How do you organize your Applications

Discussion in 'macOS' started by j-a-x, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. j-a-x macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2005
    Houston, Texas
    I was just curious how everybody here organizes their Applications.

    I know some people just dump everything into the Applications folder, but I found that I had way too many apps, and the folder got unorganized. Since I couldn't move the Apple installed programs (mail, iPhoto, Safari etc) into subfolders, what I did was leave the Application folder alone with all of the default Apple programs in it, and create another Applications folder in my Home folder called "More Apps". Inside "More Apps" I organized everything into subfolders (graphics, office, internet, audio, video etc) and put all of my 3rd party apps in those folders. That way the "official" Applications folder didn't get to cluttered, and I could keep everything organized by type of application. I could even put aliases into it of the official Mac applications (such as an alias of iPhoto in graphics and an alias of iWork in office).

    I used to just have a folder in my dock that I could right click and navigate to the Application I wanted.

    Leopard sort of breaks this functionality, because with stacks, I can't drill down to subfolders. :( So I don't find this type of setup terribly useful anymore. The only thing that could work would be putting all of the subfolders individually in the dock (graphics, internet, office, etc.), but that takes up lots of dock space.

    Also Stacks can only display a limited number of icons (as far as I can tell), so the one folder for all applications solution doesn't work either.

    I was just wondering how people here organize their apps, and what you might recommend in order for me to take advantage of Leopard. I'd really like to use stacks, I just need to find a way to make them useful.

  2. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    I'm afraid all my Apps are in the Apps folder .. :eek:

    Sorry .. should have mentioned the most used Apps are also in the dock.
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Everything in the Apps folder with all my most used apps in the dock
  4. Alican macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2007
    Everything in the Apps folder with most frequently used on the dock.
  5. idontjoinforums macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    use all the tools Leopard has

    Alex --

    I'd suggest using ALL of the below, or you can try them all and then decide:

    1. Smart folder (will also make number 2 easier to set up)
    2. Just a few stacks of apps
    3. Spotlight
    4. Finder + exposé (hot corners) + spaces

    1. Make a smart folder with all apps in it (kind is application) Sometimes just using this folder will be quickest.
    2. Once you've made this smart folder, make aliases of EVERYTHING you may want to use (just in case, it's safer with alias imo). Make just 2 or 3 folders for stacks with more general themes than you currently use -- put the folders as stacks and move the aliases there. You can fit up to 62 in one stack in grid view. The alias will show the icon (unlike with document aliases) so with one click you can find the app, another click to launch. I think it's MUCH faster than following a bunch of arrows. Unlike others who have been complaining about losing their nesting, now I WILL launch apps from dock, but didn't before)
    3. Use spotlight!! It's really fast in Leopard, so if you know the name or part of name of app, it's a FAST solution. You can set preferences to show applications first
    4. If you have your computer logged on all day (this is not the best solution if you're switching users, or for just 5 minutes), set a space for finder windows, and use that space ONLY for finder windows. (COMPLAINT: can't set finder windows to always open in one space. Have to open finder in one space and as long as you keep one window open, it will stay in that space). Set a hot corner for all application windows. (also set one for all spaces to switch back and forth between spaces with a swipe of mouse/scroll on trackpad) Set preferences for finder to open new windows instead of replacing previous one. Open finder windows for ALL your most used sub-folders of applications. No need to then close them! with one swipe of mouse/trackpad you can see all the open finder windows, and you don't need to close them before shutting down/logging off either.
  6. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2005
    Houston, Texas
    I can't seem to get a smart folder to work as a stack. That sounded like a good idea- a smart folder with a list of the most frequently used applications that would pop up when I click it in the dock (everything I used in the last week say). But when I click a smart folder in the dock it just opens a folder.

    I WANT to make stacks useful, but it seems hard.

    So am I the only one here who organizes his appls into subfolders for different categories? Whether or not I use spotlight, organizing into subfolders just seems to make sense. It means when I open my Applications folder I don't have to sort through hundreds of applications, I can just go into the subfolder I want..
  7. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Everything in /applications, nothing in the dock (except the bare minimum and quicksilver)

    Quicksilver has replaced my dock entirely, it's set to as small as possible on the side with auto hide on to keep it out of my way as I can't turn it off entirely.
  8. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    I tried organising it into subfolders once, stuff broke so I put it all back.
  9. idontjoinforums macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    smart folders don't work as stacks (without going to finder)

    Sorry, I meant to use the smart folder in FINDER, not as a stack. (still just 2 clicks --Finder is faster and better now with Leopard IMO, but I know a lot of people still hate using it.)

    Then use that smart folder to make your aliases of apps, put into "real" folders to use as a stack.
    I know there ARE others like you who think it's easier to have a lot of subfolders, and maybe that option will be back. But if you make three stacks (organized how you want) of applications, that's 180+ that you can have one click away. I don't really understand why so many think that's less efficient or more time-consuming than following a bunch of arrows, but everyone has their own system, I guess.
  10. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2005
    Houston, Texas
    Putting 3rd party Apps into subfolders doesn't break anything for me.

