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What’s on your desktop?

September 24th, 2008     by Catherine Hayday     Comments

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a meme.

From Webworker, some What’s on Your Desktop? for your Wednesday.

I used to be one of those people with icons covering my entire MacBook desktop, all glaring evidence of a failure to properly organize my files. These days, I try to take a desktop organizational moment every other week. Still, I’ve wondered what the things lingering on my desktop we all about. Why were they there? What might they tell someone else about me if they looked closely at them?

See the post, and their Flickr pool for examples.

As for me, my desktop consists of some image I’m loving, so long as it’s aligned left, and then files and folders I want close at hand.

Why only aligned left? Because I use image composition as a clutter detection system (and now we all know how my brain works). As I save files to my desktop, OS X adds them from right to left. Creating a creeping line of disordered “just for now” files moving slowly across the screen. If I’ve dumped enough files that they’re starting to obscure the image, it’s cleanup time.

Exhibit A:

Center align is just too much pressure.

What’s some of the random materia sitting on there now? Well let’s have a look-see:

  • three outgoing invoices
  • the bass tab for “Lola” by the Kinks
  • an invitation
  • a song my brother sent me
  • a set of visual identity guidelines
  • a csv dump of survey data
  • a picture of a coat
  • the 2008 cycling routes map
  • a takeout order
  • a web page mock-up
  • a video walkthrough of our new place when it was empty
  • working drafts of various work documents (newsletters, case studies, images to edit)
  • an image of miniature cows

I use my desktop more actively than the “nothing but a clean slate” school. I treat it like an actual desktop. I don’t like it cluttered, but I do like to have everyday items within quick reach. Folders I use all the time (or links to those folders) sit on my desktop. However. They get their own little dedicated icons. If I’m looking at blue folders, there’s something wrong. They either have to take up permanent residence (and I have to chose an image for them), or I have some filing to do.

Post-clean-up, my desktop looks more like this:

Still some miscellany, but basically back to sorted. Ah. There’s nothing like virtual tidying to make you feel virtually productive.

How about you? What’s on your desktop?


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