Helping a colleague this last week, I logged in to their desktop and gasped.
How do you get any work done? The desktop had a pretty background with dozens of icons. Some were shortcuts, some looked to be documents and many were what I call “scraps” — photos, songs and other multimedia.
I was once that person, but I saw a great piece on Lifehacker (a must read for anyone living) about Fences, a Windows-based program that organizes desktops. You can create little corrals that contain clusters of similar files. I keep a set of folders for clients, PPC tools, analytics reports and similar work. That’s in one area. A second area contains all my shortcuts to the most used apps. My third is the equivalent of a kitchen junk drawer. Like my friend, I have images, multimedia tracks, stray text files and the like. Unlike my friend, mine are in a contained area that has positioning and size bars on all sides.
Besides the organization factor, which can’t be underestimated, a simple left click makes everything on my desktop disappear. You know when someone presents and they don’t clean up their desktop first? Now you don’t need to.
You can even configure fences to put email attachments, downloads or other filetypes in a folder. And because your files and icons are in the same spot, you won’t waste time every day scanning your desktop. Even if that’s only 5 minutes over the course of a day, wouldn’t you rather be focused on the work? And if you can save 20 hours a year being more productive for $20, I guess I have to wonder why anyone wouldn’t.
Full disclosure: the link below is an affiliate link. That means I make 20 or 30 cents for anyone who buys the software. The affiliate relationship with Stardock (the company that developed Fences) has nothing to do with that link. This isn’t about getting a quarter because you decided to be more productive. It’s about me being more productive for months now and sharing the tip with my small business blog readers. Give it a shot. I haven’t been disappointed and have installed the software on multiple systems.
For me, Fences is the best desktop organizer I’ve ever used on a Windows system, and I know I’m more productive after installing it.