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Contain Your Desktop Clutter


Desktop ClutterAre you constantly fighting a battle with the files strewn across your desktop? Do you get them cleaned up only to have a new batch of eyesores littering your display the very next day?

There are plenty of utilities, like Camouflage, to help hide your mess. But what about an offbeat Murphy-style solution?

How about making your own Desktop image, complete with “wells” for storing different groups of files? This solution relies on the honor system. Promise yourself you’ll only store Desktop files in the designated areas. Files that won’t fit belong somewhere else.

You don’t want too many files on your Desktop anyway, it’ll gum up the works. OS X has work to do for each item on your Desktop, every time it gets refreshed. The less stuff you have there the better.

If you make a really cool looking desktop image, post a link in the comments.

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10 comments to “Contain Your Desktop Clutter”

  1. Great idea! …and if you can’t use Photoshop, try Keynote or Pages. See my link above. Thanks for the tip!

  2. This is a great idea, I implemented it using “piles” of areas for different things to be filed so it mimicked my desk. Great screencast!


  3. Hmmm…I would have chosen a different colour scheme.

  4. Thanks Finis.

    Luke – I can’t draw a stick figure or match my socks.

  5. Although I like the idea of having an “organized” desktop, somehow it won’t do productivity much good, I think. If you organize your desktop like this, you can’t just drag “something” from an application to your desktop, you need to put away all open windows (F11) and drag to the right location. I usually just drag something (e.g. an image from a website) to a “free spot” between all open windows.

    Q though, what did you use to create the screencast?

  6. I never have any icons on my desktop. I create subfolders inside my directories and shortcuts to those in the dock (or ‘Butler’ or ‘DragThing’). So I can drag any stuff right to where it belongs, and my desk stays tidy.

  7. I came up with this idea a couple years ago and use it currently. I would prefer something more interactive, but for now static desktop bgs are ok. I like to start off with a cool background from and then add my own “wells” using Illustrator and Photoshop. I’ve also have some bgs that I made entirely in Lightwave that add a nice 3D look to the idea. Check out some examples of my To Do Backgrounds at:
    I usually place Aliases to the files and folders on my desktop for sorting into the different wells. I also keep a Cleanup folder on my desktop for those times when I get tired of having too much clutter. I look forward to the days of totally seamless automatic organization and backup.

  8. Not having files on Desktop at all might be a better idea 😉
    Only leave widgets there and you’ll approach to original Xerox desktop paradigm (i.e. computer desktop = one’s virtual desk).

  9. I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding tain Your Desktop Clutter – Murphy Mac, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)

  10. Clutterkiller is the best think for desktop clutter, period.

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