Customizing the desktop is one of the fun things you could do. I usually make sure that mine has a nice inspirational background image or something cute to brighten up my day. Aside from that, I also set the number of workspaces I have to what is relevant for me. (If for example, I have to edit several totally different kinds of documents, I make the number of workspaces equal to their number. Or at least the number of projects that they fall under.)
Kiven of That Damn PC wrote about improving your desktop layout in Windows by reducing the number of mouse clicks you have. I also do the same thing on Linux. I put the icons of the apps I commonly use on Gnome panel.
Gnome panel is essentially what you see with the menu of the applications, the time and date, the virtual workspaces and stuff. More often than not, it’s on top of the screen by default.
Putting your favorite applications’ icons is an easy task. Just click the menu for applications then select the icon of the application you use a lot and drag it on to the panel.
Sometimes you don’t see an application you installed listed on your system. Don’t fret! There’s always Alt-F2 which gives you the run dialog box (similar to what happens when you press Win-R on Windows) and you could type the name of the application. Well, you could still add it to Gnome panel anyway. How?
1. Right-click Gnome Panel and select add application launcher.
2. Enter the command to launch the app.
3. Select an icon.
4. Save that.
Nifty huh? If you’re using other panels and/or desktop environments, it could be done differently.