Better keep your desktop tidy instead of making yourself dizzy. I belong to the former. Show me a desktop full of clutter and I’ll show you how to clear it with a Terminal command. Here it is:

defaults write CreateDesktop FALSE

OK, so you don’t like to have your desktop hidden. Here is another Alfred workflow full of commands you can install. Where were we? Right, Unclutter.

Unclutter for Mac Screenshot

Unclutter for Mac is one of my favorite apps to keep the desktop free from clutter1. The concept is simple. You have a digital pocket shoved on top of your desktop where you can store almost anything. Those pockets then can be pulled out with the sleek two fingers swipe down from the top of the screen whenever you need them.

Here are some ideas on how I use Unclutter.

Clipboard shows your current clipboard item. I usually use it to edit the clipboard item before pasting them into my destination. The “improved” in the post title equips this pocket with the ability to browse clipboard history and save favorite clipboard items.

Files is the folder for all your temporary files. I treat this as my own to-do list. Sometimes I receive documents that demand attention — usually needed to be edited or verified. Instead of leaving them in download folder, I simply drag them into this folder so I can briefly look at it to see which tasks are not completed yet.

Unclutter for Mac Notes

Notes is my scratchpad. Unclutter is not the only choice here; there are plenty of ways to make your own scratchpad. You can create a new text file, use Stickies, or even activate Evernote from menu bar. But Unclutter is by far the most practical. Since it stays on the top of all windows, you can drag it out and put it wherever you want on the screen.

Unclutter is not the must have apps for most people. It doesn’t stand out compared to other apps like Keyboard Maestro or TextExpander. But what makes me like Unclutter so much is the practicability it brings the moment you start using it. It won’t make you super productive, but this app will surely make using Mac more pleasant.

  1. Neat name.