clean out yer dock

August 14, 2008

(The title of this post should be read with the same inflection and accent as the line “Bring out yer dead!” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you aren’t familiar with that line, then please go rent the movie and watch it before continuing…)

This is part of an ongoing series called Blinders where I explore some of the ways I streamline my computer workflows to minimize distractions.

The dock in OS X is one pretty piece of eye candy. It’s also visual clutter that can eat up workspace and serve to distract. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be useful. Here are a few ways I change my dock (pictured above) from the default settings:

  • Hide it. There is no reason to have your dock visible all the time. Go up to the Apple icon in the upper left, select Dock, and hide that sucker. It won’t be shy…it will still be there when you need it. Besides gaining screen space, this also hides the little notifications on the Mail icon (and others) that taunt you to lose focus.
  • Delete, delete, and delete icons. The dock is overwhelming to look at even with the default icons. Once you install a few apps, it is too much. Quicksilver or even Spotlight can be used to find and launch an app with less effort than the dock. I take everything out of my dock, so that it only shows me what I have running. If it is looking too crowded down there, then that is a good sign that I have too much open and I’m losing focus on what I want to be doing. To remove a dock from the icon, just click on it, drag it away from the dock and let go. The whoosh sound you will hear is quite satisfying.

Hope you enjoyed the movie.

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