023 – A Little Desktop Dive

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Episode Summary

Organization tips for cleaning up your computer’s desktop space and a free download of 12 desktop backgrounds.


Items Mentioned

Free set of 12 Desktop Backgrounds

Sign up for the Digital Organization Power-Hours with Amy

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Hey there my teacher friends – today I have a quick organization tip for you to consider in regard to your computer’s desktop. Yes, we’re being very specific here today. Besides this quick tip, I also have an awesome free download to go along with it.

Whether you have a desktop computer or a laptop, your desktop is the screen area that you see when all of the applications are closed down.

If you’re sitting at your computer at this moment I want you to take a second and have a look at this space on your computer. Now, many of you are probably walking the dog, driving, or doing laundry while listening so if that’s the case, just try and recall what you normally see on your desktop.

Is it full of all kinds of short links to programs – whether they’re ones you use frequently or not? Is it hard to find the links to the items you use on a regular basis? How does everything you have in that screen space look to you? Does it feel good or does it feel sporadic and unorganized?

What about your desktop background? Is it just some generic image that your computer auto generated or maybe an old photo that you haven’t changed in three years?

Our computers are something that we work off every single day. Today, I want you to consider how it makes you feel every time you open your computer. When is the last time you cleaned up the files on the desktop or put up a fresh image? If it’s been a while well then today is the day!

Welcome to the Piano Pantry Podcast where together we live life as independent music teachers. I’m your host, Amy Chaplin. In this space we talk about all things teacher-life related from organizing our studios to getting dinner on the table and all that comes between. You’ll get loads of easily-actionable tips on organizing and managing your studio while balancing life and home.

Luckily, cleaning up your desktop is a quick and easy space to get under control but let’s step back for a moment first and consider the big picture. Your desktop is not the only space to work from when it comes to accessing programs on your computer.

The start menu is where all your programs live in the program files. Rather than having to scroll through all the programs on the computer to find the program you want to use, You can pin frequently used programs to either the Start Menu or your Task Bar. You can also create what’s called a “shortcut” to the program on your desktop (which is basically like pinning).

Part of the reason your desktop space can easily get messy is because when programs are installed on your computer, they will often automatically create a shortcut on your desktop. I don’t know for sure about Macs, but on a PCs, you’ll know it’s a short link as it has a little image of an arrow on it.

All you have to do is select that program shortcut and hit delete. Be rest-assured that doing so it’s not actually deleting the program off of your computer.

Besides the fact that having shortcuts to programs from your desktop is visually messy, using your desktop as the location for accessing items is unpractical because when you have any programs open, you have to minimize them to view the desktop. Yes, there are quick access links to do this like for example, on a PC if you move your mouse clear to the far right of the toolbar, – clear to the end – clear past the time and date, if you just click in that space it will minimize all programs and view the desktop. Still, this takes an extra action. Even the Start menu requires a click of the windows button to open the start menu to click the pinned application. The taskbar is always in sight.

Lastly, the reason I like the taskbar as opposed to the desktop is that it can be hard to keep your desktop organized and visually appealing. The taskbar only includes a small program icon and you can easily reorder their location from left to right by clicking on the icon, holding, and dragging.

So, that’s my little tip on cleaning up having a clutter free desktop space.

Next. I wanted to share a fun free resource with you.

This past week I finally had time to sit down and put together a little creative project that has been on my mind for several months. It’s a set of desktop background images using 12 of my favorite quotes. 12 was my number as I like changing out the quote once a month. I tried to choose a combination of both educational, life inspiring, and productivity related quotes I thought you would enjoy as well.

Here are the ones I chose:

  1. Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. – Margaret Mead
  2. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. – John Dewey
  3. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. -Stephen Covey
  4. The fundamental issue to consider is how students learn, not how students are taught. – Edwin E Gordon
  5. If we wait for the moment when everything is ready, we shall never begin. -Ivan Turgenev
  6. If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterdays, we rob them up tomorrow. -John Dewey
  7. Information you can’t use or find isn’t information, it’s noise. – Michael Hyatt
  8. Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resigned yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your own diet drink and botanical medicines. -Henry David Thoreau
  9. Play is the highest form of research. – Albert Einstein
  10. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. -Seth Godin
  11. I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are not urgent. – Dwight D Eisenhower
  12. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellent then it’s not an act but a habit. -Aristotle

You may have heard a lot of these quotes already but I hope you still find them a to be a well balanced and inspiring selection to spruce up your desktop background. To get your hands on this free download, visit the link in the show notes.

My final tip is to pop a recurring reminder to yourself in your calendar at the first of every month to change out your desktop background image and while you’re at it, always do a quick clean-up of your desktop space at the same time.

Now, if you found this mini organizational tip helpful, I wanted to invite you to a new series of Digital Management Power Hours that I am hosting on Zoom coming up next month – that is, in July of 2022.

It’s a way to help you get your digital landscape freshened up and ready for the new school year. If you’re interested in attending this online event, visit the link in the show notes for more information.

I am so happy that you chose to spend a few minutes with me today even though in this moment of recording, it’s summertime!

While you’re on your computer today cleaning up your desktop, leave a 5-star rating and review for this podcast over on Apple Podcasts.

If you’re avoiding leaving a rating and review for me or any other podcast you enjoy just because you’re not sure how, I put together a little easy step by step process which includes some screenshots to help you out. Visit pianopantry.com/podcast to see how.

Thanks for sticking around for today’s fun fact. As a 1980s baby, my absolute earliest memory of computers is it was playing Oregon Trail. That was the best game ever and I totally would play it today there was a modern version. My next memories after that include Hotmail, and maybe Yahoo. I never got into the early My Space days before Facebook became more prominent. Anyway, any more Oregon Trail fans out there?