My Desktop - A Little Insight to Me

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Dick Greenberg's November Contest (Show Us Your Wallpaper) has inspired this post. I think it is a interesting way to get a glimpse of each other's worlds as the computer (and phone) screens tells a little story about us! :)

I've been a little absent from blogging lately (busy days!) so the contest was a good chance also to say hello to everyone and let you know I'm still here!

Well, here's a snapshot of my computer desktop..........

craig's 2015 desktop

I thought I'd show you not only my wallpaper, but also my entire desktop because it gives me a quite a few thoughts for show and tell and maybe a few teaching points (I'm always teaching! You know that!).

First of all, my wallpaper introduces you to one of my primary raisons d'être... my son's name is Brendan and he's now in the second grade. Earlier this year, I made a composite image of a few photos of him along with a year calendar and made that my desktop wallpaper. I love seeing him on my screen every day as I go about working on my computer!

Now let me share some thoughts about my computer desktop, there is plenty of "methods to my madness." First of all, it is Windows 10. I respect Mac for it too is a very good OS but I'm a Windows guy all the way! Windows 10 is an excellent upgrade and is available as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. (free upgrade for a year from it's release date of July of this year) If you missed Windows 8, you really didn't miss anything. Microsoft was fiddling with the whole desktop/tablet unified interface and they tried some things that didn't work so well. However, Windows 10 they got back on track with the interface and it works well!

Now wait!... Craig's taskbar unlike 99% of the world doesn't go across the bottom. It goes on the left side of the screen. I prefer this orientation because it gives me the full height of my monitor for my app windows. Some people choose to leave the taskbar on the bottom, but use the auto-hide feature to get maximum app height. However, I like to keep the taskbar visible so I can see what apps are running as well as to see the clock and date I find very useful throughout the day.

desktop - recycle bin or cleanup folder choicesI make a determined effort to keep a clean desktop (I hate cluttered desktops and believe me, as an IT professional, I see lots of people's desktops and most of them are extremely cluttered!) I know how easy it is to lose control of the desktop. You need a quick place to drop a file, then another, then another, and soon it's completely full of little file icons! For important project files and photos, I have specific folders and I try to keep things in their proper place. There are plenty of little miscellaneous files however that I don't have time to make project folders for every little thing. When it is time to cleanup the desktop, if it is truly a temp/garbage file, I drag it into the recycle bin. If I need to spend more than few seconds wondering should I keep it in case I need it again, I simply drag it into my "cleanup" folder so I can look at it again later if I need to. But I don't need to waste time thinking about it and I don't need it cluttering up my desktop!

a tour of my taskbarNow Let me take you on a quick tour of my taskbar. It's shown over there on the left!

At the top is the new windows start button, where you can get a pop up menu to ALL of your apps and settings. (and thankfully it is no longer a start "screen" like windows 8 was, good riddance). Below that is the Cortana search circle icon. You can ask your computer questions the same as you can your phone ("hey siri" or "ok google", but with windows you can say "hey Cortana" or click the circle button). Here's a post that talks more about Cortana. 

Below that I have pinned an icon to open up a folder for browsing to my files. Below that is one of my most used apps, Evernote! I can't remember everything on my own - this app sure helps! Below that is my Chrome app (my browser of choice).

Below that is my Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel apps. Next, comes my Notepad++ app. This little app does a great job of color coding source files for easier reading. So if I'm browsing an XML, CSS, HTML or some other alphabet soup. This helps me read it easier. And speaking of coding web stuff, my IDE of choice is called Brackets. That's the next icon you see on my taskbar. (both of these apps are free which makes the deal even sweeter!)

Next on the taskbar, comes CorelDraw for doing composite graphics like you often see in my blog posts. Following that in line is my FileZilla FTP app for posting web files to hosting sites. 

Next on the bar comes a great photo organizing/editing app called Picasa. I've written a whole blog series on that so you can check it out if you are interested. The little red icon below it is a quick little graphics app called Irfanview which is an awesome tool for quick edits like cropping and resizing images. Next in line is Adobe Reader which of course is used to read PDF files.

Next in line is my Sony Movie Studio Platinum app for editing video files.

Finally in the taskbar queue are shortcuts to the calculator app and the app to Chrome Remote Desktop when I need to vpn into my desktop computer at work (this screen that I've been sharing is my laptop computer)

At the very bottom, in my system tray, you see the date and time. In the system tray, you have the ability to show and hide various icons of apps that are running in the background. The > character when clicked will show you all. But some icons, I have set to "show always" because they are useful to quick launch an app, namely: 

In my tray you'll see Skitch, Dropbox, my battery meter.

Also there is my wifi status, my volume, and screencast-o-matic for launching when I want to do a video tutorial recording.

The tour is almost over, but there's just a few more apps on my desktop that I'll share my view with you. (Since not everything quite squeezes onto the taskbar, these are some often used apps that spill over onto my desktop for easy access.)

overflow apps that landed on the desktop

First in this sequence is Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for working with photos. Next is a shortcut to my sound control settings for when I'm getting ready to record a tutorial and can adjust the mic source and levels. Next is my Gmail icon (it is a preset Chrome window set to launch into gmail). Wunderlist is my task list organizer app. Google Play Music is for listening to my music. And Messenger icon is a quick launch of FB messenger direct to the URL which is simply a clean interface to your facebook communications.) Active conversations are best in chat apps and not email. So between FB chat, Google Hangouts, and Slack (which we use at work), I have a good set of tools that helps have active conversations that stay pretty much out of the email inbox.

