Spring has been in full swing for a month now, with sunshine finally stretching into even the coldest parts of North America. Warmer weather and more daylight leads to extra motivation to clean and organize. In the office, one of the most efficient ways to do that is also one of the most overlooked: cleaning and organizing the desktops of your computers.
Beyond the aesthetic value of actually being able to see your home screen and find that file you’re looking for, a clean desktop can also improve computing performance, too.
Older versions of Windows ran an automatic tool called Desktop Cleanup Wizard, which moved files or program shortcuts that had not been opened for 60 days to a separate directory. But later versions of the operating system have since integrated this desktop cleanup function into the System Maintenance Wizard.
In addition, a number of easy-to-follow strategies can also do the trick. Here are a few of CMIT Solutions’ suggestions:
1) Rearrange files and shortcuts to make them even more accessible.
This is the easiest fix, achieved either by manually deleting all shortcuts and consolidating documents into a folder or choosing between various Sort By options. Right-click your desktop, choose Sort By, and choose from options like Name, Size, Type, and Date Modified. Choosing the View option allows you to change icon size, Auto Arrange icons into vertical rows, or Align to Grid so that everything’s neat and tidy.
2) Change the destination of downloaded files.
This one can be a double-edged sword — if files downloaded through your mail client or Internet browser don’t automatically land on your desktop, you might not be able to easily locate them. But if you do send them straight to your desktop and don’t keep up with the deluge, your desktop will quickly get swamped. The best compromise? Create a Downloads folder on your desktop and point files there for quick organization.
3) Go minimal and hide nearly everything on your desktop.
Using a program launcher that points you to files and programs can give your desktop that fresh and clean look while still providing quick access to anything on your computer. Changing the way your desktop is aligned can also motivate you to alter the old habits that led to disorganization in the past.
4) If you use a Mac, it’s even easier to organize your desktop.
Organization is paramount on Macs, which feature handy, easily customizable docks. You can quickly group items on the desktop into folders by selecting all the items you want to group (click, press and hold Shift, then click the next item), Control-clicking one of the items, then choosing New Folder with Selection. You can change the alignment and organization of items on the desktop, as well, by clicking the desktop, choosing View > Clean Up, or Clean Up By, then selecting an option. Or, choose Sort By, then select an option. Under View > Show View Options, you can also change the size, spacing, and alignment of desktop items.
5) Give your computer and screen an old-fashioned cleaning, as well.
Per hardware manufacturers like Apple, you can do this very easily: dampen either the cloth that came with your computer, or another clean, soft, lint-free cloth, with water only, and then wipe the screen. Don’t clean the screen of your computer with a cleaner containing acetone. Use canned air along with another clean wipe to tidy up keyboards, which often get dirtier than any other part of your computer.
With a few simple tools and tricks like these under your belt, your spring cleaning can start with that disorderly desktop. Want to know more about how to boost the efficiency and productivity of your business? Intrigued by the tips outlined here but have further questions? Contact CMIT Solutions today — we worry about IT so you don’t have to.