Weekly Poll: How Many Apps Are in Your Dock?

The beloved Mac OS dock has been around for ages. Before Alfred, Spotlight or even Quicksilver, the dock was our solution for quickly launching applications. In fact, seriously old school Mac users will remember Launcher, a similar utility dating back to before OS X and the dock we know now even existed. In fact, maybe Launchpad is just Launcher resurrected, but I digress.

Though I’m definitely more prone to turn to Alfred these days for my app launching needs, I still like to maintain a nice dock: a handful of apps, neatly categorized and separated with spacers, zero magnification. I have a close friend who is the opposite. His dock is positively overflowing with apps set at the smallest size with a large magnification on hover.

Today we want to know about your dock-related tendencies. Use the poll on the right to say how many apps you keep in the dock and then leave a comment below about your setup. Are the apps organized? Do you use spacers or magnification? How about custom artwork?


  • http://andrewgoodrickwerner.ca Andrew Goodrick–Werner

    From left to right, I have the Finder, Launchpad, Safari, Mail, Twitter, Reeder, iTunes, and iCal. They’re roughly organized by how frequently I use each one — though all of them are always running. No separators or spacers besides the default one, and no indicator lights.

  • Robert

    Finder – because it’s not easy to remove as far as I can tell
    Path Finder – because if it’s not running it should be
    applications folder – system and user applications

    nothing else is in my dock unless it’s running

  • Kevin

    I keep just the essential Apple apps I use frequently in the dock.
    Before Lion, it used to be filled to the brim with apps and just looked messy.

  • Aurelia

    My dock is pretty cluttered, especially because things I buy from the app store show up on it, but I really only use it when stuff is acting up. (If it lags, command+tab turns into a game of roulette on my computer, so the dock is a more practical application switcher/force quitter).

  • Erik

    3 apps (Chrome, Finder and Spotify). Max size (No magnification). Dock positioned left.

  • http://thepatrickbay.com ThePatrickBay

    Finder – Opera – iTunes – Mail – iCal – Adium – App Store – Notes – System Settings – NoteBook – Microsoft Word – Microsoft PowerPoint – Microsoft Excel – Final Cut Pro – Soundtrack Pro – Motion – Aunsoft MTS Converter – Cashculator Free – Connection to Remote Desktop – Applications – Trash Can

  • Harm

    I only keep apps that i have always open in the dock i.e. finder, preview, chrome and adium. For launching apps i always use Alfred.

    • Arnoud

      Same, only the ones which are always open are in my dock (on this computer: TheHitList, Chrome, Postbox, Sparrow, iCal) and the rest is launched via Alfred.

  • http://www.staatdebokmakoud.nl Captain Curry

    One question though: with Lion, can you completely get rid of the dock? (I don’t have Lion installed yet due to harddrive fullness)
    Is launchpad a good alternative if you don’t mind that one extra gesture/button to conjure up launchpad?

    • Michael Crumpler

      You can, in a sense. YOu can just keep it on auto-hide. You’ll still obviously need it to locate apps which you may have minimized or anything of the sort.

  • Abeworld

    I keep my mac like my iPhone – clean and minimal. Only the apps that I keep running in the background and use constantly are in the dock. Rest called upon SOS by Alfred. There are no files on the desktop either – there is a folder named ‘Stuff’ and things like downloaded files, screenshots, etc. go in there. I am using Lion and the integration between the apps is so amazing that I have ended up using all Apple apps for basics. Even if those apps miss a few features, they work together beautifully (isn’t it true for all Applr products?) So, from left to right:

    Finder
    Mac Mail
    Safari (reading list, full screen, all Lion features like dictionary, zoom, back-forward)
    iChat (now works well with Facebook)
    Skype (the only non-Apple app)

    Rest opened when needed or running in the menu bar.

    Great to read everyone’s ideas! So much fun!

  • cholantesh

    I use the Dock if I need to drop something onto an app. It is hidden at least 3/4 of the time. What I have in there, other than Finder: MacVim, Keka (for archiving), Vox (though I may be switching to Decibel), and Trash. It is largely useless to me, like Dashboard.

  • laji

    I have over 40 apps, more than half of them I use daily. The rest I use frequently enough to leave them. For the apps that I use less frequently, I use Overflow. A lot of apps are there so I can drop open files to specific apps.

