Earlier this year, I asked you to let us know how many items you had on your desktop. Answers ranged from 0 to 79 desktop items. In a late reply to that same post, one of the commenters mentioned Rainmeter, a desktop customization tool for Windows. I actually started using Rainmeter a few months ago on the one Windows machine available to me, and it is pretty cool if you really want to geek out your desktop.
Rainmeter is a tool that lets you customize your desktop by adding skins and other widgets. If you want to keep your desktop clean, you might think that Rainmeter isn’t for you. Take a look at the screenshot at the top of this post, though.
That’s my Windows 7 desktop (minus the taskbar), using Rainmeter. The idea for that desktop came from a Lifehacker post, although I only used the suggested Rainmaker hacks and the Early Sunrise Wallpaper from HD Wallpapers. To keep things lightweight, I didn’t modify the taskbar or icons.
My setup shows just one use of Rainmeter. I’m using it to display the time and weather on my desktop. You can also use it to show things like RSS feeds, your email, or system stats (such as available memory). If you use a Rainmeter skin that supports it, you can launch apps, control your music, or record your notes.
Rainmeter is too feature-rich and involved to cover in a blog post, but the Rainmaker site offers some great support. Rainmaker 101 is a good place to get started. If you get comfortable with it, you could dive into a full-blow skin suite. These suites come prepackaged with skins and other applets.
Are you using Rainmeter or some other desktop customization tool? If so, start tidying up and getting your screenshots ready. I’m looking for the best place for readers to show off their desktops, so stay tuned. If you want other thoughts on how to simply your desktop, check out Bobby Travis’ post on Minimal Wall. If you like having icons on your desktop, click on over to my look at Fences. Coming soon we’ll discuss GeekTool, which lets you trick out your Mac desktop.
Do you use any tools to organize or geek out your desktop?