon in the lower right.
Reminders, though, still can be a bit flaky. On a Surface Pro 2 test machine, a reminder that I set on that machine popped up as a small alert on the bottom of my screen. But the same alert only appeared in the reminders tab on the Spectre--which, since I had it minimized, never appeared.
I suspect Cortana will be one of Windows 10's more polarizing features. Home users won't mind yelling at Cortana for the answer to a question, but workers in a busy office will probably think twice about asking Cortana to email their doctor about that strange rash.
Next: Exploring the new frontier of virtual desktops
Task View/Virtual desktops: A cool tool
Working with Windows 10's virtual desktop mode or Task View takes some work. It's a bit intimidating in the sense that the Windows 8 Start screen was: It's an unfamiliar interface, and requires some effort to use efficiently. In the end, though, it pays off.
You're probably used to opening up as many apps as will fit in a window, with the remainder either unopened or minimized to a desktop. If you want to work with more apps at the same time, you invest in another monitor. Task View doesn't necessarily minimize those unused apps; it just hides that entire screen of apps, keeping everything the way it was.
This has two practical advantages. Say you have a nicely ordered screen of apps: a spreadsheet in one corner, email in another, with a PowerPoint document taking up the other half. Suddenly, you remember that you need to cull some client feedback from an email thread. Yes, you could rearrange those apps again--or you could open Outlook on a new virtual desktop using the Win+Ctrl+D command. (You can also click the Task View icon and the "+" icon in the lower-right corner to create a new virtual desktop.)
Task view also allows you to multitask more efficiently. Take a typical Sunday night. The weekend's winding down, you're not quite ready to give up Facebook and Amazon, but there's work to be done. By creating a separate virtual desktop with Task View, you can create a separate work and entertainment space, and then flip back and forth between them using the Ctrl+Win+the left or right arrow.
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