I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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A cluttered desktop gets cleanI’ve always been known as the messy kid, so it’s no surprise that zillions of random files and folders often litter my desktop. Every time I clear my desktop, it gets congested again a few days later, each icon reminding me how much I suck at organizing. What I lack is a system.

After reading David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, I’ve finally found a system for organization that’s both logical and fun. The book doesn’t give detailed information on how to organize files on the computer, but I’ve adapted his ideas into a system that’s kept my computer desktop pristine. Here’s how I did it:

Setup: Five folders for everything

Five folders to organize all your filesThese folders will contain all of your documents. Once you’ve implemented the system, nothing should touch your desktop again. Create them in your “Documents” folder on the Mac, or your “My Documents” folder on a PC. They’re numbered so that when you arrange the folders by name, they remain in order:

  • “0. Inbox”
    Put unprocessed items that don’t have a place yet in here. This may be items like software installers you’ve downloaded, files sent to you from colleagues, and random text clippings. I numbered this “0″ to reinforce the idea of it being a temporary folder. This folder must be emptied everyday, at the end of the day.

  • “1. Actions”
    Put items requiring an action that takes more than 2 minutes in here. This may be items such as forms to fill out, large applications to install and setup, and files to upload.

  • “2. Incubate”
    Put items you aren’t yet ready to do or complete in here. These may be articles you’re thinking of reading, sketches for potential projects, and information about classes you’re thinking about taking.

  • “3. Current Projects”
    Put files related to active projects in here. This folder contains files you’re currently working on as well as reference files for a project. Each project gets it’s own unique folder. For client projects, I organized each project folder with subfolders that map to phases shown on the project schedule. Once the entire project is complete, move it into “4. Archive”

  • “4. Archive”
    Put completed projects, general reference items, and anything else you might want to look at again in here. I have aliases of Mac OS X’s “Music”, “Pictures”, and “Movies” folders in here. I also have an “Archived Projects” folder in here to hold completed projects.

After you’ve created the five folders above, make aliases or shortcuts to them on your desktop. On my Mac, I’ve applied a green Finder label to each folder so they stand out from mounted volumes such as DVDs and hard drives.

Usage: Process, Organize, Review

You’re now all set and ready to clean your desktop. The steps below are adapted from David Allen’s GTD system:

  1. Process
    Put all files and folders (except the five you’ve just created) on your desktop into the “0. Inbox” folder. Other scattered items may be floating around in your “Documents” folder and on your hard drive in random places. Find these, and put these in the “0. Inbox” folder also. Now open up this folder and process them one at a time. Start by asking yoursefl: can I act on this file? If yes:

    • Do it.
      If it takes less than two minutes, just do it.
    • Delegate it.
      If you’re not the right person to do it, then send it to someone who can.
    • Defer it. If it takes more than two minutes to do, but it in “2. Actions.” Or if it’s project-related, put it in “3. Current Projects.”
  2. Organize
    If the file has no immediate action for you to do, you can:

    • Trash it, if you don’t need it
    • Put it in “2. Incubate,” if you’re not ready to deal with it
    • Put it in “4. Archive,” as a reference for later
  3. Review
    The most important part of the system is setting up reviews for you to process your inbox and organize your files:

    • Daily
      Process your “0. Inbox” as often as you like throughout the day, but do it at least twice a day: once around noon and again at day’s end. You must empty it at the end of the day, so that your inbox is nice and fresh in the morning.

    • Weekly
      At the end of the week, move completed projects in “3. Current Projects” into “4. Archive.” Go through your “2. Incubate” folder and decide if you’re ready to act on any of the files, following the steps you would to process your “0. Inbox.” This is the time to delete or archive anything you thought you might do, but for some reason decided not to do. If you’re still waiting for information from someone to act on a file, remind the person.

    • Monthly
      At the end of the month, go through your “5. Archive” folder and prune any files you don’t think you’ll ever need again. Backup your archive to DVD or external hard drive. I’ve had computers and hard drives die on me several times, so I recommend you backup to DVDs and store them in non-scratchable place.

Your desktop should now be clutter-free, saving you from the visual onslaught of icons and preserving your sanity. Because each icon on the desktop takes up some bit of RAM, you might also notice your computer running faster.

