Keith Robinson had a great post today on spring-cleaning for your desktop. Here’s a tip that I have used to keep the new MacBook Pro’s desktop clutter free.
In addition to standard aliases (shortcuts, for my Windows friends) to important drives/directories I have a “downloads” folder on my desktop. Everything I save from the web or email goes in here. It’s easy enough to get to, being on the desktop, and keeps the clutter out of sight. Typically I then manipulate the file as needed, filing it appropriately or deleting it when I am done. If I get distracted or I’m not ready to use the file, it stays in the download folder.
Each morning I make it a point to “process” the downloads folder just like I do with my inbox. I look at each item and either use it (if it will take less than 2 minutes), file it where it belongs, or delete it if it isn’t needed anymore. If I’m still not ready to use it, it stays in the folder. At least I know it will be reviewed again the next day.
My old machines had very messy desktops, and I could never find those one-off files when I needed them. While I have only been using this new system for six weeks or so, it’s been very effective so far.