  • abj

    Finder
    Software Update
    System Preferences
    System Profiler
    Disk Utility
    Wcalc
    Calculator

    Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client
    Chicken of the VNC
    iChat
    Echofon
    Skype
    Safari
    iTerm
    Mail

    BusyCal
    AppleWorks 6 (yeah!)
    TextEdit
    Pages
    Numbers
    Keynote
    Preview
    Skim
    JustLooking

    QuickTime Player
    QuickTime Player 7 Pro
    Movist
    iTunes
    Spotify
    Tunatic
    iPhoto
    Amadeus Pro

    Phone Agent
    Ultralingua
    Dictionary
    MacFamilyTree
    Stickies
    Little Snitch Configuration
    VirtualBox
    and a few more

    But to switch between them I use ⌘⇥ so I won’t install Lion before I have to. Dock separators added like this: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20071115133729552&query=dock%2Bseparator

    Right part of Dock:
    Applications folder
    Downloads folder
    Trash

  • Michael Crumpler

    Finder, Chrome, Twitter for Mac, Skype< Steam, Minecraft, Evernote, iTunes, Settings. I love kepeing my dock minimal. I have begun using Spotlight to open a lot of my apps instead of the application dock. I don't really like launchpad all that much. It's kinda useless.

  • http://www.benhenschel.com Ben Henschel

    I keep it pretty clean, pretty small, no magnification, and no lines or spaces (other than the one default line before Docs Folder). From left to right as follows:
    Finder / Safari / Mail/ FaceTime / iCal / Things / Evernote / Twitter / Fireworks / Transmit / Coda / Aperture / iTunes / Time machine / Launchpad / System Pref / Docs Folder / Downloads Folder / Trash

  • Mashi

    I’ve taken everything out of my dock save for TotalFinder and TotalTerminal. It’s also pinned to the right, tagged to the end (bottom) and hidden away until I need it. I still frequently find myself trying to access the Downloads folder, so I left it there as well. Applications is still there for the times a disk image opens without the Finder sidebar. I use Alfred as my application launcher.

    Now I would like to know: how do I get the App Store to stop mucking up my dock when I update or download a new app?

  • http://modernisten.co.vu/ Robin Lundgren

    At start up, no app going: Finder – Safari – Mail – Trash
    Alfred typing @ wake up: “its” (Itsy) – “re” (Reeder) – “ad” (Adium)

    That’s the basic, later I might start Vox for nerdy audiophillio, Fraise, InDesign, et cetera..

  • http://iaian7.com Iaian7

    I sat down and counted…woah…not counting folders and other items on the right hand side, I have 77 applications on my workstation, and about 84 on my laptop. As a VFX guy currently working as an interactive artist, I keep a wide range of 3D, 2D, animation, audio, editing, development, browsing, media, management, utilities, and one or two games handy at all times.

    The dock is skinned to be smooth and dark, with better visibility lights along the bottom to aid in app management. I hated the cheesy dock designs in Leopard and Snow Leopard, and as a final cut “pro” user so blatantly scorned by Apple, won’t be installing Lion in the foreseeable future (really disagree with a lot of their recent “usability” decisions).

  • Mohzeen

    I have 7 icons, including Finder and Trash. I have one stack for “Dockables”, A fantastic collection of apps that let you do things such as sleep display, Lock etc.

    Then from left: FInder, Skype, Chrome and iTunes. I prefer to use Launchpad or Spotlight to get to my other apps. My dock is also on the bottom right of the screen, Very small, no magnification, and is a Matte 2D style, with an invisible separator. This can be done easily with “SuperDocker”. I also have very faint and flat running application lights.

  • Herman

    I use mine like this:
    Finder, Dashboard (Yes!), Mail, iCal, Preview, iTunes, System Preferences, Pages, Notational Velocity, Firefox, Chrome, Gruml, Twitter, Adium, Skype, AppZapper (for deleting all the free Apps I try from the App store:P) and after the spacer the usual Apps, Documents, Downloads Stacks and the Trash. Works great for me that way, most I have open all the time (Save maybe System Preferences and AppZapper, but I’m too lazy to go find them every time). For additional Apps, I use Spotlight!

  • http://cantinflasa.blogspot.com Adrian Agreda

    i have the dock on the right side of the screen, i only have:

    Finder
    Launchpad
    Mission Control

    Most of the times i use Alfred to open Apps.

  • Zoleee

    I set Launchpad to top right “hot corner” so most of the times i use launchpad to open Apps.

  • Max Power

    Dock:
    Finder > iCal > Things > Downloads.
    2D version, totally clear (no background, borders or separator).

    Desktop:
    Dark grey, textured tile wallpaper.
    No icons/files (except for temporary use).

    I use Alfred to launch everything and only use the dock to see badges and occasionally drop a file on an app.

  • Seed

    Finder, Downloads folder, Trash.
    For the rest I use Alfred.

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