Sometimes macOS gets tangled up in such a tangle that you want to spit and just reinstall everything from scratch to finally set up your dream system.
I recently had a similar moment. Everything got so out of control that icons, notifications and a bunch of applications began to drive you crazy. Fortunately, 15 minutes is enough to fix everything.
READ ALSO: 5 tips to reinstall macOS from scratch
Zen Principles of Mac
- Minimum visual noise: we control icons in Dock and Menubar, files on Desktopextra plugins in Notification Center, services in the menu, etc .;
- Minimum information noise: remove unnecessary notifications, the sounds, badges;
1. We put in order a set of installed programs
You need to start putting your Mac in order by removing unnecessary applications. This will save us time in the future when cleaning the Dock, Menubar, and Notification Center.
I use CleanMyMac to completely uninstall apps.
And since we’ve opened CleanMyMac, take a look at Acceleration ▸ Optimization ▸ Entry objects and uninstall all applications that are not needed at startup.
READ ALSO: What’s on my Mac
If anyone doesn’t know, this is where the clock, battery indicators and WiFi are located. And every second program tries to put its own icon there. Think carefully about whether you need app-specific icons in Menubar at all. If they are not hidden in time, sooner or later Menubar will start flashing with all the colors of the rainbow.
View which applications put their icons in Menubar and look in their settings for the option to disable these icons. This will hide the Bluetooth icon, Time Machine and Volume Control.
If there are still too many icons, then you need Bartender. The utility can hide icons in a submenu, or even remove something that cannot be removed through OS X settings. This is how my Menubar looks like before and after launching Bartender:
Bartender allows you to manually set display rules separately for each program: some of them can be hidden in a submenu, some can be left in the main panel, and some can be shown only when a trigger has been triggered in the application.
For example, if Dropbox started syncing, then its icon will “jump” to the main menu, and after completion, it will hide again in Bartender. The same will happen with the Tweetbot or Spark icon when there are new messages in them.
By the way, in the latest versions of macOS it is possible to hide Menubar from the desktop – System Preferences ▸ General ▸ Auto Hide and Show Menu Bar… Perhaps you will like it too.
3. Tidy up the Dock
Since I’m a big fan of the Alfred 3 launcher, it makes no sense for me to keep application icons in the dock.
Therefore, I removed absolutely everything from the Dock except the Trash and Finder, and then hid its combination OptCmdD… As with Menubar, Doc reappears if you move the cursor to where it should be.
READ ALSO: How to speed up animations and add icon dividers to the Dock
To remove icons, simply close all applications, and then “pull” unnecessary ones to the Desktop until the inscription appears Delete…
And so that open applications do not clutter up the Dock and Desktop, I use a gorgeous workflow for Alfred, which the team qall closes all applications except the current one.
4. Putting in order the Desktop
The first thing to do is to put on one of the minimalistic wallpapers, and then you need to clear the Desktop of everything and everyone once and for all.
READ ALSO: A selection of minimalist wallpapers for Mac and iPhone
All files must be kept in the appropriate folders: Documents, Pictures, Dropbox, etc. I moved frequently used folders to the Finder sidebar, which I described in detail in the Minimalist Finder article.
For working with files, I recommend looking at Yoink. This is a kind of buffer for files that allows you to minimize the use of the Desktop. Another successful program in this area is Unclutter.
If you often take screenshots, then it is worth reconfiguring their autosave from the Desktop to some other folder. You can read more about this in the screenshot guide.
MacOS Mojave introduces the ability to group similar files on the desktop into Stacks. But I disabled this option, as with my file organization system these Stacks only add confusion.
4. Clean up Notifications
In the notification center, I keep only two plugins – the World Clock and the calculator. But even there there was something to clean up – threw out five irrelevant cities from the World Clock.
But it is not plugins that distract much more, but annoying notifications. You can manage them through System settings ▸ Notifications… Just go through each program and turn off everything you can do without. The fewer notifications the better.
For some programs, I completely disabled badges, sounds and pop-ups. The full package was left only for the TunnelBear VPN client. For Spark – sounds and badges. For Telegram – only badges.
And don’t forget the magical Do Not Disturb button in Notification Center, which temporarily turns off any notifications.
Any automation is time consuming. You need to sit down, identify the problem and try to solve it with alternative methods. The exhaust will be only when the result really begins to save you a lot of time, saving you from dozens of unnecessary clicks.
Here are just a few applications that I personally use to automate work. They do not require any specialized knowledge or programming:
- Alfred – an application launcher where you can install various extensions for automation. Review →
- Hazel – utility for working with files. Can sort and rename files in folders, move files based on settings, automatically empty your Downloads or Desktop folder, and more. Review →
- TextExpander – converts your specified abbreviation or abbreviation into the desired text. Ideal when you often have to type the same thing. Saved me 36 hours in the last 5 months. Review →
- BetterTouchTool – with this program you can add functions to the touchpad or Magic Mouse, and with reference to specific applications. Website →
That’s all my tricks. Now let’s see how, in a few minutes, I turned a cluttered desktop into a simple one.