There are countless screensavers available for showing beautiful photographs and funky swirling graphics – we’ve even rounded up a selection previously. But what if you’d like your monitor to show something more useful?
Today we’re looking at 30 different screensavers that will inspire and inform you. Whether that’s keeping you up-to-date with news, showing information about incoming messages, recent tweets, or even helping you learn a new language!
This screensaver has all the features of a task list, in addition to displaying your tasks on your monitor. You can access your to-do list like any other application in order to update it. The full version of this screensaver is available for $9.95.
Play a QuickTime Movie as your screensaver. If you’d rather run videos in succession, you can select an entire directory.
One of the problems with screensavers is that if you’re expecting an email, you have to keep waking up your computer. With this screensaver, you can display the statuses of several different programs, such as email or instant messengers.
View your dashboard in your screensaver, displaying the weather or any RSS feeds you may want to get a quick look at.
Sometimes it’s important to use a screensaver that allows you to still see what’s actually happening on your desktop. This screensaver does just that. The full version is $15.
You can tell just how hard your computer is working by the brightness and movement of the colors in this screensaver.
Watch photos from Flickr cross your screen. You can even mark photos as favorite or skip pictures using hot keys.
Display the latest activity on Digg as your screensaver. You’ll see new headlines, and as they get more diggs, they’ll get bigger.
With this screensaver, you can see a visualization of the number of votes new headlines are receiving on Digg.
Another visualization of Digg votes, this screensaver shows the progression of how specific Digg users are voting up different stories.
Show the tweets of any particular user as your screensaver.
A colorful display of Twitter posts, this screensaver displays posts that include specific verbs, such as ‘love’ or ‘hate.’
For LibraryThing users, you can display the covers of the books in your collection as your screensaver.
This screensaver developed by Sprint allows you to pull in all of your social media presence and see updates to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more while your screensaver is active.
This screensaver shows a creative clock while running, by highlighting the words that make up the current time.
Watch the numbers that make up the current time slowly drop into water for a clock with an unusual effect.
The time progresses on this screensaver, with each part of the exact time — from seconds to month — circling around the center of the screen, changing colors in the process.
See the time in randomly selected time zones all over the world.
Explore Mars as your screensaver runs — you can see a variety of views of the planet, as well as its moons, Phobos and Deimos.
Familiarize yourself with famous Impressionist paintings with this screensaver. The full version is available for $9.95.
View a gallery of great art on your computer monitor while this screensaver runs. The full version is available for $9.95.
Render files from the Protein Data Bank as your screensaver and see proteins and macromolecules develop on your screen.
Create your own universe with this screensaver and watch the evolution of the system due to gravity.
Need to improve your Italian language skills? This screensaver can help you with your vocabulary.
Learn Spanish with these flash cards that double as a screensaver.
Randomly display album art from your iTunes with this screensaver, which allows you to see what music you have available in a new way.
This screensaver offers inspirational quotes from famous folks.
If you have an interest in marketing, this screensaver shares advice from marketing legend David Ogilvy.
If you have small children, this screensaver provides a way for them to type on your keyboard without causing any problems.
Even though it comes with Mac OS X, this screensaver is one of the most informative out there. It displays headlines from any RSS feed you plug in.
Hopefully one or two of these will appeal to you, and help keep you informed about the latest happenings in the world (or just inspired with classic artwork!)
Feel free to share your own favourites in the comments – I’d be interested to find a few more examples of data-driven screensavers!