Fences, a nice utility to (de)organize your Desktop at will, that could easily be made amazing

I won’t go into the details of everything Fences can do, here is a short video from its developers, showing all of its features:

What I mostly use it for is to have my desktop always clean-or-messy, and as a shortcut to whatever project I’m working on. Let me explain.

One feature of Fences is its Folder Portal, a fancy name for their own but prettier version of, well, a folder shortcut: Alt-drag a folder on the desktop and bam you’ve created a Portal.

You can have as many of them as you want, place them wherever you want, have their content displayed or hidden, using whatever View mode and Sort order. I can’t show you the content of the Portals/folders I’m using, as none of the books I’m writing will be published under my name, but even blurred you get the idea 😉

Showing my desktop, full of folders reorganised in Portals, by Fences

It looks like a fancy shortcut creation tool, why pay for a third-party app that does what the File Explorer can do for free?

Well, beside the fact that Fences has many settings and that it looks great, and that it can have multiple “pages” of Portals that you can scroll through, the main reason I’ve adopted it is its QuickHide feature that hides everything on the desktop with a double-click. Useful when you need to take a clean screenshot, or when you don’t feel like dealing with your usual mess of files and folders on the desktop—don’t tell me I’m the only that can’t keep its desktop tidy and well organized?

The same desktop with all Portals hidden. Only showing a detail of Van Gogh's Starry night.

Is it worth its price? At $10 normal price, I wouldn’t have purchased it. But there are regular sales. You could also consider purchasing their discounted bundle Object Desktop, if you find enough interesting apps in it. Here too, there are regular sales.

Wishlist: how to make this app truly amazing?

If I was to suggest one thing to the devs at Stardock, well it would be two things:

  • I have a very bad eyesight: I’d love to have more control on the size of the text. Also, make your app use Windows dark mode. Or better yet, make it use Windows 10 great accessibility features? I’d gladly purchase a new version just for that reason…
  • Give us Presets, or something like that that’d let us create as many groups of Portals as we want, and quickly switch from one group to another. I don’t mean multiple pages of Portals that we can scroll through, like we already have, but real presets that we can switch.

That’d make this cool little app even more useful: one moment, I could use my “writing group of Portals” to display only the stuff I need while I’m writing, files and folders and stuff; and then, a moment later and with a simple click, I could switch to my “cover design group” hiding all my writing stuff and instantly turning my desktop into a useful mess of images, fonts, apps and everything dedicated to cover creation—if you read this and like the idea guys, I won’t mind getting this version for free 😉

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