Whew! That little tour gave me an opportunity to share some ideas perhaps sparking an interest here or there of some idea or  tool that you may want to check out. I put hyperlinks in the text above if you want to go bounce out to other pages on the topics. (and for the ones not linked, seems like I have a whole ton of topics that I haven't YET blogged about. Stay tuned!)

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my wallpaper and my desktop and some of my digital philosopies! :)
If you have time to say hi in the comments below, I enjoy seeing that you visited.


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 12/14/2015 08:23 AM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
ActiveRain Challenges
windows 10

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Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Craig it's so NICE to see you in the rain. And true to form you're teaching so much good stuff and sharing your wallpaper of your darling little guy. I bookmaked this post to read and learn later on. Thanks!!

Nov 14, 2015 09:04 AM #16
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have a windows 7 that I absolutely love and it is starting to cause me some concern. I will have to upgrade sooner or later but I am dreading it. I detest windows 8 and this computer I am using has been upgraded to W-10. I only use it when I have to.

Nov 14, 2015 09:26 AM #17
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Craig  - thanks for this informative post. I want to check out windows 10, but wnat to make sure it will work the our MLS and other often used program.

Nov 14, 2015 11:20 AM #18
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Craig Daniels well, your conetest post has so many lessons in it. One that I immediately adopted is - auto-hide of task bar along with task bar on left side if the screen - and I see the immediate difference!

Like many other posts of yours, this is saved, too.

Nov 14, 2015 11:51 AM #19
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Craig - Yes, thanks for sharing all of your desktop and desktop organizing ideas. However, the best part of this post is certainly the wallpaper of your son.

Nov 14, 2015 01:35 PM #20
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing!

There are plenty of little miscellaneous files however that we don't have time to make project folders for every little thing. When it is time to cleanup the desktop, if it is truly a temp/garbage file, I drag it into the recycle bin

Nov 14, 2015 07:57 PM #21
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Interesting timing as I'm going to need a new laptop very soon and see there are quite a few windows 8.0 and some windows 10.0 home versions available. I don't want a "home" model since they don't seem to get the same heavy duty updates that the "business" version. But now that I read the above, maybe the 10.0 "home" is fine.

I'll have to bookmark this and read in more detail!

Nov 14, 2015 08:01 PM #22
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I will bookmark this post and read it again. I love your wallpaper. You have a cute son.

Nov 14, 2015 09:01 PM #23
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I wonder why the Windows 10 people dont explain like you do? Thank you

Nov 14, 2015 10:56 PM #24
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Craig Daniels I upgraded to Windows 10 when it first became available. I had a glitch and had to do a repair install. Since then it has been working great.I don't like that every time I do a program update, Windows 10 gives me a hassle about not running the update. I can in most cases reboot and the update will run okay after that.

Nov 15, 2015 01:14 AM #25
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Use Windows 7 myself. Have a laptop with Windows 8.1. Hate being a beta tester for Microsoft so think I will stay where I am till necessary to update.

Nov 15, 2015 03:52 AM #26
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Wow, I have got to get my desktop organized. Maybe it will be easier just to pick up something new on Black Friday or Cyber Monday!

Nov 15, 2015 08:21 AM #27
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Hi Craig!

Brendan is growing up too fast!! Thanks for stopping by!

Nov 15, 2015 11:05 PM #29
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

I would not mind knowing how you showed the pics and calandar all on one screen... is that built into windows-10... thank you..

Nov 16, 2015 01:08 AM #30
Becca Rasmussen
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Highlands Ranch, CO

A fellow vertical taskbar person. It drives my hubby crazy the few times he uses my computer for something. :0)

Nov 16, 2015 03:09 AM #31
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Craig Daniels ~ OK- great wallpaper photo, I can see why you picked that photo... But more importantly, thanks for the education on windows 10... I am a windows guy too, and I currently run windows 10.. 

Nov 16, 2015 04:07 AM #32
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

This is the most detailed explanation of a wallpaper. You are a very organized person:) and a great blogger!

Nov 16, 2015 10:49 AM #33
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

As usual - an amazing lesson. I have become much more organized with my desktop in the past 2 years and it helps so much. What a difference!  And, I could have guessed your adorable son would be a part of your wallpaper. 

Nov 16, 2015 10:34 PM #34
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Whooo!  I didn't know I could drag icons to the bar and clean up my space!  I now have a beautifully clean and uncluttered work space!  Thanks for the tips, and don't be a stranger to AR!  

Nov 18, 2015 03:20 AM #35
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

Just visited from a reblog of your blog, love how professional and clean your desktop is. Great for lots of productivity and motivation I am sure. Have a great week & happy holidays.

Dec 14, 2015 08:56 AM #36
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Craig Daniels

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