Another often overlooked aspect of most Creative Suite apps is their ability to store preset panel combinations. Adobe call these workspaces and they can be extremely useful for rapidly loading specific panel sets or just carrying out general tidying up.
Workspaces can be found in two locations: under the View>Workspaces drop down menu or, in the Application bar on the right hand side.
InDesign workspace switcher
I this example I'm using InDesign. The current workspace (Essentials) is displayed in the application bar next to the search field. Click on the downward triangle to see a list of preset workspaces (this is known as the workspace switcher).
InDesign Essentials workspace panels
The essentials workspace doesn't really have enough panels for even basic work with InDesign. Try selecting Advanced from the list, this causes InDesign to refresh and show some new panels.
InDesign Advanced workspace panels
The Advanced workspace contains more useful panels for general InDesign work and I recommend using this one as a default rather than Essentials.
Adobe supplies various preset workspaces to get you started. Their names should tell you all you need to know about what to expect. When you try a new workspace, be sure to check the menus as well as many Adobe workspaces make use of menu highlighting and some actually hide certain menu options.
As well as using the preset workspaces, you can make your own. Make visible any panels you wish to use. Drag and organise them on the screen to the location and order you find most useful. Remember that the toolbar and control panels can also be moved by dragging the double row of tiny dots.
Random arrangement of InDesign panels
Go to the workspace switcher and select New Workspace.
InDesign save workspace dialogue box
Type in a name.
Any custom workspaces you have created will appear at the top of the switcher list. When you reselect Essentials this time, you may find it retains the customisations you made for your custom workspace. This is because you started with this workspace in the first place. To revert this, go back to the workspace switcher and select Reset Essentials (or whatever your starting workspace was). InDesign will now reload the panels in their default arrangement.
All the major Creative Suite apps are extremely complex and feature far too many functions to display at once. Workspaces give you complete control over what is displayed and when. You only need to see the panels you need right now.