I think I may have a new workflow!

jschmitt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2011
59
2
Ok, this one is sure to start something! :)

As I have been reading all the comments on Mission Control and Launchpad (both good and bad); I started thinking about how I've changed in my usage patterns on a Mac the last few years. For me, the Applications folder is how I have managed and tracked the applications on my machine. Always was disappointed that I couldn't arrange them in a more natural way. I always used the Dock to launch my favorite apps and remind myself of what was still running. I tried using Spaces and Expose for desktop management, but for whatever reason they never clicked with me.

Recently however (last 6 months), I've been noticing a few things with my workflow; my dock has become a complete mess [can someone really have 45 favorite apps?], I'm now using Alfred App as my launcher and I still have no good way to do desktop management or organize my apps from an inventorying perspective.

Along comes Lion, and after just a few days of usage, I think I have come with a new approach to things. For me, Launchpad is perfect for solving my problem with application inventorying and grouping. I do not use it to launch apps; AlfredApp is the clear winner there. But it [Launchpad] definitey does a good job and closes a hole in my previous workflow.

Onto Mission Control: there are definitely still bugs; (a) inability for it to show me minimized applications that are running in a particular desktop, (b) the inability to rename and organize desktops the way that I want them. (e.g. I want to be able to lock them!) However, the gestures combined with being able to assign apps to specific desktops & the OS's new resume features really makes this a better implementation of Spaces and Expose ever was. YMMV

But here's the final piece: I've changed my thinking about the Dock in light of Mission Control and my usage of AlfredApp. I've now changed to not having anything kept in the dock that is not actively running. Now anything in the dock is something that is running, and as a result makes the Dock a lot less crowded. I've also changed the Dock so that all windows are minimized into the app's Dock icon (another way to reduce the mess that was my dock) + iI have turned off the lights below the runing apps. With all of these changes, I'm now using Alfred as my exclusive launcher and with that, I think I have found the workflow that previous builds of OS X had failed to deliver. Full screen apps that become their own desktops is the final piece of the cake!

Thoughts?
John
 

Mavimao

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2005
854
5
Lyon, France
Good to hear your workflow improved! Although, I have to say... I wonder why Apple doesn't advertise putting an Applications folder in the dock set on grid view... I feel like that's a great way to browse one's apps (and in the process, discovering apps you'd forgotten you had). On the other hand, for apps you use once in a while but don't want cluttering your desktop...using spotlight is excellent for this!

But this is coming from a guy who hasn't upgraded yet.
 
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karohan

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
396
0
Not trying to criticize your workflow, but one purpose of keeping apps in your Dock is that if you commonly run them, their positions in the dock are predictable and stable. Say you use three apps, but only have currently running apps show up in the Dock, their positions will be determined by which app is started first. The variability of their positions only becomes an issue if you commonly drag files to the icon or right click on the Dock icons or something like that.
 
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VTECaddict

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
373
23
I also take everything off my dock except 4 things, and those 4 things are apps that i will undoubtedly use everyday so they will most likely be running anyways. To launch other apps i just use spotlight. cmd+spacebar, a few letters of the app, enter, and app launches. i can do it faster than moving the mouse to a dock icon and clicking it. ;)
 
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kirky29

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,460
298
Lincolnshire, England
I like to have a full (but not too full) Dock. :)

Personally, I think the Dock looks silly with only 3 or 4 icons, or even non.
Same with no indicators.

I would minimize into the dock, but I quite often have several Finder windows open and I find it more confusing when they all minimize into the dock. I'd be fine with things like iTunes, Mail etc minimizing there.

But it's all your own personal choice. :)
 

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jschmitt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2011
59
2
Good to hear your workflow improved! Although, I have to say... I wonder why Apple doesn't advertise putting an Applications folder in the dock set on grid view... I feel like that's a great way to browse one's apps (and in the process, discovering apps you'd forgotten you had). On the other hand, for apps you use once in a while but don't want cluttering your desktop...using spotlight is excellent for this!

But this is coming from a guy who hasn't upgraded yet.
Didn't the "Applications" folder shortcut use to be on the Dock under previous versions? If so, the fact that it isn't there under Lion seem to suggest that Apple is kinda discouraging its usage over say Launchpad?
 
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stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
For me, Launchpad is perfect for solving my problem with application inventorying and grouping. I do not use it to launch apps; AlfredApp is the clear winner there. But it [Launchpad] definitey does a good job and closes a hole in my previous workflow.

What exactly do you use it for then if not to launch apps? What is the point of Launchpad for you then? 'Inventorying'? How exactly does that help you?
 
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jschmitt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2011
59
2
Not trying to criticize your workflow, but one purpose of keeping apps in your Dock is that if you commonly run them, their positions in the dock are predictable and stable. Say you use three apps, but only have currently running apps show up in the Dock, their positions will be determined by which app is started first. The variability of their positions only becomes an issue if you commonly drag files to the icon or right click on the Dock icons or something like that.
Good point, I hadn't thought about the order of the Dock icons; but then again I do NOT typically drag files onto dock icons! I think as Apple moves to iCloud, I think this capability will become even more antiquated.

I do think having certain apps appear in a predictable order is a good thing - but for me those apps, are already organized/ laid out and now part of my "resume" set under lion. they do appear to start (and therefore dropped into the dock) in a predictable order.
Thanks for your thoughts ... I am curious to hear about others' workflows

More ideas will definitely keep me rethinking things with time :)

John
 
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jschmitt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2011
59
2
What exactly do you use it for then if not to launch apps? What is the point of Launchpad for you then? 'Inventorying'? How exactly does that help you?
Have you tried AlfredApp? That is how I launch apps at this point; for me it is better than apple's Spotlight. my use of "inventorying" only means that when I decide what I have, what I want to keep long term and how they are grouped. ( as an app developer, I tend to install a lot of software - some of which is installed and never leaves my system; while other software is evaluated and then eventually removed). It's easy to lose track of stuff, and for me the "Applications" folder was never helping me do that

John
 
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stevearm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2007
944
81
Have you tried AlfredApp? That is how I launch apps at this point; for me it is better than apple's Spotlight. my use of "inventorying" only means that when I decide what I have, what I want to keep long term and how they are grouped. ( as an app developer, I tend to install a lot of software - some of which is installed and never leaves my system; while other software is evaluated and then eventually removed). It's easy to lose track of stuff, and for me the "Applications" folder was never helping me do that

John
Ah ok fair enough then.

Not tried AlfredApp, the dock is fine for me as I don't use many apps, I was just wondering why this new found love of Launchpad comes from given that you still don't use it to actually launch apps.
 
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jschmitt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2011
59
2
Ah ok fair enough then.

Not tried AlfredApp, the dock is fine for me as I don't use many apps, I was just wondering why this new found love of Launchpad comes from given that you still don't use it to actually launch apps.
:) I wouldn't say it's a new found love ... But I dont seem to hate it as much as some others!
 
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