I don't like re-starting my machine because I need to re-open all the misc windows and files I have loaded. However, because I still need to reboot, I wrote a simple script to open common programs and files for me.
REM: Open Windows Explorer
REM: Open NotePad
start notepad "C:\MyDocuments\temp.txt"
REM: Open the DOS command window, default to a certain folder
start cmd "/Kcd C:\Utils\MyTasks"
REM: Open Internet Explorer
start /B /D"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer" iexplore.exe
REM: Open a Visual Studio solution
start /B /D"C:\MySolutions\StandardFiles" StandardFiles.sln
This opens five main things:
Notepad - a blank version, and one that stores a simple scratchpad of notes. You could also open other scratchpads.
Internet Explorer (could just as easily be firefox). There are also ways to pre-populate the tabs.
Cmd window - I set it to a directory that has a bunch of misc scripts (using the "/K" switch to call the CD command)
Visual Studio - In this case I open a solution folder with a bunch of misc xml files that I use.
Of course you can add other programs to the list too.
Lastly, I made a shortcut of this batch script on my desktop, so I just click it when Windows loads up. (You could probably automate the startup tasks if you want).