Technology News, Tips and Tricks

What Is the Best Way to Organize Files on My Mac?

Is your Mac always cluttered with unnecessary folders and files? Well, you’re not the first, and certainly not the last.

Luckily, organization is simply learned and integrated within the Mac world. So it truly boils down to you using or not using the methods outlined within this article.

Speaking of this article, keep reading to learn how to get your mac right, and organize files.


Less Media = Less Clutter

This is a given, but many disregards it completely. Any sort of media makes up the majority of weight and clutter on a Mac. Mac users are notoriously known for having lots of images, movies, and other types of media – all of which easily mess up the integrity of your computer.

Keep it lean and mean.

Here’s what media you shouldn’t keep locally:

Your iTunes library. Now that wi-fi syncing, and iCloud is a thing – you no longer have to use your computer to sync your devices. Store your music on an external Drobo, listen to podcasts on Rdio and listen to music simultaneously. Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube Music – are all options that can save you lots of space, and the hassle of a traditional iTunes library. Do people even use iTunes anymore?

Movies. Movies take up a lot of space and quickly get lost on your mac. Once again, you can outsource all of your needs to Netflix, Krunch, etc. Storing files is a waste of space nowadays, everything can be streamed in better and faster quality.

Your iPhoto library. Photos take up all of the space. Most people have hundreds of gigs of images on their phones, and laptops. Get an external drive, specifically for images. Dedicate a drive to images, and have access to them – unrestricted from other distractions of a laptop. + most of the photos you need to show are on your phone anyway, so what’s the point?

Clean Up Your Dock

You can choose to hide your dock in the settings, making it appear only when dragged over with a mouse. Limit the number of applications, accessible from it. Don’t have every single app there.

Only the most essential – there is no need for non-sensical apps that you never use to be on the dock.

And modify the dock to fit your current needs, and project requirements. Let it be your toolset, not your storage facility. Working on a book – have a notes app, writing apps, etc. Working on design – photoshop, illustrator, etc.

Tailor to your needs.

Automate When Possible

Automation is the most blissful thing about computer usage. You can meditate, and deplete yourself of activities that take your time and provide not much value.

For example, an app like Hazel can do all of the organization for you.

You can list, and filter folders by words – knowing what’s in them. You can append certain letters in front of a file name, and Hazel will know where to put the documents on your computer.

Modify Your Finder

The stock finder is bad. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. You can go into the settings, and change the file/folder modification time so that it shows you when something has been modified or moves.

Change the viewport, add colors, and organize by specific criteria.


Try not to stack folders within each other, unless you have top-level filtering. Don’t have a folder called “Web Writing”, and then stack it with various folders of your contributions from all over the web.

Make a general folder, add a specialized folder, and organize files in the order of relevance. When you have filtered folders, the finder has an easier time looking for files. It’s easier to find a letter P in an alphabet, then it is in a haystack of Ps.


As mentioned earlier, Hazel can do a lot. For example, you can set the color to files, and folders. For example, a file that has not been opened for months can turn a certain color, so you can know to store them on a drive, instead of your computer.

Mac has 7 folder colors, so you can use those to assign to various time stamps. For example, red – files of a year or more. Blue – files of 1 week or less. Yellow – apps of 3 months or less.

You can tailor to your own needs, making the visual reference work for you.

Cleanse Your Desktop and Trash

The desktop-like a gluey surface is known to attract the bulk of non-sensical file allocation. Have a single top-level folder on your desktop, which leads to your drive, and then you can create other folders, as mentioned earlier.

Your desktop should have nothing, but that what you are currently working on. A blank desktop is of many appeals over a cluttered one.

Now that you’ve probably deleted a whole lot of files, cleanse your trash and keep it that way. Files in your trash bin are files on your computer. They still take up space. Click the cog, and set a cleaning routine – make it cleanse it’s vessels every 15 days. Or whatever period you prefer.

Also, if you’re running slow – check out this article on how to clear cache on Mac.

Organize Files Regularly

Now that you have the basics covered on Mac organization – you are well on your way to achieving a serene, and cleansed workspace.

Your Mac will thank you for its improved performance, clean aesthetic, and divine spirit. Now it is your job to remain to the discipline, schedule organization, and cleansing regularly. And perform it once a week. By doing so, you will save yourself the hassle of stressing over lost files, and a cluttered mind.

Good luck!

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