Skedaddle: That Shoebox Where You Keep Your Clutter

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.

Interface

The hideout interface. Rockin' that Tiger wallpaper.

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 Preferences window lets you choose hideout positioning.

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.

The hideout in motion. You can not appreciate how tricky this was to capture.

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.

Last Words

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.


Summary

A desktop unclutterer with a slick interface and a low price.

10
  • Mike Wallbridge

    It looks good but I assume the files are actually still on the Desktop and I understood that having files cluttering the Desktop takes up valuable RAM. Where as something like TidyTop archives files away but allows you quick access from the Menu Bar.

  • MuffinStory

    @Mike
    Hi, I’m the developer of Skedaddle. The files aren’t really on the desktop, so the number of files doesn’t increase the RAM usage ;)

    Thanks for the awesome review! :)

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

      Would you mind adding “double click desktop” to open a finder window of a specified folder, like home or downloads.

      I use camouflage in my workflow, and it hides the desktop items, which are few, and adds the “double click desk to finder” function. Really can’t work without it any longer. This function would be great with skedaddle :)

  • Brainiac

    Create a folder called Clutter in your home folder and drag a shortcut to the dock. Does this not give you 95% of the functionality of Skedaddle?

  • MuffinStory

    @Brainiac: Skedaddle hides your files and even password lock them (if you want). ;)

  • Bilel Mhedhbi

    I’ve never heard of any “built in functionality to [..] hide desktop files”… Where can I find them?

  • Jdawg

    I bought Skedaddle but I messed up and I forgot my keyboard shortcut. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

  • MuffinStory

    @Bilel Mhedhbi: If you use Skedaddle, then the files are hidden, because no one can see them. You need to know the shortcut and also the password to find the files (=open the hideout.)

    @Jdawg: There is a build in recovery tool. To use it, close Skedaddle and press ALT during opening.

    • eyad mesawa

      Hey There I’m using this app and lost my password and the recovery qusation dosent work , how i can get into the app

      Regards

  • Rice

    four things i do EVERY morning when i wake up (takes around 10 min):

    1. clear out my inbox
    2. clean up and put away the files on my desktop. The only thing left on my desk are files i will be using that day.
    3. clear out and put away my download files
    4. i use ‘Things’ a GTD app to keep track of filed things and to-do

    No need for third party software, i can imagine that your skedaddle window will get just as cluttered as your desktop did. Will you then need a program to organize your skedaddle window?

    Not trying to be a p.r.i.c.k – but just being a little organized (consistently) goes a long way.

  • http://tuananh.us Tuan Anh

    wow 10/10. is it overrated for such utility?

    hazel does the job for me (automate managing files and stuff) and much more.

  • Jdawg

    @MuffinStory
    Thanks for telling me about the recovery system. Anyway great app. I use it to store away my school documents for organising later and the animation is really fluid too.

  • John

    @Rice there’s a fine line between being organized and having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Phunkidude

    Bought it but it does not seem to want to display icons for the items I put in the ‘secret place’.

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