Windows, Mac and Linux: Keeping a clean desktop can be a little difficult when it’s such a convenient dumping ground for your crap. Here’s a set of simple icons to prevent you from littering and, instead, keep everything nice and tidy.
I use Dropbox to keep a highly organised, synchronised home folder, which has a place called “The Dump” for dumping files. But sometimes you don’t want to sync/upload absolutely everything you do and that’s when files start to turn your desktop into a trash heap. To counter that problem, I created some folder icons to help me stay organised. This way there’s always a folder to catch files until I can move them somewhere else or act on them. Here’s how the system works:
- Incoming Media catches all the movie and music files I’ve downloaded or transferred from other sources but don’t intend to keep on my machine. They sit in this folder until they’re watched/listened to or sorted.
- Incoming Photos houses photos copied from an SD card before they get uploaded to Flickr. Sometimes I save the photos in Dropbox as well, but often times they need to be edited first and I’ll move them to Dropbox after that’s happened. This way there isn’t any syncing taking place until the work has been finished.
- Temporary Notes is where I house text files and clippings that should be deleted once they’re dealt with. Despite Simplenote I still somehow manage to collect stray text files.
- To Be Archived is probably the most important folder, as this is where files go when they need to be saved to an external drive or some other location but do not need to exist indefinitely on my computer. When I see this folder filling up, I know it’s time to clear it out.
I also have a For Sale and Development folder, but those aren’t as widely applicable as the others. For Sale is where I keep photos of things I’m selling on Craigslist, and Development is where I keep code I’m not syncing with other machines.
You can use these icons to create a similar organisational system. If you want to add folders that are more applicable to what you do, a Photoshop template is included in the download (at the end of this post) so you can create whatever you like. Additionally, you’ll get copies of the icons as a CandyBar iContainer, Mac folders, and ICO files so you can use them with pretty much anything.
If you create any new icons, please share them in the comments so everyone can use them!