There are a few dashboard widget that are useful even when not going in Dashboard. For example, SVN Notifier sends a Growl notification when commits are made to a repository you want to watch. Or, Delivery Status does the same for status update on tracked packages.
The thing is when I log into OS X, those status updates won't happen until the first time I actually enter into Dashboard, so it looks like they are not initialized at startup. How to fix this?