Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stardock Fences & Fences Pro (Mini-Review)

If your desktop is like mine, you tend to stick pretty much everything there that you’re working on instead of in the My Documents folder like good little boys or girls.  Unfortunately, that means clutter – big-time!

As a long-time Stardock customer, starting with WindowBlinds and moving on through many of their other non-game products, I’ve become quite fond of a little tool they have called “Fences.”  In short, Fences allows me to set up little fenced-in enclosures on the desktop where I can stick pretty much anything to keep them corralled-up and organized.  Simply right-click on the desktop, drag to select an area, then let go.  A prompt appears to “Create new Fence here.”  Give it a name, and there it is.  From there, I can drag and drop files on the desktop into the fence, and they stay there.  Drag it around on the desktop to put it wherever you like.  Once fenced-in, my desktop looks like this:

Desktop showing Fences Pro

(The items down the right side of the desktop, except the one labelled “Backups,” are Windows 7 desktop gadgets, not part of Fences.)  I tend to keep my Fences of relatively uniform size, but you can size them to whatever dimensions you like.

One thing to keep in mind: these Fences are not folders.  If you look in Explorer at the contents of your desktop, they’re still all individual files as far as Explorer is concerned, so once you start using Fences you might want to forget about looking at the desktop contents in Explorer.

I use Fences semi-frequently.  Normally I don’t have any fences set up on my desktop, but if I notice that things are starting to get a little cluttered I set up some fences to impose some semblance of order on my usually chaotic life, then when the number of items on the desk get down to a more manageable size I get rid of the fences until they’re needed again.

The basic Fences program is free.  The Pro version, which offers some additional features to make organizing easier, is only $9.99 (as of the time of this post, normally twice that) so even though I don’t use those features all that often, having them on tap was worth the very nominal cost of the program.

The web site for Fences has all the details about what features are available in each version, so I won’t go into all the details here.  Check for yourself.

Also, there are a number of reviews – professional and otherwise – on the Web which you might find interesting.  I will list them here, but note that I did not read any of them before putting this online.  I didn’t want any bias from those reviews to filter into my thinking as I wrote this.  A few of the reviews are:

The above were just some of the results of a Google search for “stardock fences review” (click the link to recreate the search).

In short: Fences is well worth looking into.  The free version has nearly all of the features I use, so start with that and see if it helps you as well as it’s helped me over the past several months.

-- //Steve//


1 comment:

  1. HowToGeek just put up a review of Fences Pro: