There’s probably a reason Apple chose the word ‘Desktop’ for the folder on a Mac where we hold the most frequently used and viewed items. Even a Mac’s Desktop begins to resemble a real desk after a few days; cluttered up with files, folders, snippets, photos, archives, disk images, and whatever else crosses the digital desktop during a typical work day.
There are two basic ways to uncluttered a Mac’s cluttered Desktop. The first is time honored and free. Create a folder on the Desktop. Select all other items on the Desktop and drag and drop them into the folder. Instantly, the Desktop is clean from clutter, although you now have a very cluttered folder on the Desktop. Is there a better way?
Yes. It’s called Unclutter, a cleverly named, affordable Mac utility which does what the name says on the tin. Un-clutter. Instead of creating a folder and simply hiding all the Desktop clutter from view, Unclutter is more of a clutter-less utility. Here’s how it works.
Install Unclutter. Drag a file or note to the top of the Mac’s screen, above the Menubar. Unclutter opens so you can drop the file in a safe, easily and quickly accessible place. It’s like a clutter bin.
The top of the image above displays the drop down bin which displays the Mac’s clipboard contents (left), various files saved by Unclutter (center), and Notes (right side). Unclutter also shows the Mac’s clipboard history which makes it much like a clipboard management app but with more useful features.
What’s cool about Unclutter is that it works well even in fullscreen mode where a single Mac app takes up the entire screen. And, it works on Macs with multiple displays.
The Notes section is for taking quick notes to refer to later. Everything can be saved on the Mac and synced between devices using Dropbox. That makes it a good way to keep a Mac’s Desktop in pristine condition, but have the same files available from the same location on multiple Macs.
Use Unclutter for a day and you’ll wonder why Apple doesn’t have something like this in OS X. Any issues? Yes. There’s a learning curve because you need to think differently about certain files and where they’re stored. The second is the price tag. It’s nominal yes, but it’s also on the threshold of where a free try-before-you-buy version would be very beneficial, because Unclutter must be tried.