Rid Your Desktop Of Clutter With This Simple Trio Of Icons

Rid Your Desktop Of Clutter With This Simple Trio Of Icons

Desktops aren’t meant for clutter, but they often end up as a repository for our daily work until piles of icons make it nearly impossible to find anything at all. As insurmountable — or at least time-consuming — as this problem may seem, you can get your desktop under control pretty quickly with the help of these three icons.

Here’s how you make the magic happen:

  1. Put everything on your desktop in a folder, have that folder display as a list, and keep it on your screen.
  2. Download these icons (includes several formats so everybody’s happy) and create folders for each one labelled Inbox, Outbox and Now.
  3. Go through the folder of desktop crap you created earlier and start sorting into your new desktop icon folders. If you’re working on the file right now, it goes in the Now folder. If you’ve finished working on the file, put it in the Outbox folder. If you have yet to start work on the file, put it in the Inbox folder. When you actually do start work on that file, move it over to the Now folder. When you’re finished with it, stick it in the Outbox.

You’ll also want to set aside 30 minutes each week to archive anything in the Outbox folder that has since been dealt with. You can organise those files however you like. If you want to be lazy or just save yourself some time by not doing anything at all, you can just automate the archival process.

This is a very simple organisational method that works well if you don’t want to spend a lot of time sorting things. I prefer a slightly more complex version that utilises Dropbox, so check that out if you want a little more specificity to your workflow.

Organization Trio [Lifehacker]


  • I figure everything that was on the desktop will just end up in the “now” folder, and everything new will go into (and stay in) the “inbox” folder, so not really a solution for me.

  • You might find using Fences would be more efficient. Put three fences on your desktop and drag and drop files to and from. Easier than fiddling with folders and finder windows.

    Pretty easy to set up a script to archive the outbox fence each day too.

    • Fences wasn’t an option for me as I work in a locked down IT environment – I recently discovered Fences Portable which solved that one for me – I can’t remember the link but should be an easy Google solution – I recommend this as well!

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