Lifehacker is a great site for finding things that can make your life easier and increase your productivity. They have been running a contest this month where readers submit screen snaps of their desktops and submit them to Lifehacker for prizes. One of the submitted desktops submitted by Rooze really caught my eye and stimulated those creative juices into thinking how a desktop could be used to help plan what I need to do on a given day. Take a look at the desktop image below (click to enlarge) and think about what this person has accomplished with a simple desktop background.
This is a Mac desktop but the method would work on any platform. Rooze puts a monthly calendar on the desktop with full scheduling and task information displayed on the appropriate day. This can be easily done and is particularly effective on a Tablet PC. The innovation comes with the placing of project folder shortcuts on the appropriate day, so when it’s time to work on something the pertinent folder(s) are right there to send you to the project information you need. This is so simple yet I can see how this would speed up my project handling on a daily basis. Rooze uses a simple screenshot of the monthly calendar each week as the desktop background and during the weekly review drags shortcuts for the project folders into the proper day on the calendar. The “This Week’s Focus” sidebar is a very nice touch too. Maybe some enterprising Windows developer (OK I’m being selfish) could write a utility that puts an Outlook Calendar on the desktop (not just an image but live updated) for easy manipulation like this?
Note: the desktop calendar is rather easy to do in Outlook. Select Calendar from the Folders view and right-clock to open in a new window. Then deselect the Navigator and Taskpane if you use them to get just a simple calendar. This has an advantage of auto-resizing when you change display orientation on a Tablet PC (you do use a Tablet, right?) and also lets you jump between daily, weekly and monthly views. What I haven’t figured out yet is how to put a folder link on the calendar without creating an appointment or task for it.