WWD Asks: What's on YOUR Desktop?


Aliza Sherman's DesktopI used to be one of those people with icons covering my entire MacBook desktop, all glaring evidence of a failure to properly organize my files. These days, I try to take a desktop organizational moment every other week. Still, I’ve wondered what the things lingering on my desktop we all about. Why were they there? What might they tell someone else about me if they looked closely at them?

We’ll start by revealing the desktops of most of the WWD writing staff. We’ve also started a Flickr pool so you can share your images with everyone else as we’ve done.

Believe it or not, I think I’ve learned a few things about my fellow WWD bloggers even just by seeing their computer wallpaper!

Aliza Sherman: (click on screenshot above for larger image)

  1. Media advisory for Tweetup for WeVote08 I helped organize this week.
  2. Screenshot of Palbee, a site I reviewed this week.
  3. Personal monthly budget template. Haven’t used for a while but need should.
  4. Point & Shoot Video Program for my Flip camera.
  5. Remember The Milk icon. Have never actively used Remember The Milk.
  6. Spreadsheet of my company’s transactions.
  7. Details on a radio interview I’m doing this week.
  8. Final edit of a client’s enewsletter article.
  9. Installation file for ConceptDraw, a mindmapping program I’m evaluating.
  10. Flip videos for posting onto Flickr and my blog from the Tweetup event this week.
  11. Another screenshot of Palbee demo.
  12. Another screenshot of Palbee demo.
  13. July personal monthly budget. That was the last time I used the budget template.
  14. NDA from a friend.
  15. Miscellaneous expenses from my bookkeeper that I had to identify.
  16. Backup of my computer – my automatic Time Capsule life saver.
  17. Spanning Sync – to sync my iCal to my Google Calendar.
  18. A sample of the podcast called “A Woman at Work” that I’m going to be starting up.
  19. A friend’s book treatment that I sent to my book agent.
  20. My company’s digital check register.
  21. A draft communications strategy for a client.
  22. My Second Life sim SLURL.
  23. The time I was supposed to leave a meeting for another meeting. I kept forgetting what time I was supposed to leave so typed it really big on my computer desktop as a reminder.

Judi Sohn:

  1. Judi Sohn's desktopMy dock on the right. I hate the new Leopard dock on the bottom.
  2. External USB drive which contains a nightly backup created with SuperDuper.
  3. Alias of Dropbox folder so I can keep important files in sync between desktop and laptop computers.
  4. I’m prepping for our nonprofit organization’s annual audit, so spreadsheets are various documents I’m preparing for our accountant.
  5. Bio slide about me for Dreamforce 2008 (I’m speaking on a panel).
  6. Another audit-related file.
  7. Copy for nonprofit’s e-newsletter that I laid out and will be distributed on Monday.
  8. Saved file of a NPR interview where a reporter called our organization “powerful.” We liked that.
  9. Printer proof of Fall newsletter.
  10. Copy of annual Box.net invoice. Really wish they would email me so I didn’t have to go hunting for it.
  11. More audit stuff.
  12. I just updated website with info on new print newsletter, including this PDF for download.
  13. Overview of our call center dashboard from Salesforce.com, which I needed to email to someone.
  14. Inventory assets from our accountant to check and update (audit).
  15. Illustration of colon and lymph nodes (from NCI) to use with a related blurb in e-newsletter (7).
  16. Mobile logo that I used in a WWD post.
  17. Two great kids.
  18. I love me utilities that have “Show in Menu Bar” option.

Mike Gunderloy:
Mike's desktop

  1. Main HD in the computer
  2. Mirrored copy of the same HD
  3. Time machine backup to external drive
  4. Jungledisk backup to Amazon S3
  5. I’ve got Finder set to show me hidden files – a necessity for dev. Unfortunately that means it shows me the hidden .DS_Store for the desktop.
  6. Processing folder for the ScanSnap scanner. Anything dropped here ends up in EagleFiler, thanks to Hazel.
  7. Anything dropped in these folders ends up on Flickr
  8. Same as #7
  9. And anything dropped here goes to EagleFiler, where I organize most everything

I try to run with desktop zero as well as inbox zero. Of course I do tend to have a few docs and apps open…but hey, with 12GB of RAM, I can afford it.

Celine Rogue:
Celine Rogue's Desktop

This is what the desktop looks like on my laptop (an MSI Wind). The wallpaper is the ‘Serenity’ ship from Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

To the left is a pop-out dock from RocketDock, which displays the programs and files I access daily. For everything else, I use Launchy (which I ‘summon’ via the Windows key+spacebar). This means I never need to minimize windows just to access content on the desktop.

