Desktop clutter is a popular discussion topic for many computer users, and our AppStorm community here is no different. We’ve had a lot of discussion on the merits of keeping an organized digital workspace, as well as tools that will help you do it. OS X has built-in functionality to help you hide desktop files that you don’t need to see all the time, but that can lead to some confusing organization, since you’ll need to constantly be aware of the files you have hidden. So what’s a Mac lover to do?
Skedaddle is an app exclusively for hiding desktop content, and it is one of the most lightweight and efficient apps that does so.
This is possibly the simplest app interface I’ve ever examined. Skedaddle’s Preferences make it possible to hide the dock icon, and with the optional menu bar icon disabled, you’ll hardly even notice that the app is running at all. Once activated by the global shortcut key, a portion of your desktop background slides out of view with a nifty animation, revealing Apple’s standard “behind the app” fabric-like backdrop similar to what is found in iOS’s Folders.
The Preferences window (accessible via a button in the hideout) also allows users to move the hideout to the left, right, or bottom of the screen. If, like me, you have your dock’s hiding functionality turned off, I wouldn’t recommend placing the hideout on the bottom edge of your screen, because of where Skedaddle moves the “Close” and “Preferences” buttons.
The hideout can be resized by grabbing the handle in the corner, as you would expect. Shrinking the hideout may cover up some files, but it behaves much like a Finder window, in that if items are located beyond the boundaries of the hideout, you can scroll over to find them.
What It Is
Skedaddle is a bit like having a shoebox under your bed for your Mac desktop. It isn’t necessarily the best way to keep your belongings safe, nor is it the best way to organize your files, but it is a good way to keep your things out of sight when you don’t need them, while remedying the “out of sight, out of mind” effect that might come with using OS X’s hide functionality.
With a global hotkey-activated hideout behind your desktop, it’s as easy as opening up the drawer, throwing in some desktop items, and closing the drawer. Say you have a handful of files that you need quick access to. As a freelancer, this is common for me–I always have PDFs, text files, folders, notes, and rough drafts floating about on my desktop. I would prefer not to have to dig through my typical file hierarchy to find them, but they do cause an unsightly amount of clutter. Skedaddle is a perfect solution in this scenario.
What It Isn’t
Skedaddle isn’t a file vault. The hideout can be password protected, making it effective against prying eyes. Or, say you’re working on a family computer, and you want easy access to your files but don’t want to have to worry about a youngster getting into them. Simply drop them into the hideout and password protect it. However, there’s no file encryption taking place. Skedaddle is not a substitution for any encryption software you might use on sensitive information.
Skedaddle also isn’t just a fancy folder. The app does a great job of hiding things, but presently isn’t capable of opening files from within the hideout. You can Quick Look, however, which can be useful for determining which file you might want without needing to drag everything out, locate a file, and then drag everything back in.
One thing I would caution against is uninstalling Skedaddle while files are still hidden in the hideout. I know, it’s strange to mention the uninstallation process in a review that endorses an app (I do endorse it, by the way), but if, for whatever reason, you decide you don’t want to use Skedaddle anymore, this is important information to note.
I became curious about this, so I created some dummy files to place in my hideout before uninstalling. As I discovered, removing the application from your computer will disable your ability to open the hideout, exiling your files to forever float in the aether behind your desktop.
That being said, Skedaddle is a lightweight and efficient way of hiding desktop clutter, or perhaps stashing some files on a multiuser machine, as long as you’re aware of it’s capabilities–and incapabilities. I rarely give an app a ten out of ten, but with the simplicity and elegance in execution, MuffinStory didn’t miss one single mark with Skedaddle.
If you have any tried-and-true methods of dealing with desktop clutter, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.