how to view recent files on Mac

Fresh, a little-known Mac program, has become one of the best things I’ve found recently. It is easy to use and fits perfectly into my new method of organizing files and folders.

Basically, this is a kind of information board that displays everything that you have recently worked with. Moreover, access to it is possible even from full-screen applications.

Download Fresh from the Mac App Store

Fresh consists of two panels that can be called through: keyboard shortcut (I have a superbutton from CapsLock vieste with F) or by moving the cursor and clicking the mouse at the very edge of the screen.

  • The Fresh Files top panel displays a preview of all files that have been recently created or modified: documents, screenshots, downloads, etc.
  • The bottom panel of The Cooler is a selection of data. There you can drag-and-drop everything that may be needed in the near future: files, folders and even disks.

All panels have a minimalistic design. The colors can be customized as you like. Ultimately, my Fresh started to look like this:

Fresh panel colors can be customized as you like

Initially, the Fresh Files panel displays everything, so it requires a little customization. If you see some kind of “technical” file there, like a backup of TextExpander or 1Password, then just right-click on it and select Never Show Items In ... or Never Show Files With This Extension

Fresh can ignore selected folders and file types

Fresh can also tag information, which is very important for my file organization system. Tagging helps to combine files that are physically in different folders or even media. This is very convenient, since one file can be an element of several projects at once.

Now I will not dwell on the technique of working with tags (another article will be devoted to this), but will only tell you what Fresh can do in this regard.

For tagging, the open component OpenMeta is used here, which “glues” tags and ratings to files through additional xattr attributes. In fact, this is the only available way to tag information on macOS right now. An alternative to OpenMeta is the standard ability to add comments for Spotlight through the properties of any folder or file.

Spotlight Comments – A Simple Alternative to OpenMeta

The advantage of OpenMeta is that the tag can be assigned to absolutely everything: bookmark, letter, file, folder, etc. Whereas Spotlight comments are only available for files and folders. Minus – tags are not visible through the usual function of viewing file properties in macOS, therefore, to visually work with their lists, you need to use special applications: Tags, Leap, Punakea (see the full list on the OpenMeta website).

Fresh does not allow you to view all existing tags on the system, but it can create them and also search for information on them through its Spotlight-based search (the search box is located just above the Fresh Files panel).

In order to tag files, it is enough to select them and drag them onto a special pop-up panel that appears at the edge of the screen. This can be done from anywhere in the system; you do not need to launch Fresh itself for this.

You can tag files with simple drag-and-drop

Example of using tags

Tags can be very useful for both finding and organizing files on disk. They can act as triggers for rules in Hazel.

For example, I recently started working on a new website design, so I actively save everything that can be useful in this: screenshots of sites and applications, resource files, etc.

On my computer, all screenshots from Mac / iPhone / iPad go to the Screens folder (iOS screenshots are automatically pulled from the photo stream). Resource files downloaded from the network – to the folder Downloads

It is clear that all these materials need to be additionally sorted, but I don’t want to do it by hand in Finder. This is where Fresh comes in with its tagging capabilities, and Hazel comes in as a sorter.

After taking some screenshot or downloading a file, I launch Fresh with the keyboard shortcut CapsLockF and set the corresponding files in the Fresh Files window @design

As soon as Hazel notices a file with this tag, it immediately applies one of the rules I have set to it. No hassle in the Finder, the order is always automatically adhered to, and files are not lost.

Example of using the Fresh Files panel

For most reviews, I have to load the app icon through the WP admin. It is them that you see on the main page of the site. In the Alfred review, I already told you how I extract them from programs with a simple command right on Desktop

With Fresh, my workflow has improved a bit. Now the icon does not go to the Desktop, but to the aforementioned Screens folder (which is more logical). Firstly, it does not clutter up the Desktop, and secondly, it eliminates the need to delete the icon manually (Hazel automatically deletes all files over 7 days old).

Previously, I had to grab an icon and drag it onto the Safari window, which is very inconvenient, especially with a large number of full-screen applications. Fresh has simplified the procedure at times. The new algorithm looks like this:

Without leaving the Safari window, I execute the Alfred command to extract the icon
I launch Fresh, where it has already appeared in the list of new files
I drag it into the WP loader.

In conclusion

Despite having some minor flaws, Fresh turned out to be a great solution for small tasks with new files. In just a few days, this utility has become one of the most used on my Mac. At $ 8.99, this is just a great buy.

Download Fresh from the Mac App Store

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