Is there anyone who knows of any software that will let me group icons on the desktop without using folders?
Nope, but I've been looking on/off for the past 18 months. At one stage I started putting something together in C# but didn't have the motivation or skills to really integrate it with the desktop. My idea was this just to help organise the desktop in particular sections which is something I manually do anyway: apps on the left, frequent folders or the right, pending folders towards the bottom, etc.
- Group icons onto "trays" or "slides"
- Name the trays: apps, work, phd, pending, african holiday etc
- Allow trays to be minimised to the side of the screen, collapsed down to a single icon, auto-hide or remain on the desktop
- Apply colour coding to the tray (alpha-blended) and/or tray items
- Retain full explorer context menu integration etc
- Possibly allow icons to be rounded up into irregular shaped "trays" --- like drawing a lasso around them
I'm always reminded of Blinds
, a utility for RISC OS computers that did a similar job (about 15 years ago).