Virtual Clutter: Get it Off Your Desktop

Published Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:03 PM

Clutter, even virtual clutter, has a way of taking over open spaces. Is your desktop clogged with icons? Are e-files haphazardly stored? If so, it's time to declutter your desktop.

The Urge to Purge

In past posts I've heralded the lowly waste basket as an extremely effective organizing tool. Tossing what isn't needed is Organization 101. So get ready to delete unused short cuts, icons and files. Ditto for those RSS feeds and e-mail newsletters that once seemed like must-reads and now serve as in-box dead-weight. Not sure if something should be consigned to the trash? Create a folder to store those items for a later review.

Tossing done? Now the fun!

Once you've tossed the unnecessary, it's time to streamline what remains. Be creative in tailoring a solution for your needs. You can opt to go icon free altogether (yes! it's possible!) or move to a system that uses folders delineating status to store and organize desktop functions.

In Desktop Zen: Reducing Visual Clutter on your Desktop the author advocates an icon free existence arguing that icons require minimizing and resizing that reduces productivity. Instead, users can elect to use the start menu and the quick launch toolbar for more effective navigating.

Another solution posits that a clutter-free state can be achieved by creating five "master folders" that sort items according to status. In How to Organize Your Cluttered Desktop and Regain Your Sanity  the author outlines an organizing method based on principles espoused in the book Getting Things Done by productivity-guru David Allen

Strive for Simple

Virtual clutter can be easier to deal with than physical piles (no need to worry about recycling or shredding) but taming clutter, virtual or otherwise, requires discipline. Once you've established a system to conquer clutter, set aside time to maintain it. Looking for inspiration to get started? Read the Zen of Tech: 12 Powerful Ways to Keep Your Online Life Simple and Peaceful for a reminder that hi-tech can be managed simply.

Declutter your desktop and unleash your inner Zen.

Is your desktop a clutter-free zone?  Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Carly Fadako

 

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About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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