Here's how to embed text files on your desktop.
I did a search in the forums and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this but I just got turned onto Samurize, a cool free Windows program that lets you embed text files on your desktop. You can see an example of it above. So what you can now do is open up the file, add change or delete, and when you save it, the text output on your desktop updates. Very cool. I keep all my GTD lists in text files on my computer, which is great for some things, but then you get the "out of sight, out of mind" problem. Putting the output from the text file on the desktop was the missing link I needed to make my system hum.
Samurize tutorial [Lifehacker]
(Mac-heads have a similar program they can use called GeekTool.)
GeekTool intro [Lifehacker]