Organize Your Desktop: National Clean Off Your Desk Day

Yes, it really is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Time to organize your desk!

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

I have not one, but three tasks for you today:

  • Organize your physical desk.
  • Organize your paper scraps with Evernote.
  • Organize your computer desktop.

Yep, that ought to do it.

If you are a regular reader, you’re actually ahead of the game, because we spent the first day of the year organizing the desk in about 15 minutes. No, really. Just click over and see how it’s done. And if you think it’s too big of a job, you’ve GOT to see this organized desk before and after sent in from a friend of mine. If that’s all you get done, you are a superstar!

Also, you’ve heard me talk about Evernote as an organizing tool. It’s my secret weapon to eliminate sticky note clutter from my life, and ensure that I can FIND my notes again, whether they are little reminder notes from my desk, conference notes, photos that go with a project I’m working on, or attachments and documents that would otherwise be lost in email. I’m sure it’s time to write a new article on Evernote, but trust me, you need this if you are trying to clean up your desk. (Did I mention it’s free?)

Organize Your Computer Desktop

Finally, let’s pretty up your computer’s desktop. You know, where you stash all those little icons and document shortcuts? That stuff that haunts you when you boot up your computer? Did you know you can organize that digital clutter, too???

Not only can you clear it out, but you can make it pretty, too. With a simple little 4-color grid (or really, any design that you like), you can make your desktop have a purpose! I found an image I liked (not to busy but with lots of color) on one of my photo services that I pay for. Then I massaged the picture with some headings:

  • Helpful
  • Widgets
  • Active Projects
  • Delete

This takes just a bit of techie brainpower, but not much. You can do this no problem in something like iPiccy or PicMonkey. Or you can make a very simple 4-color slide in PowerPoint. This is the one I made from PowerPoint and loaded on my desktop.

how to organize your PC desktop icons

But I wanted it even prettier, so I built one from a DepositPhotos photo I purchased. Once you have an image that you like to use as your desktop background, on Windows 7, go to:

  • Start
  • Control Panel
  • Personalization
  • Desktop Background
  • Browse to the Picture Location where you’ve saved your customized picture.
  • Click on the picture you want to use. Look down to the left and select any one of the fill attributes. I use “fit”, which gives me a little blank space on the sides.
  • Save changes
  • Save Theme.
  • Name the theme and hit Save.

You should now see your pretty picture on your desktop. And you can just drag your icons into the different sections that you’ve set up, like this.

organizing desktop icons for National Clean Off Your Desk Day

Ahhh, so much better than random. I now have a section of my screen with software that I use sometimes off to the left, the Helpful section with software that I use all the time, Widgets that I like to check during the day, Active Projects, and stuff I need to Delete when I have a moment.

If this is too fancy for you, you can still just spend your time deleting inactive icons and organizing stuff between the right and left side of the screen.

If you are like most people, you probably use your computer desktop maybe even more than your physical desktop. So today, spend 15 minutes to organize clutter on your physical desktop and on your digital desktop, too.

I’d love to hear what you think of this tip. Shout out in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to the blog over on the right so you get notified of another fun giveaway tomorrow.

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New Year's resolutions, organizing goals, 31 day organizing plan