Additional Tips

  • Accessing the inbox via QuicksilverQuickSilver
    If you have Quicksilver (which you should) you can quickly access your five folders by bringing up the Quicksilver window, and typing the numbers “0″ to “5.”

  • Downloads
    Set your web browsers, FTP, and other sharing applications to download files to “0. Inbox” instead of the desktop.

  • Mac OS X Finder window sidebar
    For quick access, make shortcuts of the five folders by dragging them into the sidebar.

Suggestions?

Have a better way to keep a desktop clean? Please share in the comments!

65 Comments

  • Pop Stalin

    gravatarJul 24, 2006
    6:44 am

    Nice tip! I’ll be putting this to use today.

  • Martin

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    3:05 am

    Thanks for the tip! What would be really nice is if a count of the number of items in the inbox folder could be shown next to it. A quick Google reveals a small script from Apple that will do just this: http://mac.softpedia.com/get/System-Utilities/Number-Items-in-a-Folder.shtml

  • Martin

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    3:20 am

    Ok, that last link was not quite the ticket. Unless anyone knows of a ready made solution I might look at implementing a folder action that ‘badges’ the folder with the item count. See: http://www.appleclub.com.hk/applescript/folder_actions/

  • Martin

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    3:32 am

    In answer to my own question. There is Docktopus. It’s not free but very handy. 30 day trial. Also means you can drag the inbox onto your dock with a count displayed.

    Sorry for clogging up your comments section Sean!

  • Glen

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    7:29 am

    Great article. I wrote one a couple weeks back for a productive Windows desktop environment: http://productivity.blogfuse.com/desktop-productivity22

  • Productivity 2.0

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    7:36 am

    GTD and Desktop Organization…

    LifeClever has a great post on how to organize your desktop for David Allen's GTD.  Note: It's geared primarily towards Mac programs, but us PC users can still implement the system Chanpory suggests.How to organize your cluttered desktop a…

  • Chanpory

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    7:47 am

    Martin, your idea for getting folders to display the file count is great! I’m going to have to implement that myself. By the way, I think you’re getting me and Sean mixed up ;-) But we love comments!

  • Chanpory

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    8:03 am

    Glen, thanks for pointing us to your post on additional tips for Windows users!

  • Chanpory

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    9:58 am

    Martin, Looks like there actually is a Folder Action you can attach to show the item count in the folder’s name itself. Here’s the link to it on Mac OS X Hints:

    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060401140625207

    Check out the revision of the script in the comments of that post. It makes it easier to setup than the original.

    I’d like to see another revision where the script finds all aliases of the folder that the script is attached to and renames them to match. I guess it’s time for me to polish my AppleScript skills! ;-)

  • Daniel

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    12:24 pm

    I have a similar system on my desktop, but I use Apple’s Spotlight technology and Smart Folders to do the trick for me.

    (Yes, that means I really must actually organize my folders by subject within my Documents, though. Actually, I guess you don’t have to — you could just dump wherever, and this would still work. But I do organize.)

    You can see a snapshot of how I do it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisdaniel/123889079/in/set-72157594144391632/

    The Lanham-y icons in the upper-right corner are actually smart folders, organized by Color Labels.

    Inbox – Red In Progress – Orange Upcoming – Yellow Read/Review – Purple On Hold – Green

    (I also have the blue color label set to “Completed/Reference,” but don’t need a smart folder for it.)

    Wherever a file is on my computer, I simply give it the appropriate Color Label and voila — with a click, it shows up in the right folder there on my desktop. It works marvelously for me, and once I place a file, I never need to move it again… I just change the Color Label.

  • Daniel

    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    12:26 pm

    Erm… well, okay. My list of folders and their colors somehow got all smushed together. My apologies.

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    gravatarJul 25, 2006
    2:49 pm

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  • Grant

    gravatarJul 27, 2006
    3:57 pm

    For those looking to see how many items are in your folder you don’t need any special plugin/script. Merely click on one of the folders and while in finder go to View/Show View Options. Checkmark the “Show item info”. Your folders should now tell you how many items are in them.

  • Grant

    gravatarJul 27, 2006
    3:59 pm

    Okay, so it only works for actual folders and not aliases. However, I leave all my folders on the desktop anyway, so it works for me!

  • Chanpory

    gravatarJul 28, 2006
    11:01 am

    Grant, thanks for the great little tip on using the Finder’s built-in item count! The folder action script turned out to be a little buggy also, so this is a much cleaner solution.

