The Functional Wallpaper


Over the years I have changed my computer wallpaper many times. In the beginning it was only the default Windows image. Then I started using pictures of things I wanted to achieve. Then I developed the anti-procrastination wallpaper….

Some time last year, however, I started noticing that my desktop was getting cluttered with too many files and folders, and it was becoming hard to find what I needed fast. That is why I decided to create what I call the functional wallpaper. Here is a picture:


The idea is not mine. I believe I had seen something like this either on the web or on some friend’s computer long time ago. You basically create a background image with sections, and then you organize the icons and files inside these sections. For instance, I have one section for general stuff, one for my backups, one for programming stuff, and one for each of my main websites.

It is working like a charm, so it will probably be a while before I decide to change it. If you are having a hard time finding stuff on your desktop too, give it a shot.

Browse all articles on the Software category

29 Responses to “The Functional Wallpaper”

  • suraj

    WOW! you know my desktop is almost full due to my blogging data as well as different stuff. I never imagined something like like you done. Now going to make my desktop similar to yours.
    Thank you very much!

  • Linda Yarbrough

    Just wanted to give an update on a note someone had written about YoDm 3D. It has been revamped to a product called DeskSpace and is on a 30 day free Trail basis now – not Free.
    I love your idea and will give it a try to separate areas of life.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Daniel | Facebook Client

    It’s an interesting idea, but why not just have six separate folders with those sub-folders in? Personally, I have a terrible habit of saving everything to the desktop which I then have to sort at a later date.

  • Aditya Kane

    Ive tried using Fences but I still find this simple system of drawing lines with Paint and creating an easy desktop the most effective.

  • oVan

    Another vote for the free Fences program, it does this without needing to change any backgrounds. The Pro-version of Fences can even automatically sort icons based on type (folders, images, documents, etc) and makes everything partially transparent until you hover your mouse over it. This really makes the desktop less cluttered.

  • Conversational Agent

    This is a nice wallpaper, very very useful and helps us organize the shortcuts we have if our desktops are cluttered. Great idea, thanks! 🙂

  • carolee Sperry

    Now that is a super unique idea!

    I also use my wallpaper space as a “dream board”.

    If you dream of owning a jaguar, put a pic of it on your desktop so it’s always in your sight.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  • Alex Dumitru

    This really is something new and really useful, though my desktop is a mess and it wouldn’t work for me 🙁

  • Christian Guico

    The idea was cool but looks a bit messy. Although proper management of files was really helpful for most bloggers.

  • Juan @ JB Cool

    Got anything other than the wallpaper to take me away from my starcraft II? Although i put something on my wall paper to remind me of my goals and target, but the itchiness to play the game is stronger.

  • schoolkidph

    Wow, this functional wallpaper is a really great suggestion. I do too have folders and files on my desktop, as these are the files I use very often and need them quick. Organizing them this way does seem to make it easier to find them. Thanks!!

  • Jeff B

    This is the first I have heard of this. Is there somewhere you can download these already made for a 1920 x 1080 resolution?

    I am terrible at graphics work.


  • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

    Pretty cool idea. I may give that a whirl one of these days.

  • Robert @

    I like that idea, it does organise you a bit, but I prefer to just organise everything in my documents, rather than on my desktop

  • jason

    I never would have thought about blogging wallpaper, but that’s certainly a great idea, and very useful for anyone multitasking.

  • Stephanie – Home with the Kids

    Nicely done! I remember my mother’s surprise some years back when I put a reminder on her computer’s wallpaper because she absolutely needed to remember something. No idea what it was now, but it drove her nuts trying to figure out how to get rid of the reminder until I explained it was the wallpaper.

  • The Desktop Analyst

    You know, I could read way more into those if you’d let me. Just send me some bigger shots.

  • naveen kulkarni

    i think this is great way to organise desktop ! however i generally keep my blog files insides c: or d: drive because i know my desktop area will be going to be full very soon ! neverthless , its very interesting method daniel ! thank you for sharing !

  • Shawn Hoefer

    I’ve been doing something similar for years. My obsession with functional wallpapers began years ago with a wonderful PIM from Berkeley Systems. Expresso embedded a calendar with tasks and files right on the desktop of my Mac. I spent years and years looking for a replacement when they stopped updating it and never found one I was as happy with… almost made me want to switch back to System 7!

  • Randy Duermyer

    That’s a pretty nifty tip. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.

  • Distro 19

    simple trick to manage our job… thanks… good ide ^__^

  • Liam Hammett

    I had a similar thing I did before, but only split it into “personal” and “business”. Recently though, I found myself having your problem again, having too many things on my desktop (which is where I save next to all files I download). I went out all willy-nilly and purchased a bit of software called “Desk Space”. I have to say, I thought I’d just wasted the cash after I spent it, and admitedly it is a little pricey for what it does, but I love it and I’ve never looked back. There’s a free version of it called “Yodm 3D”.

  • Tony

    Very cool idea! Now I have a new Gimp project that will yield some benefits. Thanks Daniel.

  • Craig

    You can also install something like “Fences”, which will create the the color-distinguished sections for you, and then simply change the labels & drag & drop over what you want.

  • Johny

    oh man! that is just a simple wallpaper but its value is of 100$

  • Daniel Scocco

    I just created the background image on GIMP. But you can use any image editing software, like Photoshop or even Paint.

  • Marguerite

    How did you do that?

  • Jin Sung

    Great tip, i use hard drive partitioning for each of my websites to keep content safe, i have a clear desktop and a clear inbox.. everything is filtered into sub-folders and an ongoing to do list using a bug tracking system ensures i get everything done!

  • Devesh

    Nice Idea.
    I never though of something like this.

    And the wallpaper looking really good.

    I’m going to try this. Thanks for sharing Daniel.

    Really awesome idea 🙂 ! Thanks !

Comments are closed.