Going along with my developing minimalist lifestyle, I've recently reorganized my desktop on my MacBook Pro. I was inspired by the Minimalist Mac Setup on mnmlist.com
To begin, I first had to go about reducing clutter on my desktop, I deleted all icons that I did not use - old folders, school papers etc. that were haphazardly saved on the desktop. Having many icons on your desktop can severely increase computer start-up time, especially on windows machines ( from my own previous experiences).
I then chose a simple blue wallpaper that was visually pleasing, which for some reason seems to make the screen actually look larger. I chose one with a phrase on it that I am always trying to be mindful of:
With no icons on my desktop for quick access, and very few active icons on my dock I decided to download Quicksilver - a launching program that allows you to open programs, documents, files...pretty much anything - without the use of a mouse -. You simply assign quicksilver a two-keystroke code that opens the program and then begin typing what you're looking for. My keystroke code is (space)+(up arrow), so if I want to open Opera, my web browser, I simply hit (space)+(up arrow) and begin typing. By the time I've entered the letters O and P the opera logo pops up and I hit return (enter key) to open it.
I have to say that it takes a little getting used to, but I've come to love it already. It works in a similar fashion to Spotlight (Mac OSX) if you're familiar with that. There are other various launcher programs on the net, this just happens to be the one I'm using, a simple google search will turn up several.
Opening Opera with Quicksilver:
I also chose to hide or simplify most of the program icons on the menu bar (upper right), which can usually be done in the individual programs' preferences menus. As well as auto-hiding the dock.
I have found that this simplification of my desktop has not only helped speed up my computer, but helped me effectively become more efficient at finding and utilizing the programs that I need.