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Method and system to automatically close no longer used applications and document Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200007D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 47K

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The Prior Art Database


This article peresents a method to automatically close, at the end of the working day, the applications that have not recently been used or that do not have pending work. It allows to anticipate the system shutdown and to focus the attention on the latest activities or what is remained pending during the day, so that the user can focus on them and optionally recover them the day after.

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Method and system to automatically close no longer used applications and document

During a normal work day a computer user opens a very large number of applications, for editing a text, see a presentation, take a quick note, and so on. All these applications tend to "pile up", so that at the end of the day a normal user ends up having a very large number of documents open. This means a lot of time to close them before leaving the computer, and the inability to quickly notice the ones that require attention thus differentiating them from the ones that are just open because the user forgot to close them. So a to-do can get lost in the multitude of open presentations or spreadsheets.

The usual solution to this problem is a manual analysis of each open application or document: the user analyzes all the open applications and checks for each of them if they are still useful or can be closed (and eventually closes them). The drawback of this solution is that this is a manual work that requires user intervention, and can be quite time consuming.

    The proposed solution automates the task of closing applications based on a user-defined schedule, and an application last usage time.

The user can set-up this method to execute some time before the end of the work day; the application checks the last usage time for each executing application, and tries to close the ones that have not been used recently.

Many applications will simply close, while few will still require the attention of the user to save the pending work: at this point the user has the option, in case the pending work is a note or to-do, to stop the close sequence and keep the document open. The advantage is that this notification automatically reminds the user that there is work he needs to complete.

Therefore, this method has the advantage of starting the application shutdown before the user really needs to shutdown the operating system; the whole process is automatic and lets the user keep recently used applications open and also reminds him of pending work that needs to be completed.

    The proposed method works by monitoring, during the work day, the applications opened on the user desktop. For each application the method collects the last time that the application had the focus (for an instant or for a longer time, based on the user preferences).

    At a user defined time (the user will usually set this time to some minutes before the end of the working day), the method will compute a set of recently used applications (again based on user preference, it could be the set of applications that had at least once the focus in the last n minutes, like 30 minutes or 60 minutes). The method then moves on by sending a close message to all the applications that have not been recently used: those applications will thus silently close or ask the user what to do (to save pending work, or cancel the close request).

This way the user will have his desktop cleaned up and containing only the applic...