How to Keep Your Applications Folder in OS X Organized

With the introduction of the Mac App Store to OS X, it has never been easier to load up your applications folder with a seemingly countless supply of apps. This can cause a nightmare when it comes to finding exactly what you’re looking for. Sure, you can do a Spotlight search, but wouldn’t you rather just have things organized a little better? Here are some tips on how to keep your applications folder in OS X organized:

Create Category Folders
Creating sub-folders within the applications folder is completely supported by OS X. Unlike Windows, where moving executables from their place in the Programs directory can lead to them not functioning, Mac apps are usually more flexible than this. Find out what these apps have in common and organize them in a way that suits your needs. For example, I have more than a few apps for chatting. For this reason, they have their own folder dedicated to chat and other communications apps. Audio and video apps also have their own folders, which makes it easier for me to find what I’m looking for when I’m looking for it.

Set Aside a Time to Clean Out Unnecessary Files
Just like your home needs an occasional once-over to get back in order after a period of time, so does your computer. The trash bin may be so large that your hard drive is about to reach capacity, the desktop is filled with various photos and screen shots you’ve taken over the past few weeks, and your downloads folder is a cluttered mess. Make time regularly to get these areas organized. You can also take a moment to clear out any apps you don’t use anymore. Make sure to keep a backup copy on a DVD or external drive, just in case you change your mind later.

Consider Web-Based Alternatives
Sometimes, we install software without considering how we’re actually going to use it. Did you know a great deal of the things we clog up our hard drives with every day could easily be handled in the cloud through Web-based applications? For example, you could save a great deal of drive space by moving your music collection to the cloud using services like Amazon’s Cloud Player and Google Music (currently in beta). These services can also save you from having to install multiple music players when one in the cloud can handle the job just fine. Do you really need a dozen Office applications installed if you already handle most of your business on Google Docs?

These are just a few tips on how to keep your applications folder on OS X organized. Having your apps accessible in a quick and easy way can improve your overall experience with the operating system, and give you time to do what you need to do.

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