The Stardock company (somewhat recently bought by Gamestop), makers of the popular RTS Sins of a Solar Empire, has a solution. The program “Fences” provides users with an entirely new twist on the Windows Desktop.
Each “Fence” is a shaded area of the desktop that contains all files of a like type or property. Default fences included Programs, Folders, as well as Files and Documents. If these default categories aren't comprehensive enough, users can create new fences of their choosing. Another interesting feature is the ability to create a fence from a folder. This takes the contents of the folder and places it in the new fence.
Each individual fence can be sorted by date, file type, file size, and a number of other criteria. The view of the contents of the fence can be changed to a list, icon, thumbnail, etc, similar to Windows Explorer. Users can choose to sort any future icons into a specific fence, based upon things like file type. For instance, all picture files could be automatically moved to a fence labeled “pics”.
With Fences, the desktop is no longer the limit. This is because you get several desktops, that can be “swiped” between in a similar manner to a smartphone screen. Simply take your cursor, click near the edge of the screen, and drag rapidly to the opposite side to change between desktop screens. This allows even more customization by allowing you to place all of your media on one desktop, all of your games on the next, and so on and so forth.
The only downside to this program is that it is priced at $9.99 retail. Occasionally I have seen sales for it through Stardock, but these are relatively scarce. You can download the full version, or a trial version directly from Stardock, at this link: http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/download.asp . If you do try it, let us know what you think of it!