  • Hailey

    gravatarJul 30, 2006
    9:43 pm

    I implemented this system but I tweaked it a little so that it would work the best for me. I just wanted to get organized so I decided to use my desktop as my inbox folder. This allows me not to forget about things in my inbox. I also decided to keep my projects folder straight on my desktop. I put all of the folders in a nice little row on the left side of my screen. Other then that, I am doing as this article describes and it is working great! I made the tweaks in order for me to have easier access to the projects and not forget about inbox items. The inbox items line up on the right while my folders stay on the left.

  • Chanpory

    gravatarJul 31, 2006
    10:44 am

    Hailey, thanks for sharing your variation on the system. It’s great to hear it’s working out for you!

  • AnushaRaji · links for 2006-08-02

    gravatarAug 4, 2006
    5:31 am

    [...] LifeClever ֚» How to organize your cluttered desktop and regain your sanity How to organize your cluttered desktop and regain your sanity (tags: lazysheep computers gtd howto organisation productivity tips) [...]

  • Mark

    gravatarAug 18, 2006
    11:37 am

    You know, I wish there were a desktop equivalent of shelves or nooks. Perhaps in 3D; displayed in a way that it appeared that there were containers on the desktop. I want to see grouped files and folders in a way that lets me see what’s in them without everything sitting there flatly. Maybe they could scale down in size when dropped into the nooks/shelves/containers. I leave so much junk on my desktop that it’s visually cluttered and unsightly, yet I like the quick access. Hmm.

  • Mark

    gravatarAug 23, 2006
    8:40 am

    Dragthing would be very handy for this as well. Just make a dock with say 5 tabs and you can place the files in them and display the numbers or put the folders in their own single tabbed dock and display the item count as well. The beauty of this is you can “minimize” the dock to be just a tab on any side of your screen so they are accessible and out of the way when you don’t need them. I prefer this method myself to having icons on my desktop.

  • matt

    gravatarAug 24, 2006
    11:05 am

    This was very handy. Does anyone know of a good article on essential mac programs that would help keep organized?

  • RJ

    gravatarAug 24, 2006
    4:47 pm

    Leading on from the files in 0:Inbox.

    Where and how do you file away the ‘stuff’ that comes out of the 0:Inbox. Following GTD methods, it would be logical to create the ‘parallel’ folders within ‘my documents’ which are labelled same as the physical manila folders created for the physical filing system for the ‘stuff’.

    That way there is a physical folder name, which leads you to dox, papers, emails that have been reviewed and stored on the computer.

    Worth a try towards an implement.

    R J

  • Haplo

    gravatarAug 26, 2006
    12:58 am

    You don’t need a script for item counts. Click the desktop, hit command-J, set icon size, set labels to display to the right, and turn info on. That will show you the folder names and counts to the right. Since the count doesn’t get the label color, it’s pretty easy to see, and since the 5 folders and your HD should be the only thing on your desktop, it’s easy to size it to fit. I did it with custom icons and such, and it looks real good. Oh, how I wait for leopard.

  • TjL

    gravatarAug 27, 2006
    5:32 pm

    http://homepage.mac.com/dougeverly/folderorg.html

    FolderOrg is a Mac OS X folder action. Whenever a file is dumped into a folder, e.g. “Archive” and puts it into a subfolder such as 2006-08-27 for August 27th.

    (I actually tweaked mine to just use the yyyy-mm to avoid making more folders than I felt were necessary.)

    This prevents a single folder from having a whole lot of files in it which makes Finder very slow.

    Although Spotlight can look for anything anywhere, if I know that I worked on something in June, I can at least look in the 2006-06 folder and then search from there.

    If I were saving years and years of files I’d probably use yyyy/mm instead.

  • TjL

    gravatarAug 27, 2006
    5:44 pm

    Regarding downloads… if I was better at Automator/AppleScript I could probably do this without a shell script, but…

    I wrote a shell script which helps me organize my Downloads folder based on the extension.

