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  • Is your computer desktop overwhelmed?

    Use the Show Desktop Icon on the Windows taskbar to instantly clear the desktop of all the open programs and reveal that picture of the kids or the Columbia River Rafting trip that you have on the computer desktop.

    But you have a pile of icons on the desktop?

    So do this < 2min task and clean up your computer desktop.

    1. Create a desktop folder Called INBOX.

    2. Move all the files that are on the desktop to that folder. Put often used programs/files in the quickstart section of the taskbar. (I keep the Trash Bin, My Network Places, My Documents, My Computer & the INBOX as the only things on the desktop.)

    3. Make a reminder or schedule time to create a virtual filing system on your computer that is as pristine and trustworthy as your physical, labeled-manila-folder filing system. You just make this INBOX as a part of your daily/weekly processing.

    4. Take a deep breath look at that picture desktop.

    5. Get back to DOING stuff.

  • #2
    another thought.
    on mouse i use the scroll wheel acts as a 4th button (it has the standard left-right & a thumb button). I selected 'minimize all' as the action for that 4th button.
    my desktop does have lots of icons, but they're grouped by category.
    so whenever i want to open a frequently used program, i hit the button slip right to the icon & i'm off.
    'since my wall paper is often the GTD flow chart, i just group the icons around the fringe.
    sometimes, like all of us, i don't want to be reminded of work flow. then the wallpaper gets changed to some idyllic setting & maybe i move a few icons so i can better see that wave crashing on that beautiful beach.
    but, i like my icons where i can see them

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    • #3
      Great idea. But, I already have a hard enough time dealing with my real inbox.

      Jeff

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      • #4
        I also feel that having a clean computer desktop is a lost opportunity to have all your often-accessed items close at hand. I love to hit a button and instantly see the desktop, then click on the URL, folder, reference file, document, or whatever that I'm after. They're all organised into related groups, so I can find the relevant item instantly. The Start menu just doesn't compare.

        Having a clean desktop is like moving all your books off your bookshelf and into boxes so that the room looks clean and tidy. Visually neat, but not very practical.

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        • #5
          I also feel that having a clean computer desktop is a lost opportunity to have all your often-accessed items close at hand. I love to hit a button and instantly see the desktop, then click on the URL, folder, reference file, document, or whatever that I'm after. They're all organised into related groups, so I can find the relevant item instantly. The Start menu just doesn't compare.

          Having a clean desktop is like moving all your books off your bookshelf and into boxes so that the room looks clean and tidy. Visually neat, but not very practical.

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          • #6
            Why should your computer filing system less efficient?

            Originally posted by Anonymous
            I also feel that having a clean computer desktop is a lost opportunity to have all your often-accessed items close at hand. I love to hit a button and instantly see the desktop, then click on the URL, folder, reference file, document, or whatever that I'm after. They're all organised into related groups, so I can find the relevant item instantly. The Start menu just doesn't compare.

            Having a clean desktop is like moving all your books off your bookshelf and into boxes so that the room looks clean and tidy. Visually neat, but not very practical.

            I think you miss my point. The way I look at it, your stuff on your computer is no farther away and pretty easy to get to, provided you have efficient and trustworthy filing electronic system as I pointed out in the original post. Why should your computer filing system be any less efficient and trustworthy than your paper one? Also I think were splitting hairs if you have active project folders containing relevant and associated project information about two to three clicks away, provided they are in the My Folder (which is on my desktop). That's a far cry from being in the other room.

            I surveyed my desktop files prior to this exercise, and I found out they were mainly project support material, PDFs and support info as WORD and Excel files. Had they been paper ones I would have filed them away, unless they are related to the current project that I'm working on. When I move to the next project, the other material is filed away, like the paper ones.

            In part two of the book, DA explicitly states that reference material not being used at the moment should be out of sight, as a way not to mentally distract you from doing the NA you chose to do. If the folder and the files are being used as a "reminder", then your Next actions List is not trustworthy.

            Sure I have frequently have several programs open as way to capture info, such as my Palm Desktop, DayNotez and Life Balance, but I dont have the PDF's for my read and review work lying on the desktop when I'm working on budget forecasting.

            I do find a clean desktop, both visually pleasing and very practical. Having the Show Desktop button on the taskbar (as opposed to the Start menu) provides an instant break when I need an "Oblique Strategy" and it helps me have that "Mind like water" readiness for the Next Action that is most appropriate.

            Best.

            Louie

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            • #7
              I actually do something very similar to this.

              I have a folder called Desktop Stuff, and I place the icons and files that I'm currently working with. They're easily found but off of the desktop which just makes it look nice. I do keep some program icons that I use daily on the desktop. The combination of both, for me, makes it more efficient. The desktop folder is used mainly for programs and files.

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              • #8
                I cleaned up my desktop at Louie's suggestion. It looks nice and is more functional. The point, perhaps, is to rethink our environment every now and then and to implement changes that work for us or decide that things are fine just the way they are.

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                • #9
                  INBOX

                  My desktop is my INBOX. (for some things) When Iím writing papers I put it on my desktop and when Iím finished I usually move it to My Documents. When I download a program, I put it to my Desktop and after it is installed, I delete it. Having files on the Desktop letís you see whatís at hand.

                  Sometimes I find PDF files and papers that take time to finish writing, so they do sit on my Desktop for a while. How I get around this is I only have the things on my Desktop that I really want there. I always question what I put on my Desktop, or things I download. If I do not need it, I delete it. Iím very judgmental about what I have on my Desktop. In addition, Iím very judgmental about archiving files in my computer. I always ask myself if I REALLY need to save this. If itís important I will archive it, if itís not I delete it.

                  I also like to see my Desktop quickly. I use the Evoluent Mouse and it is fully customizable so you can create a mouse button to use as your show/hide desktop. Then you can delete the show/hide desktop button and use if for other things. Less clutter = more efficient.

                  I find the Start Menu very valuable as well. I mainly use the Quick Launch of the Start Menu and I have only 16 of my most used programs there. The deeper the files are in Windows XP the more they are just pure archives. (unconscious/conscious)(background, foreground) I find these by searching. Programs closer to home or close to my Desktop are used more frequently or on a daily basis.

                  My Desktop is in constant flux, as well as my Tungsten T3. I just try to make it quick and easy as possible to navigate and use.

                  http://www.evoluent.com/

                  Arthur

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                  • #10
                    Productive Procrastination

                    One of the other participants in this forum (can't remember his name off hand!), posted a great list called "productive procrastination" - I believe that is the subject line of the post if you want to search for it - with a nice list of housekeeping tasks like this to do when you are feeling brain dead - purge computer desk top, fill stapler, replenish office suppies, etc. - I've found that is a great way to handle things like this.

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                    • #11
                      Here is a link to the list: http://www.davidco.com/forum/viewtop...rocrastination

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for looking that up, JMarkey!

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                        • #13
                          You're welcome. I had forgotten about the list. I copied it to the memo section of my Palm so I can use it as a model for developing my own productive procrastination list (not that I ever procrastinate )

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                          • #14
                            oh of course not...I don't either, nope, not ever.

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