Thursday, November 17, 2016

An Organized Desktop

Ah…  ADD.  I have it in spades.  Lyme Disease made it worse.  So, I struggle with staying focused and organized... and setting priorities... and completing tasks and...  Anyone else?  Am I the only one here?  I doubt it!
So, I try really hard to find systems.  Sometimes that quest translates into too many newsletters hitting my inbox and too many tabs open in my browser, and basic information overload... and not getting anything done because I'm too busy looking for systems to help me get it done.  
But, this time, I think I have found something that might work for me.  At least I hope so!!  This is a combination of a custom wallpaper, Stickies, and Windows Gadgets (most of which have been discontinued).
First, a shout out to Amy Lynn Andrews’ Use Letter for the idea.  Then a second shout out to Sandy Cruz for refining the idea.  (Gosh, I love Google!) And a third and final shout out to Tom Revell the creator of Stickies.
Now, I can only speak to Windows 7 which is what I am running on my PC.  If you are running a different operating system, then it will likely be a bit different than what I have here.  I tried to upgrade to Windows 10 but it didn’t play nice with some of my software (like Photoshop - *gasp*) and so, Windows 7 it is - and I’m quite happy.
I spent more hours than I should have looking at different “organized desktop” wallpapers.  There are a lot of really cool ones out there, the trick is to find the one that works best for you.  I tried a few and they weren’t really working the way I had hoped.  So, out came Photoshop and, voila!  I made my own.  You don’t need Photoshop to make your own if you decide to do that.  There are lots of free image editors/creators on-line and I’m sure one of them could meet your needs. Just make sure you know the resolution for your screen. (right-click on the desktop and select Properties)
But, why re-invent the wheel?  You can use a copy of mine if you’d like!  Without all the customizations, it looks like this:
laptop wallpaper.jpg
Once you have downloaded or created your desktop wallpaper, you’ll need to set it as the wallpaper and customize it to your liking.
  1. Right-click on the image and select Set as desktop background.
  2. Add any gadgets you would like.  I added the clock and the calendar to try and keep it simple (and because many have been disabled, like weather)
    1. Right-click on the desktop and select Gadgets.
    2. Click on your desired gadget and drag it to the desktop
  3. Arrange your desktop icons and shortcuts as desired.
  4. If you want to Install Stickies, you can install them from here. Follow the online instructions to download and install the program.
  5. To activate Stickies, open the software. Unfortunately, every time you open it, you will always get this warning:
  6. Click Yes.  The Stickies icon will appear in your System Tray.
  7. Right-click on the Stickies icon to access the menu and create and place notes as desired.   NOTE: You will need to re-activate Stickies every time you reboot or turn on your system.  Personally, I find this a very minor inconvenience for the value added!
Have fun!  This is not a full tutorial on Stickies.  Their Help file is very good and I’m just in the beginning stages of learning all the features myself.  Right now, I’m happy to have one sticky for each day with a simple to-do list.  I also made an extra one off to the side titled “Next Week”.

I hope you find this useful as a system or as an inspiration for you to create your own system!  Let me know how it goes in the Comments!

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