For you Mac users out there, there’s a cool app I recently stumbled across called stattoo, by Panic Software. It’s a simple little app that adds mini apps to your desktop to show interesting information (i.e. weather, latest email, upcoming appointments, etc). It’s a little faster than using the Dashboard, looks wonderful, and unobtrusive enough not to interfere with other things you’re doing.
Give it a try. It costs a couple bucks if you like it, and so far I’ve been very impressed.