    I was saying that I left all Apple apps in the Applications folder, and put 3rd party apps into subfolders...

    And then I put aliases to the commonly used Apple applications into the subfolders too. So everythign works.

    It's just that in Tiger I used to be able to right click my "more applications" folder on the dock and navigate the subfolders. Leopard broke that functionality though, which is why I am considering an alternative.
  11. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    It seems so time consuming to make the aliases, find them, drag them to a folder, then drag the folder to the dock. IDK. I guess if they are apps you use constantly and have no room left in the dock?
  12. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
  13. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2006
    You can just hold down shift to make it slow like that.

    If that is what you were talking about. I could have missed something.
  14. eclipxe macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Hold down shift when you click on the stack. Holding shift works for lots of different animations (try minimizing a window while holding shift)
  15. Ariez macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    Put it in applcation window and use QS to launch them. No need for organizing. :D
  16. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    No, I'm not referring to that... I'm referring to:

    He has a downloads folder with the downloads IN the folder. I don't have a folder nor can I make a folder for this. My downloads show as an icon for the first download on the list which is indistinguishable from my minimized websites next to it. I had it when I installed Leopard, then it went poof.

    He has folders that actually stick and represent what's behind them. What am I missing?
  17. splashtech macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2007
    No, his show the same as mine... the applications has the icon of the first app, the downloads has the first download, the pics has that first pic etc etc. Although one thing to note if there are any discrepancies like that is that that is not the final release of leopard. Notice how the open in finder is at the bottom of the fan stacks - they moved it to the other end later. We have it at the top now.
  18. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2006
    A way to do that is to make a folder in the downloads folder or applications folder called something like ! because it is in alphabetical order.

    and copy and paste the folder picture you want onto the empty folder.

    Then it looks like you described.

    Thats what I did.
  19. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Awesome! Much better. Now I can tell it's not a minimized website, etc. (my icons are currently set as small). Hmmm.....

    Splash - To do the Applications stack, did you also create aliases or no?

    I think I'm getting it. Oh! What would be cool is if we could make custom folders for the stack. Something clearly labeled & visually cool.
  20. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    i would organise my apps...but i have spotlight :rolleyes:
  21. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2005
    Houston, Texas
    Spotlight is fast, but not quite fast enough to use as an application launcher on my old school 12" G4 Powerbook. :(

    Maybe when I upgrade I'll be able to make use of spotlight to launch apps...
  22. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Check out Unsanity's FruitMenu. $10. Not 10.5 compatible yet. Allows nested folders of anything you want in the Apple Menu. Total customization. I will use that as soon as 10.5 compatibility is introduced for it. You can add your hard drives, home folders, whatever you want to your Apple menu. You can tell it to list folders first and then files so that you have your Applications folder, then you see each type of subfolder, music, graphics, etc, then a list of all your Apple Applications, or even have those in a folder called (Apple) Applications. That's how I plan on getting nesting back, unless either 10.5.1 or .2 from Apple introduces the option or a third party solution i.e. Candybar or some other dock app gives a stack vs. nested option.
  23. lofight macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2007
    i used to think quicksilver was bad and always used a dock with +-10 apps in and spotlight, i now have a big dock with -5 apps in and use quicksilver it is super handy.
  24. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Feb 11, 2003
    Columbia, MD
    All my applications are in /Applications. I also have the commonly used applications' icons stored in my dock. And I have the "Recent Items" in my Apple menu set to save only applications; it holds most of the applications that I ever use.
  25. spin macrumors newbie


    Sep 17, 2007
    Midwest USA
    I place 3rd party applications into separate subfolders within the Applications folder.

    (All of Apple's Default Installed Applications are in the Application's Root)
    /Applications/ESD APPLICATIONS/
    /Applications/ESD APPLICATIONS/DESIGN & IMAGING/Graphic Converter/
    /Applications/ESD APPLICATIONS/DESIGN & IMAGING/Pixelmtor/
    /Applications/ESD APPLICATIONS/SECURITY/1Password/

    I didn't show all of the 3rd party applications installed in each directory, but I showed a few within DESIGN & IMAGING and one within SECURITY. This method of organisation helps me mentally to visualise the role of each application I run from a 3rd party vendor. I can also just copy and paste this directory structure to other Macs on the network, making installation organisation a little easier (for me ... yeah, recent switcher, a bit retentive, with a light coating of OCD). I keep a DOWNLOADS folder, also, with nested directories showing the latest downloaded version number as a directory name, which in turn holds the actual .dmg or .zip (etc.) file.

    Well, previewing this post does not display my intricate spacing of the directory structure indents, but oh well. ESD APPLICATIONS are "electronically downloaded software."

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