My current infatuation with ActiveWords has a new manifestation. I can hide all the icons on my desktop. Do you have any idea how great this is? Pretty great, lemme tell ya.
I have a lot, a LOT, of icons on my desktop. Apparently they grow there naturally. These are just random things that I save to the desktop because it’s easy to find stuff there. At least, it’s easy to find stuff when there isn’t anything else there. When the desktop starts to get crowded, it gets even harder to find stuff there than in a regular folder. Every six months or so, I’ll go on a desktop cleanup bender and delete and archive tons of stuff, so I just have a half-dozen or so standard icons remaining. But I hate the last few weeks that lead up to the cleanup. I know other people go through something similar–I’ve got a coworker that just got done moving a bunch of icons to the sides of her desktop so she could see her grandbaby’s face.
So here’s my new favorite trick. One of the free addons (the Windows addon) for ActiveWords (Plus version only) has a command that you can use to hide all the icons on your desktop. If you have a cluttered desktop like me, the first time you use this command you will freak out, just a little bit. You’ll immediately invoke the command again, just to make sure everything is really still there. Yes. I’ve done this. Once you get over it, you start to really, really like the look of a clean desktop. In fact, you will start to minimize all your windows (hint: Windows key and the "M" key) just to look at your pretty wallpaper. But the problem is, it kinda sucks to have to invoke that command multiple times per day just so you can look at your cluttered desktop again in order to find that Excel sheet you just saved there. Solution: make an ActiveWord for your desktop, so that it opens in a new folder view. To do this, just open any old folder, navigate to your desktop, then create a new ActiveWord for it (choosing "current" when asked what folder should open).
Now you can leave your desktop icons hidden permanently AND you can still access the icons you need. Better still, the folder view allows you to organize in ways that aren’t always useful on the desktop.