I try to keep the desktop of my Windows PC as clean as possible. What I mean by that is that I try to avoid adding shortcuts or files to it.
I know enough users on the other hand who save downloads and new files they create on the system to the desktop by default, and that is certainly convenient as the desktop is probably the most accessible location on the system when it comes to file locations.
The result is a messy desktop full of icons, files and shortcuts. While some users may not mind, it is difficult to keep it organized, especially if new files and shortcuts are added regularly on top of all the items that are already on it.
There are two main methods of dealing with the issue:
The first method moves all files and shortcuts that are currently on the desktop to another location, the second uses a system, usually in form of a program, that helps with organizing the items.
Fences is a program for the second method and while it does a good job, it is not free and needs to be purchased before it can be used after the 30 day trial period.
Nimi Places is in many regards like Fences. The free program handles things a bit different and while it takes longer to organize everything properly, it is offering the same result in the end.
Note: The program requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.
When you first start the program you can pick a template that it ships with or select to start without special folders that the program will populate automatically.
If you select a template you will notice a difference right away between Nimi Places and Fences. Nimi uses so called places (folders) or rules to populate folders on the desktop.
If you select a template, it will populate folders with data from My Documents and other locations. While you may find that useful, it is often better to start without selecting a template as you remain in full control then what is placed on the desktop and what is not.
You create a new folder on the desktop with a click on the system tray icon and a second click on the plus icon. There you can select to create a new place or a rule.
All folders that the program displays on the desktop highlight files in it. You see file and folder names, and thumbnail images as well if pictures are stored in a folder that is displayed on the desktop.
You can resize the folder, to display more or less contents, and scroll with the mouse wheel or mouse button.
A right-click on a file or folder opens a context menu with additional options including delete, print and open, but also an option to label files which highlights them on the desktop in different colors.
As mentioned earlier, it may take a bit longer to organize your desktop. One option for that is to create folders in a different location, for instance under My Documents, and move the files on the desktop into those folders. You could create a folder for program shortcuts, one for media, and another for documents.
Once that is done, create the folders using Nimi Places so that the files appear listed again on the desktop.
Nimi Places supports quite a few interesting features besides the main functionality that it offers. It can display media files directly as previews instead of file links for instance (including video thumbnails), supports resolution changes, and the generation of thumbnails for Internet shortcuts.
Nimi Places may not be as comfortable as Fences to set up but it gets the job done just like it and offers a couple of interesting features of its own such as options to create rules to move or link files automatically. Plus, it is free and ships with a bunch of extra features that you may find interesting such as using labels, fast note taking, or media previews.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.