Keeping your Windows desktop organized can be quite a hassle. On one hand, you want to keep it neat. On the other hand, you want to fill it with icons so that you can quickly get to your most used programs and documents. Using one simple trick, we’ll show you how to accomplish both goals at the same time.
How Not To Keep Your Windows Desktop Organized
When you first buy your computer or when you first install Windows, your desktop is practically devoid of icons. But if you’re like most people, you quickly fill it up with both useful icons and junk. After a few weeks, it becomes a challenge to find anything, useful or not. It’s probably about now that you’re most interested in getting your Windows desktop organized.
You could “spring clean” your Windows desktop by moving unused icons and documents into either the Recycle Bin or into a new folder. Or you could do a “reverse spring clean” by moving all of the icons and documents on your desktop into a folder and then move back to your desktop only the icons and documents you use. But there’s a problem with both of these methods: they don’t stop you from messing up your Windows desktop again.
The ideal way to keep your Windows desktop organized helps you keep it full of useful stuff without making it look messy. It also helps you quickly find and get rid of unnecessary icons and documents. Plus, the ideal method would make your desktop look attractive and professional to other people who might see it. That ideal method exists and it’s so easy you won’t believe it.
How To Keep Your Windows Desktop Organized With The Right Wallpaper
You can keep you Windows desktop organized and looking professional with the right desktop wallpaper. This simple change can give you separate places to put your program icons, most popular documents, current documents, temporary files, downloads, and anything else you want on your desktop.
The quickest way to get your Windows desktop organized right now is to use an already made desktop wallpaper like the wallpaper in this article. You can also search Google images for “organizing wallpaper” which, as of this writing, returns over 250,000 results.
After you find the wallpaper you want, download it to your computer (somewhere besides your desktop), find it in Windows Explorer, right-click on it, and choose Set As Desktop Background.
Although using someone else’s wallpaper can get you started quickly, to really get your Windows desktop organized the way you want, you need to make your own custom desktop wallpaper.
Keep Your Windows Desktop Organized With Your Own Wallpaper
Before you get started, you need to choose which type of organizing wallpaper you’ll use to keep your Windows desktop organized. Here are your choices:
- Artistic wallpaper integrates spots for your files into the background image. It doesn’t usually include labels—you have to know what goes where—but it looks very attractive. I’m not artist, but the unlabeled wallpaper in this article can give you an idea of what artistic wallpaper looks like. You’d put a different type of icon or program on the different notecards.
- Labeled wallpaper usually combines two different images. On the bottom is an attractive but non-discrete image. On top of that image are boxes you label for your different icons. On the the labeled wallpaper in this article, I’ve created labels for my all time Top Documents, Current Projects, Top Programs, Fun Stuff, and Miscellaneous files. Under them is a photo I took coming out of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.
To create an artistic wallpaper, often all you need to do is point your camera at the right setting. Of course, it could take you a long time to find or make the right setting, but you’ll get to proudly tell anyone who admires your wallpaper that you made it.
To create a labeled wallpaper, you’ll need a background wallpaper which you can get anywhere. Some people simply use the default Windows wallpaper. Then you need a program which can draw on top of the image. Windows ships with Microsoft Paint, which can draw adequate rectangles and add text. But if you really want your desktop to look great, you need a more advanced program. I recommend the free Inkscape program.
You can download and install Inkscape from the Download button on Inkscape.org. (Make sure you choose the Windows option. Inkscape is also available for Linux and Mac OS X.)
After installing Inkscape, start it up and use the Import option in the File menu to add the background wallpaper you chose. Then use the rectangle tool on the left sidebar to create a rectangle for your first box. Unlike Paint, you can change the style of the rectangle any time by clicking the icon labeled Fill and Stroke on the top menu.
When you have all of your rectangles made, you can optionally use the text icon on the left sidebar to add text. Again, you can change the text font, color, and size any time after you add them.
After you finish creating your wallpaper you need to save it twice. First, save it using the Save option in the File menu. This will save it as a .SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic, the format used by Inkscape). Then go to the Export option in the File Menu. This will let you save the image as a .PNG (Portable Network Graphic) which Windows supports as a desktop wallpaper.
No matter which way you created your background, all you need to do now is right-click on it in Windows Explorer and choose Set as Desktop Background. Now you can move your documents and icons over it to get your Windows Desktop Organized.