is a cluttered Desktop a recipe for slow?

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the path setting has to be the full path. that is to set the screenshots in reference to your home directory such as: /Users/John/Desktop/clips/.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location_path

here’s the command line incantation to completely hide all the Desktop icons:

turn them off:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false
killall Finder

turn them on:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true
killall Finder

the freeware app called “camouflage” will give you more options compared the command line versions.

Path Finder, which is Craig’s pick for Finder Enhancement that he can’t do without, has a “hide desktop icons” check box.

Hazel is a tool that will automatically file files using a rules based system. set it to load music into iTunes, put photos into iPhoto. and writing into a journal folder.

St Claire software make a tool called Default Folder which offers pretty much all the functionality that we wished for in the talk. it has a 30 day demo to get you hooked on it. we’ll give it another spin and decide if it’s $35 well spent.

5 Replies

  • A few things, you can automatically clean up files using Hazel (www.noodlesoft.com). It’s quite useful for that purpose. It uses iTunes-like rules and supports Applescript for more complicated situations.

    I’m surprised that an old Mac hand doesn’t recall the app Default Folder (www.stclairsoft.com) which has been around since the OS 7 days (I think). You can set up favourite folders and a default folder on a per-app basis.

    Both have trial versions, so you might want to try them.

  • now I remember: Default Folder is $35 and has been loaded up with features that might be nice but don’t stand out as important to have. think Feature Creep. if it only did the “remember the folder” trick and “command key to specific folders” for way less money I’d be happy. you can get half way to this functionality for free with “finder favorites”. these which can come and go with a drag / drop.

  • I use the Desktop too for general work files much as you describe here. I clean them off pretty frequently though. We’ve chatted about file naming before but broadly I include project titles in file names and find that once I do, any flat file system works equally well as a hierarchy. An annual folder of all text files, another for spreadsheets, another for databases. All sorted using the name into projects and by time.

    I do use software for a lot of what you discussed.

    – Default Folder has a pretty generous education discount which makes the price more palatable, else it is pricey. I have come to depend on it for dropping files straight into dedicated folders, primarily basic types, text, image etc. I use only a handful of it’s features but what it offers is really good.

    – DevonThinkProOffice has a little tab which it pops on the side of the Desktop. A drawer pops out which I’ve populated with inboxes for various project databases I use. All my web snippets end up in there, sorted where they need to go.

    – Path Finder has a lot of features, hiding the Desktop being one. But mainly I use it to organise using the two pane window and the Drop Stack. The Finder seems so basic after it, it’s hard not to find it awkward.

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