    # Set CLEAN_DIR to whatever directory you want to clean

    mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.doc ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.xls ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.oo3 ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.pdf ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.txt ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.csv ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.htm ~/Documents/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.jpg ~/Pictures/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.png ~/Pictures/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.gif ~/Pictures/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.dmg ~/Downloads/Mac/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.app ~/Downloads/Mac/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.exe ~/Downloads/Windows/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.wdgt ~/Library/Widgets/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.prc ~/Downloads/Palm/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.mov ~/Movies/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.avi ~/Movies/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.flv ~/Movies/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.wmv ~/Movies/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.mpeg ~/Movies/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.aa ~/Music/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/*.wav ~/Music/ mv -iv $CLEANDIR/.mp3 ~/Music/ mv -iv $CLEAN_DIR/.mid* ~/Music/

    FWIW.

  • Sugar

    gravatarSep 1, 2006
    12:46 pm

    Amazing tips, will help me a lot.

    Thank you!

  • NickC

    gravatarSep 11, 2006
    3:17 am

    This is really useful, cheers.

    As a thanks, I’ve added a comment to this page: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060401140625207 that includes the Applescript to update the name of the desktop alias, and not just the original folder, as requested by Chanpory above.

    This means that when you add items to the Inbox, your desktop link name updates too. Hope it helps some folks.

  • NickC

    gravatarSep 11, 2006
    4:02 am

    I should probably also mention that using the Folder Action that appends your Inbox folder with the number of items within will break the “Downloads” hint posted above. (The browser will still be looking for “0. Inbox” when your folder has been renamed to 0. Inbox (3) etc… The result is that it creates a new folder called 0. Inbox, which will get confusing fast!)

    A possible workaround is to create a “downloads” folder in your documents folder and have all FTP/Browser downloads go in there. Then write a quick folder action that copies all files placed in their to your Inbox. If I get round to doing this I’ll post the script later…

  • NickC

    gravatarSep 11, 2006
    6:27 am

    Ok folks, I’ve written an Applescript workaround for the downloads bug as described in my post above. It allows you to have all your downloads automagically copied into your Inbox folder.

    You can try it out as follows:

    1) Download this script: http://www.studio-blend.com/dropzone/movetoinbox.scpt.zip 2) Unzip and move it to Macintosh HD->Library->Scripts->Folder Action Scripts 3) Create a new folder called “downloads” in your documents folder or somewhere similar. 4) Ctrl-click your “downloads” folder, and click “Enable Folder Actions” (if you haven’t already enabled them elsewhere. 5) Next, Ctrl click the folder again and click “Attach a Folder Action…” 6) Choose “move to inbox.scpt” 7) Now just set the download location in your web browser’s settings to the “download” folder you created earlier. Assuming you have a shortcut on your desktop containing the word “inbox,” the script will automatically copy all files across from downloads to your inbox folder.

    If you put the actual Inbox folder on your desktop, you’ll have to modify the actionscript to look for folders instead of aliases. If you need a hand with this shout up!

    BONUS: You can also apply this folder action to the desktop itself: if you accidentally put anything on your desktop, it will automatically clean it to your Inbox for you.

  • Mac Switcher

    gravatarSep 21, 2006
    12:30 pm

    Thanks for the great tip! Now my desktop is clean!

    I am still learning how to organize my files, and I have bookmark this page!

  • Switchblog » Blog Archive » Organize your Desktop

    gravatarOct 10, 2006
    1:33 pm

    [...] Neat idea but I have two suggestions. Why not make a temporary folder and drag all files in there before a presentation, or why not take some time and organize your desktop? [...]

  • Link Tank‖Humpday Linkage | The Propaganda Party: A Design Journal

    gravatarJan 3, 2007
    7:27 am

    [...] How to organize your cluttered desktop and regain your sanity: I’ve always been known as the messy kid, so it’s no surprise that zillions of random files and folders often litter my desktop. Every time I clear my desktop, it gets congested again a few days later, each icon reminding me how much I suck at organizing. What I lack is a system. [...]

  • The Propaganda Party: A Design Journal

    gravatarJan 3, 2007
    7:28 am

    Link Tank‖Humpday Linkage…

    Gridding the 960: Background image grid + pixel ruler + column divisions for 960px-width layout, all in one mean little package. Forget “best”, aim for “worst”?: Having the courage to ask “What’s the worst possibl…

  • Steve

    gravatarMay 21, 2007
    4:47 am

    This sounds really great but what about us PC guys, we’d loke to get de-cluttered too :-(

  • John Brougher

    gravatarJul 11, 2007
    7:03 am

    To reiterate a previous comment, no scripting is required–it’s a folder view option. “Show item info” is the checkbox, I believe. Why use a script when it’s supported by the OS?

