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How to Organize Your Computer Desktop

Keeping a computer desktop organized is tough, but clutter can quickly and easily become a thing of the past.


  • Step 1: Put everything in one folder Create a new folder on your desktop, and add all the documents currently located on your desktop to it, including application launchers.
  • TIP: You don't need application launchers on your desktop to launch programs. It's faster to launch applications using the Windows Start menu or your keyboard.
  • Step 2: Create an Inbox folder Create an Inbox folder for recent items you haven't yet had a chance to look at. When you do go through it, you'll either resolve the item or place it into one of the next four folders.
  • Step 3: Create an Actions folder Create an Actions folder. The Actions folder is for items that you plan to tackle within the next few days, but they take between 15 minutes and an hour to complete. If you can take care of an item in your Inbox in less time, do it immediately.
  • Step 4: Create an Incubate folder Create an Incubate folder for items you have decided to put off for more than a few days.
  • Step 5: Create a Current Projects folder Create a folder and give it the name Current Projects. The Current Projects folder is for all the documents related to long-term projects you are currently working on.
  • Step 6: Create an Archive folder Create a folder and give it the name Archive. The Archive folder is for everything you have finished working on but don't want to delete. Consider moving this off your desktop into the hard drive.
  • Step 7: Put your documents in the correct folder Go to the first folder you created, with all your desktop documents in it. Examine each document and move it into one of the five new folders.
  • Step 8: Keep it clean Keep your desktop clean by changing your browser settings so that attachments download to your Inbox, rather than to your desktop. When downloading programs, choose the folder where you want to store the program so that an icon for it doesn't automatically land on your desktop.
  • Step 9: Keep it up Diligently maintain this system by consistently moving your documents into one of the five folders.
  • FACT: Storing too many files on your desktop can cause your computer to perform erratically.

You Will Need

  • A computer
  • And a desire to keep it organized

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