If you’re like most busy people, you will one day find that it takes too much of your time to move files to folders that you still need to create and drag those folders to the Documents or one of those other Apple pre-made folders. Worse still, the folders you created are buried and often you may forget where you put your actual files. Instead, it’s much quicker to save or drag files to your Desktop. The result is no longer a Desktop but a chaos of files, URLs, disks, folders and what have you.
How do you tackle that problem? There’s an app for that and a new one in this category does different things right. For starters, Unclutter — developed by Oleg Krupnov, the developer who gave us DaisyDisk, an app that helps you clean out your disk — isn’t an ugly drawer or sorter that shows itself as a “tab” or an “inbox”, sliding out halfway across your screen. Instead, it’s an unobtrusive “tray” that slides down as soon as you drag files, URLs or folders to the menu bar. Drop those assets and they’ll be gone from the Desktop.
To see them and use or open them, just move the cursor to the menu bar, scroll down and there’s the tray again with all your stuff. That stuff lives in the User Library, but it doesn’t have to be living there. You can change the location to some other folder on your system. I chose all of my stuff to live in the Documents folder.
The developers probably thought people would never pay a licence if that’s all Unclutter does, so they added two other features to the app as well. The first is a simple Notes module and the second a clipboard with history. All three modules live in the same down sliding tray, with Notes on the right and the Clipboard on the left — until you drag them to reposition them. And if you don’t want them, just uncheck them in the Preferences panel and you’ll end up with a huge files/folders tray.
By the way, you can arrange your files in the Files tray as in any Finder window, sort order included. There’s only one thing that I would have liked to be more powerful and that’s the Clipboard. I have been using Pastebot for years now and that clipboard manager allows me to keep as many as 1000 clipboard items with organisation functionality, paste filters and more.
My take on the historic Clipboard feature is that if you’re going to add such a module anyway, why not make it as powerful or more powerful than an app like Pastebot?
However, Unclutter’s core business is cleaning out your desktop and still be able to quickly access those files and folders that otherwise sit on your Desktop. At that, this small and inexpensive app, excels.
Unclutter is temporarily available at a discount if you’re already using DaisyDisk. It normally costs €21.99; DaisyDisk users now pay €13.19. There’s a Mac App Store version as well.