On the dock:

  1. My Computer
  2. Control Panel
  3. PushPin
  4. Firefox
  5. Yahoo Messenger
  6. ToDoList
  7. Calculator
  8. Notepad
  9. VLC Media Player
  10. Paint.NET
  11. Mindjet MindManager 7.0
  12. BitLord
  13. The Rosetta Stone
  14. My list of 101 Goals for 1001 Days
  15. Open Office Calc spreadsheet of my personal finances.

Scott Blitstein:
Scott Blitstein's Desktop

  1. I’m testing Chrome and this is a shortcut to my To-do app using their application shortcuts feature.
  2. This is my default folder for incoming scanned items.
  3. This is my default folder for screenshots I capture using Jing
  4. An .iso for the Ultimate Boot CD.  An indispensable tech support tool.
  5. Projects – This is for “current” stuff once the need becomes a little less immediate.
  6. Art and files for a client project.
  7. Another client project.
  8. I do a lot of work in Drupal so routinely need access to modules, base themes and other supporting files.  This is for version 5.x
  9. Same as above but for Drupal 6.x.
  10. I’m donating my work on a site for my nephew’s Cub Scout Pack.  These are photos and theme designs
  11. An easily customized base theme for Drupal.
  12. I really want to test Sweetcron but haven’t done so yet.  It sits here to remind and taunt me.
  13. A css file I needed to download to make some quick adjustments.  Should be deleted.
  14. New logo files for my company.  I’m in the process of updating my literature and other marketing materials so easy access to them is great.
  15. Preparing to evaluate Zimplit CMS for a WWD review once I figure out where I want to host it.  It looks pretty nifty and can’t wait to take it for a spin.
  16. My Recycle Bin

My desktop is generally used as a temporary holding area and it goes through various levels of cluttered-ness depending on what I am working on at the time. As part of my weekly review, I do try to clean it up and move things to more appropriate places. I use a program launcher so it’s typically usually just files stored there.

What’s on YOUR desktop? Feel free to add your screen shot to our Flickr Pool, and tell us about it in the comments. Don’t forget to include a link to the image.



This is Sean at Box.net. I noticed your comment about getting your Box.net invoice. If you’re having some issues with that, please e-mail Support@Box.net or give us a call at 877-BOX-6736.



Mike said “7. Anything dropped in these folders ends up on Flickr ”

Could someone explain me how to do this, please.


I use OS X and on the desktop I have “Macintosh HD” and “Notes.rtf”

In the dock I have:
Finder, Firefox, iTunes, Mail, Transmit, RapidoResizer, Quicktime Player, iCal, TextEdit, AntiRSI, Downloads, Trash.


14. NDA from a friend.

This gave me a chuckle… Is this Gossip 2.0?

“Hey, how’d your blind date go last night?”

“You’ll never believe what happened! Just sign this NDA and I’ll tell you all about it.”


I uploaded mine. Its the Wonder Woman background.

Got my usual stuff – FF, Thunderbird, Kidzui (kid’s browser), Open Office.

I keep all of my files in colored folders. A shortcut to the folder where all of my business stuff is located (that’s the red & white circle).

I have folders for clients’ work, court documents, graphics, music & video, downloads, programs that I sometimes use but not enough to keep a shortcut on my desktop (like Yahoo messenger). And there’s one for my son’s documents that I recovered off of his laptop before I had to do a system restore on it (he’s had it for like two months! Stupid Compaq.)

The icons on the left are recent items that I need to review before I file them. There usually aren’t that many but I got a ton of PDFs files that are bonuses for buying STSE2. And then an article submission program, an ebook cover generator, and a remote viewing program called Crossloop.

Earle Allen Jr

1st icon: Firefox starts up Firefox extension Fast Dial with a notepad [ NEWS ] with all my news junkie stuff,like Greader,[ POST ]posting pages to my Yahoo groups,Yahoo e-mail,G-Mail,Screencast-o-matic,My Yahoo,Daily Rotation,Bejeweled.2nd icon is Spybot,3rd icon is Ccleaner,4th icon is personal Control Panel with Disk Drive [ C ]-Control panel-[ WINDOWS ] Programs folder.5th icon is Disk Clean.6th icon is notepad.7th icon is snipping tool.8th icon is Gadwin’s PrintScreen.to the far right is Winkey [ no longer available ] with a collection of notes [14 notepads ] that are geared to my news headline gathering for my daily newsletter [ New_Thisandthat ],Computer,Consumer,ect.

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