It’s probably the most important image on your computer, so do it justice… Here are 7 useful ways to take your simple desktop wallpaper to the next level!
1. Use Google Calendar as Your Desktop Wallpaper
Want something more useful that just a static image? Why not use Google Calendar as your backdrop so you can plan the day better? Here is a set of instructions you can use if you want to try it out.
Go to your Google Calendar settings. In the calendar address section. Choose the HTML option and copy the URL.
In Windows, go to Control panel–> display–> desktop and pick ‘customize desktop’. Choose the ‘web’ tab and click ‘new’ then add the URL for your Google Calendar.
You can also add other URLs to integrate just about any website into your wallpaper!
2. Wallpapr – Search Engine Just For Wallpapers
Using conventional image search engines rarely return results which are good enough for a wallpaper. WallPapr is a search engine which retrieves wallpaper sized images from Flickr (which contains some of the best images you could ever consider using as a wallpaper).
Every photo it draws from has at least 1024×768 resolution, and clicking on a thumbnail will bring you straight to the photo download page! Alternatively, you can try searching within this Flickr group specifically setup for Wallpapers
3. Rotate Your Favourite Wallpapers with ‘PowerToys Wallpaper Changer’
PowerToys are additional programs that Windows developers work on after product release. This one helps to juggle your wallpaper with images on your hard drive so you’ll never get bored with your background!
“Make your computer desktop more dynamic, interactive, useful, and fun. The Wallpaper Changer PowerToy allows your desktop wallpaper to change automatically. It also lets you choose which images to display. Select the folder of images to display as a slide show and set the display interval to change wallpaper every few minutes, hours, or days. “
4. Change up Your Desktop with Flickr Wallpaper Rotator
According to Hitwise, Photo sharing site Flickr is now the 2nd largest photo site behind Photobucket. No surprise then that it’s an excellent resource for beautiful wallpapers.
Rather than rotate within your own images on the hard drive like the PowerToy mentioned above, ‘Flickr Wallpaper Rotator’ is a piece of freeware that will help your automatically download images from Flickr before rotating your wallpaper. Just specify tags or a Flickr username, and you’re good to go!
If you’re more of a Google Images fan, a similar application exists for it.
5. Get a Video Wallpaper Using VLC Media Player
One of the key features on Windows Vista Ultimate is Dreamscene. This utility gives you the ability to have a video as a background. Slow swimming fishes, what blowing in the wind – whatever your fancy. If you’re NOT a Windows Vista Ultimate user, the Vista Rewired blog has come up with an excellent tutorial to implement this using our favourite cross-platform player – VLC media player.
6. Implement a Multi Monitor Wallpaper
Windows won’t display your beautiful wallpaper across multiple monitors? I don’t have a multi-monitor setup at this point, but apparently it’s not very straightforward.
“Not only can you not display separate backgrounds on different displays, but if your displays are different resolution, one of them is going to look either stretched and fugly, or cropped and weird.” – Will from Maximum PC
Fortunately, if you do want to implement a multi-monitor wallpaper, help is at hand in the form of a useful Photoshop template that will fix this.
7. Join a Social Network for Wallpapers with ‘Desktop Nexus’
Take a wallpaper site, add tags, comments, search information, RSS feeds, and a vibrant community – and you’ve changed a 90’s website into a Web 2.0 hub. Community managed (members have the choice to vote for wallpapers being added), Desktop Nexus is where you want to be if you’re into sharing and obtaining high quality wallpapers.
8. Improve your Productivity with GTD Wallpapers
Let your background give you an incredible productivity boost by defining different sections on your desktop.
Use this excellent layered GTD wallpaper to organize your icons in groups, like the:
- paper area for work stuff
- aluminum plate for personal projects
- wooden desk for yet to be categorized elements, like finished or in-progress downloads.
- post-it for urgent elements
Bonus links: Spice up your desktop the old fashioned way – using nothing but pretty images!
- 30 Nicest Apple, Mac OS and iPod Wallpapers
- Beautiful Vista Wallpapers that didn’t make the final cut
- Collection of Pixel patterns (which you can tile for fancy wallpapers)
What good wallpaper sites do you know of? Let us know in the comments!
[tags]wallpaper, desktop, images, photos [/tags]