I stumbled upon a secret that makes me much happier to pop open my laptop and crank through a long list of to-dos each day or to persevere through writing long reports. It forces me to clean up my computer desktop once a month, and its a free, quick, and easy way to bring a little creativity into my work environment. All this from the simple task of resetting my desktop each month.
In past year’s I’d always tried to keep seasonal backgrounds on my computer (e.g., leaves for fall, flowers for spring etc.), but this year, I started updating my desktop every month. Because I often find myself reaching for a calendar to check what days fall on a weekend or a specific day of the week, I decided to update my laptop desktop with a wallpaper that has the month’s calendar, and then I find a bold coordinating print or image to go on my second monitor. Apparently, I’m not the only one doing this, as there are some great websites that offer desktop wallpapers with calendars each month. My favorites so far are:
Smashing Magazine: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/tag/wallpapers/
Simply Brenna: http://simplybrenna.blogspot.com/
Reg Silva: http://www.wedgienet.net/blog/
Bohemian Gypsy Jane: http://bohemiangypsyjane.blogspot.com/
I even discovered a way today to change the color of the folders on my OSX desktop, so they look better with the wallpapers that I picked for May. A shareware program called “iconXprit” lets you custom set the color of any folder on your desktop. Simply install the program and right click on any folder (or drag a box to highlight and change several folders at once), select iconXprit near the bottom of the menu that appears, and select “Add free color”). The demo is free, but the license only costs $12 so for a buck a month, I may have to splurge, in the interest of keeping my desktop cheerful and functional.
As the year has progressed I’ve learned a few other tricks for getting my desktop patterns to coordinate. TinEye Labs has a tool called Multicolr that lets you search for images with specific colors. In the mood for a perfectly coordinated plaid: Try plaidmaker.com you can quickly and easily customize a unique plaid that incorporates all of the key colors of a desktop image – this is what I used to create my November plaid using colors inspired by the Sarah Hearts desktop of the month.
Here’s some shots of my desktops so far this year…