Stupid Simple Mac Tip #84 – Spring Cleaning

by | Jun 29, 2021

There’s a guilty pleasure in shows like “Hoarders” that let us marvel at the messiness of others; we chuckle at clutter and shake our heads disapprovingly, vowing, “That would never be me!”

Then we open our MacBook to an overstuffed desktop with icons overlapping on screen and realize – we’re digital hoarders!

No need for a health inspector, or even Marie Kondo (after all, how many shortcuts really “spark joy”?)…but to be more productive, we do need to organize, and your Mac has just the right tool.

Image by dashu83 on Freepik

It’s not cinnamon, it’s not toasty, it’s Apple Stacks!

Desktop shortcuts provide quick access to often-used files, but with an overrun home screen, you end up spending more time searching than is saved. Luckily, this easy, overlooked iOS feature can instantly tidy your space.

Stacks organizes your Mac like folders work on your iPhone by grouping related shortcuts all under one icon…better yet, it creates the categories automatically.

To turn it on, find an empty space on your desktop (if possible), right-click to bring up options, and select “Use Stacks.” Alternatively, in Finder, you can select “View” and locate “Use Stacks” there.

Once enabled, your files will be “stacked” together into labeled piles that can be opened or closed with a click (you can always return to cluttered familiarity by unchecking the option).

Stacks are initially grouped by file type, but you can change the sorting to reflect the recency of usage or your custom tags. I find tags to be most efficient, as do most attorneys who use them to group files by case or client.

There you have it: a quick, easy tip using a tool you already have to simplify your workflow with a click…my work is done here, at least until next week. That gives you time to do something about that growing pile of old magazines in the corner…