  • Raj

    gravatarJul 11, 2007
    9:23 am

    All great tips. I will be sure to use this ASAP.

    One method I am currently using to sort my “downloads” is by creating “Smart Folders” based on file extensions. I keep these Smart Folders in the side panel and am able to quickly narrow down the files I’m looking for.

    I’m sure this technique can be used to search/filter files by dates as well if you want to find files created or downloaded (is that a word?) within a specific date range.

  • Mono

    gravatarJul 11, 2007
    8:37 pm

    Great tips. Very similar to what “Getting Things Done” explains, but in one page – great stuff… Having said that, I tried this a couple of years ago and it didn’t stick for long. It seems I’m on an eternal quest for organization… and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Entropy dominates me!

  • syahid

    gravatarJul 12, 2007
    3:43 am

    get the launchy freeware if you are a windows user.

  • Cory

    gravatarJul 14, 2007
    9:51 am

    Ok, I’m new to the Mac world, and I am sure that there is an easy solution to my question. How do I get the Mac HD, network, and .DS_store icons off of my desktop? I want to use this alias organizing system, but I’m not sure how to get rid of those icons.

    Thanks

    Cory

  • kidneythief

    gravatarJul 17, 2007
    10:47 pm

    Cory–to make the icons for your hard drive(s) and network volumes NOT appear on the desktop, follow this path:

    Finder menu –> Preferences…

    Click on the “General” button if it’s not already selected. Then under the first section titled “Show these items on the Desktop:” you can uncheck Hard disks, CDs, DVDs and iPods and Connected servers.

    I have no idea about the .DS_store icons, though–I thought everything titled with a period at the beginning was invisible on the Mac OS.

  • kidneythief

    gravatarJul 17, 2007
    10:53 pm

    Almost forgot to say, thanks for the great tips, Chanpory! I just got the GTD book and it’s a little perplexing for me–your tips above are a great and clear way of applying some of the GTD theories to practical purposes–I hope to see more!

  • Steve Roesler

    gravatarAug 7, 2007
    9:15 am

    I’m trying this one out. Always looking for a simple way to organize, and already have Quicksilver in the apps!

  • Sean K. Fay

    gravatarNov 24, 2007
    2:48 pm

    I just want to say Thank You to Chanpory for the strategy. I’m going to give it a shot although I relate to the person who said they tried another method that didn’t stick. It’s really a discipline like exercise.

  • Brian

    gravatarDec 5, 2007
    12:20 pm

    Thanks a bunch for this idea! I have been using it for sometime now, slowly moving things into these folders while purging things that I don’t need to keep and it is working really well. I have come up with two mods to this though;

    (1) I added a few more root folders to the list. They are; - “media” for pictures, movies, etc.
    - “personal” for things not work related - “programs” for all of the apps I download, etc.

    (2) I never go more then three folders deep. I don’t remember where I read this, but I find that it helps keep the folder structure from getting insanely nested. It keeps things simple.

  • Lindsay

    gravatarFeb 18, 2008
    3:17 pm

    Great article..very thorough and much needed for a lot of people!

    I wrote an article, “Organize Your Life”, on my blog recently. Your readers may be interested..

  • karlo

    gravatarFeb 29, 2008
    6:47 am

    Great article , I ve needing to do this for a long time and this gives me a great start , I would add as a creative mind person I would like to add colors to each category thanks all for these great tips !!!!!

  • karlo

    gravatarFeb 29, 2008
    6:50 am

    lindsay how can I see your blog Im interested in that blog about organization dont we all need it :)

  • Lindsay

    gravatarFeb 29, 2008
    8:25 am

    karlo, thanks for your interest in reading my blog article on organization. I recently changed my domain name to http://www.supersweetlife.com, and unfortunately in the process, lost all of my articles. Ahh!! I am in the process of re-writing them all, so hopefully that article will be posted soon!

    Lindsay http://www.supersweetlife.com

  • Craig

    gravatarMar 24, 2008
    8:31 am

    How about something for Windows users, at home? The link I followed above is broken. I need a new one.

  • Finn Adams

    gravatarMar 26, 2008
    2:21 pm

    vista-wallpaper.com offers a unique collection of fabulous free desktop wallpapers with an amazing quality. The effects of transparency and simplicity allows you to more easily focus on the important icons on your screen and additionally provides a better concentration and productivity while working.

