Monday, December 5, 2011

Alternative to the Windows desktop

Are you like several of my friends that like to save EVERYTHING to their desktop? So let me paint the picture for you.... You have 50 documents, pictures, shortcuts, and music files on your desktop with put a picture of you in New York for New Years Eve as the background (example). Then you get mad when you can't find the document that you are trying to find on your desktop. Sound familiar? Is this your desktop?

How are you supposed to find anything in that mess anyway? Everything looks the same. Where is that "HAVE TO HAVE" file that you need for your boss by closing time??? Crap did it download.... I have waited my usual 1/2 second to have it magically appear, I better download it again. Where else, the Desktop. Don't worry, I will move it later (oh no, you fell into that trap as well?). Tell me how many times have you said that and "got busy" and forgot? Me = guilty as well.

I have no problem with saving things to the desktop however I would like to introduce a better place to store things. A little folder called My Documents.  uh.... hello Bob, that will never work. Microsoft puts that folder there for people like you that know computers. Maybe, but they also put things in this folder to assist you in keeping your documents organized so people like me can back them up and find them for you when you computer fails.

Windows Vista introduced a new concept called "libraries" as folder shortcuts. These are a great way to quickly and easily place documents where they can be stored and organized. Which makes finding them later easy. Every Library that you make will show up on the left hand side in the navigation pane when you open or save a file. making it easy to find.

There are some libraries already created for you, such as Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. Use these. Microsoft put them there for a reason. They put files in the right spot where they need to go. But Bob.... I don't like these and I just want to put a file somewhere real quick so I can find it. Ok then, let's make a TEMP library where we can do just that.

First we need to create a TEMP a folder that we can include in our new library.

1. Click the start button and click "Documents"
2. Click on the "New Folder" button near the top
3. Type TEMP as the name of the folder

Now to create a library shortcut for this TEMP folder. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button, click your user name (which opens your personal folder), and then, in the left pane, click Libraries.
  2. In Libraries, on the toolbar, click New library.
  3. Type a name for the library, and then press Enter.
  4. Click the name of the library that you just created.
  5. Click the "Include a folder" button
  6. Browse to the TEMP folder you just made. 
Now we have a TEMP library on the side that you can save things in. Plus, since this folder is under the documents directory, it will be easy to backup.

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