If you like to learn new things that enhances your online time or makes better use of your time, then I call you a "power user." I am one of that type too! :) One of my webinar outlines goes into different ideas under this theme and hopefully in the near future it will be the theme of an upcoming virtual classroom course. (My current course "Graphics for Bloggers 101" is currently being recorded. It is a 10 module course with just 2 more recordings to go.)
Anyway, what are some "power user" ideas as regards to your desktop?
In the Desktop - Part 1 post, we looked at a vertical taskbar, a custom desktop collage, and keeping your drop zone clear (go back and check it out if you missed the previous post!)
Notice the diagram below for the new points for us to talk about:
Idea #1 - Shortcut to a "Cleanup Folder"
I'm a big proponent of keeping your desktop clean! But I know how it goes, as much as you WANT to keep things in organized folders, it is often really hard to keep everything perfectly organized. (This is not an excuse to stop trying though!) I keep a "cleanup folder" for files that I am through with but that I don't want to delete. Notice that my recycle bin and my cleanup folder are close to each other. It is really an A/B choice to make, keep the file? or delete it? If there is any chance that you may make reference to it later, keep it! (just not on your desktop - move it to the cleanup folder). File naming strategies are really important if you want to ever find it again. Use keywords! From all our SEO training, I know this is second nature to us. Keyword name your files with a few smart words for future searches.
Idea #2 - RocketDock App Launcher
Starting in Windows 7, you can now "pin your top favorites" to the taskbar for very easy access. I pin my favorites to the taskbar but have a lengthy list of go-to apps though that would not all fit there. One launcher app I've used for quite a while helps me keep all my best apps an easy click away. It is a free app called RocketDock. I have it attached to the bottom of my screen. It auto-hides when you aren't using it. When you need it, just move to the bottom of the screen and it pops up. It has a really nice animated flow as you hover over it. You can then add your favorites to it for easy access. It looks like I currently have picked out about 17! I'm sure you'll recognize some - you'll get bonus points if you name the harder ones :) MS Word and Excel can't be seen because I have assigned hotkeys (Ctrl+Alt+W and E) for those, but ah, setting hotkeys, that's another (future) post.
Idea #3 - Google Gadgets
Google Desktop (local file search with Desktop Gadgets, download link) is a free app that you can download. The reason that I install it is ONLY for the RSS gadget that you can put on the desktop. (Yes I know windows has "desktop gadgets" a.k.a "windows sidebar" - however their feeds gadget is not as good! In particular, the simple ability to make the height extend as tall as you want is not possible, but it is with Google's) RSS feeds to me are essential to keeping pulse in the up to the minute news both regular local stories as well as tech blogs and pages (including your favorite AR bloggers). Many times throughout the day, a headline catches my eye. I can click once to see a further synopsis pop out and then click the heading to jump to the story for more details if it sounds interesting.
Besides the RSS gadget, I also enjoy the system meters (CPU, Memory, Disk, Network). You can catch for example on low memory and close some apps down if before you max out your memory (did I say this was a power user tip??) Also the weather and clock gadgets round out my nice information area. (brrr winter is here!)
App note: Google has discontinued further development on the Google Desktop app. However it is still available for download (see link above) and works fine. I turn off all of the search functions though. I don't need them and don't want it taking up system resources. Too bad you can't just download the gadgets app only. And if I discover a windows desktop gadget that does RSS feeds in a better way, I'll be going that way next! (if you want to learn about RSS feeds in google reader - my other fav way of reading feeds - see the post RSS Feeds in Google Reader)
There you have it, three more ideas to ponder. If you like any or all of the ideas, I'll be happy to hear it! :)