  • Joe

    gravatarMay 10, 2008
    12:29 pm

    Anyone know a way to display the count of items in a folder on the folder icon in XP. I like this idea, but unfortunatley not using a mac.

  • D. Rich

    gravatarMay 15, 2008
    3:26 pm

    Some more ideas are at http://www.organizeyourfiles.com

  • Malte

    gravatarJun 8, 2008
    11:33 pm

    Use Catagories instead, makes it much easier to find files. Also use software to automate the cleaning and organizing. There is Hazel for the Mac and Clutterkiller for Windows.

    Much easier when the software does it for you. Just cleaned and organized my desktop, this very minute ;-)

  • Upper

    gravatarAug 25, 2008
    7:50 pm

    Does anyone know about going to Finder and View but Clean Up is grayed out — unusable/not responsive. What can I do? Or is situation hopeless except to apply massive suggestion above? I am looking for a quick short term solution to start with. My screen looks exactly like the messy illustration, only wi lots more files loaded one on top of the other in the upper right position…. Thanks. humaniores@gmail.com

  • Omar

    gravatarNov 4, 2008
    11:48 am

    It must be just me but I cant get the script that displays the item count in the folder name to work. I’m kind of new to this. i copied and pasted the script, gave it a name, saved it in the script editor.

    Right clicked the folder. Enabled Folder actions. Then right clicked again and configured folder actions. I then attached the script by browsing to it. http://screencast.com/t/Uh16ZDCzHs2

  • Mobile Browser

    gravatarDec 23, 2008
    11:36 pm

    Fantastic way of organising it once and for all.. but we still need to follow a system for reviewing everything that goes in and out. It’s always not following the system that makes everything into a mess again!

  • Desktop

    gravatarMar 25, 2009
    11:14 am

    That looks like a pretty slick, foolproof technique to keeping a desktop uncluttered. I too find myself in a flood of documents and it makes it very hard to think. This will work good for me, thanks!

  • Ian Godfrey

    gravatarApr 7, 2009
    7:21 am

    Thanks you, it took me many hours to sort my documents, which date back 7 or 8 years to 2001/2 at the earliest.. it was worth it, and now I think it’ll be easier to keep them in order!

  • nothu

    gravatarSep 3, 2009
    3:46 pm

    This is stupid idea, all you have to do is drag your items from the desktop to the sidebar, apps, docs, music, movies, etc, no need for anything else.

  • Mark Teeth

    gravatarSep 27, 2009
    5:42 am

    I will implement this technique immediately. My desktop is so full of trash that it is really time to take action. Thank you for this great tips.

  • Vik

    gravatarDec 22, 2009
    10:05 pm

    This article is great. Ive been struggling with folder structure in general, for both design, development, and personal data. I did this in three or four (painstaking but well worth it) hours.

    Looks like a few of us have found it more than three years after the fact. This one’s even more rlevant now IMO, and a good candidate for a repost.

  • Babs

    gravatarDec 31, 2009
    3:01 pm

    For someone like me who is not computer savvy at all, these instructions aren’t detailed enough (yeah, I know, but there are still people like me who don’t know a thing) i.e. pull files into folders, or makes shortcuts. Don’t know what that means.

  • Alex

    gravatarJan 8, 2010
    12:07 pm

    I agree, repost it for the sake of ‘them’. I just found this article and finally, I have come to a solution to my file organizational woes!! Thank you.

  • Dave

    gravatarFeb 11, 2010
    8:07 pm

    I rarely comment online, but for this I just had to.

    THANK YOU for posting this.

    What can I say…this helped me finally go through all that crud that’s piled up on my computer, sorting it into a system that works for me. (I’m familiar with the David Allen book and system, my real life wouldn’t be manageable without it, but I haven’t had the balls to attempt the same for my digital life.

    Thank you!!!

    Repost this baby…the most useful article I’ve read this week!!!

    -Dave

  • DAL

    gravatarAug 25, 2010
    12:21 pm

    Note to Barb, you can save alot of paper by using a utility like CutePDF or PDFCreator to print your emails and other items. It sits in your printer list just like a physical printer but redirects the output to a PDF file. Back them up on a USB stick and you can take ever message with you in an instant.