Get Organized: Start by Cleaning Up Your Desktop

Does your desktop look like City Gate at 4:00 pm on a Friday afternoon? For many professionals consumed with work life responsibilities, one simple task too often slips through the cracks: keeping our desktops clean and organized. Beyond the aesthetic value of actually being able to see your home screen wallpaper and being able to find the file you’re looking for, a clean desktop can also improve computing performance.

Windows XP, which became obsolete on April 8th, included a Desktop Cleanup Wizard. This ran as an automatic scheduled task, moving files or program shortcuts that had not been opened for 60 days to a separate directory. This annoyed many users, who were often left confused when desktop files or shortcuts suddenly disappeared.

Windows 7 and 8 integrated this desktop cleanup function into the System Maintenance Wizard, but a number of easy-to-follow tasks and free apps can also do the trick. Below are some of our favourite recommendations to help you get organized:

1) Rearrange your Desktop but still keep files and shortcuts handy. This is the easiest fix, either by manually deleting all shortcuts and consolidating documents into a folder or choosing between various Sort By options. Right-click your desktop, choose Sort By, and choose from options like Name, Size, Type, and Date Modified. Choosing the View option allows you to change Icon Size, Auto Arrange Icons into Vertical Rows, or Align to Grid so that everything’s neat and tidy. You can even choose to Show/Hide Desktop Icons and Gadgets altogether.

3) Change destination of downloaded files. This one is a catch 22… If files downloaded through your mail client or Internet browser don’t automatically save to your desktop, you might not be able to easily find them. But if you send them straight to your desktop and forget to clean up at intervals, your desktop will quickly get swamped. The best compromise? Create a new Downloads folder on your desktop and point files there for quick organization.

4) The Lean Approach – hide nearly everything on your desktop. A program launcher like Launchy can pare your desktop clean to streamlined simplicity while still providing quick access to any program or document on your computer. Launchy helps you maintain that clutter free desktop by keeping itself hidden in the background until it’s called forward for use. You can even search Google with Launchy.

5) For Mac users, consider an app like Clean. Organization is paramount on Macs, which feature handy, easily customisable docks. An app like Clean by Vojto Rinik, which runs in the background, can further organize your desktop at regular intervals by automatically moving files into another designated, time-stamped folder. Clean provides Mac users with that immaculate, uncluttered, empty desktop.

With a few simple tools and tricks like these under your belt, you can regain control of a disorderly desktop. Interested in other methods to boost the efficiency and productivity of your business? Intrigued by the tips outlined here but need help putting them in motion? Feel free to contact ROSE ITSL today — we put technology to work for your business, not against it.

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