If you own a Mac you should probably stop reading.

You see that image above?

That is what my desktop looks like right now. It’s efficient, beautiful and has an awesome clock. The best part is that setting it up takes less than an hour. That includes cleaning all the crap off your desktop.

However, it wasn’t always that way. It was once cluttered with a mess of folders and papers in complete disarray.

I was doing my morning reading before an  interview, and I happened to come across an awesome Lifehacker article about rebuilding your desktop. I immediately knew that is was time to do some early spring cleaning. Before you start clicking on links over there beware! ObjectDock and StarDock really slow down your computer. Everything else here should play nice.

First thing is first, we need to organize all those folders and shortcut on your desktop. Drag the programs you use daily to the Taskbar. The ones I added are below.

  • Internet Explorer
  • Rockmelt
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Dropbox

Create a few new folders that you can organize the items into. If you can’t find a place to put it, it’s probably trash. The folders I created are below.

  • Projects – Get a Job Course, Bison Box, etc..
  • Project Archive – FRUGGL, School work.
  • Temporary – Images for this post, things I plan on deleting soon.
  • Resources – A/B Testing Calculator, Project Viability Calculator, The Boron Letters.
  • Resume – I know it’s obnoxious, but I have five versions of my resume.

Now open My Computer, and navigate to your user name (Mine is Samuel Solomon). Create a folder that best describes the stuff in the folders above (I know it’s tough).

Next go to Libraries. Right click and add a new library. I named mine Projects. Now you have easy access to the stuff you use without it taking up space on your desktop.

Hopefully your desktop looks something like this now (Ignore Windows Explorer being open). If you don’t have as many icons as I do that is good, the less the better.

Now for the fun stuff.

Download and install the Rainmeter monitor and configuration tool for Windows. I know what you are thinking, won’t it slow your computer down? No, not anymore than the widgets you normally use, which ads about 3-5 seconds on to startup.

WARNING: Rainmeter works like a charm on Windows 7. If you have Vista or XP you may want to reconsider.

Once Rainmeter is installed. Download and install the Pragmatic 3.0 theme from Deviant Art (Download link is top right).

You should have something that looks like this.

In the Pragmatic 3.0 menu go to Launch, and left click on TIME. Right click all the other Items, as we are only using the clock.

Center the clock.

Now go download the Early Sunrise Wallpaper from HD Wallpapers. You’re also welcome to any of my pics on flickr. Simple pictures that have lines that lead to where the clock goes work best. For the sake of time I have forgone looking for the right picture. Photography nerds like me can spend hours looking for the right one. However, If you do find a nice picture feel free to post the link in the comments.


Except for the trashcan right?

This part is a little tricky. The solution is well documented in these links.


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Posted by:Sam Solomon

I'm a designer, writer and tinkerer. I currently lead workflow and design systems at Salesloft.

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