I mentioned yesterday that this year my main focus will be to get control over my digital clutter. Rather than just forge ahead and only give you guys updates on what I’m reducing, I thought that maybe I should write a piece here and there about what areas that might be an idea to declutter. Just in case someone else wants to join along.
Today I want to talk about PC/MAC Desktop clutter.
A lot of people store files directly on their Windows/Mac desktop, instead of saving them to some sort of document folder, (e.g. My Documents etc) as it makes things easy to reach.
Unfortunately what often happens, is that the desktop becomes cluttered, difficult to navigate and sometimes even distracting. Distracting, because all the icons can remind you of other things you need or want to do, and before you know it.. you’ve wasted time… not working on what you turned on the computer to do in the first place!
You should not underestimate the power of a clean desktop. Just like a messy room can make you anxious and stressed, so can a messy desktop.
A clean desktop is kinda like having a clean room. It can make your mind calm, clear and focused.
There are also a couple of technical reasons for why you should not use your desktop as storage:
In the text that follows, I’m talking about Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), since this is what I have. I do not know if it is the same on MAC OS. Regardless of OS, I think this is a valid consideration to take.
On Microsoft Windows versions older than Windows 8, your Desktop is not protected.
There are no file protection – mentioned on PC World, some directories, like example “My Documents” are not affected by System Restore. Files stored on the desktop on the other hand, are affected by System Restore, which can result in files disappearing.
and no file backup as default – A lot of file backup programs ignore desktop by default. Most backup programs will however allow you to change the settings to include it, but you have to actually do this.
On Microsoft Windows versions 8 and 10, backups are handled a little different than before, and I’m not sure, but I think maybe these newer OS backs up the desktop file as a default (that is, when you actually do a backup). But again, I’m not sure! To eer on the side of caution, I’m following the old time rule of not storing documents/programs/videos etc directly to the desktop.
What I do, if I want quick access, is to use links instead. I create an icon which links to where the document is stored on the PC.
Also a very cluttered desktop will slow down a computers startup time. Which means, cleaning it up, can help speed up your computer boot up time!
- Delete and clear away items/icons on your Desktop that are no longer relevant or important.
- Save items you want to keep, to folders like “My Documents”, “My Pictures” and so on – To save: Open the document, press File, Save as – give it a name and put it in the relevant place.
- Only keep icons that starts up software programs, or that links to documents/videos/photos etc that is stored on your computer hard drive.