Take a Bite Out of Finder With ClawMenu

I’m subscribed to a bunch of different cloud storage services, so I have all these extra folders all over my computer. Nothing actually seems to be where it should and it can be hard remembering where I stuck something during my last round of “organization.” I’m on the look out for anything that can really get my Finder organized and save me from myself.

That’s where ClawMenu comes in, as a sort of hybrid of Finder and Launchbar. A place to add shortcuts for your applications, folders and files, it’ll allow you to browse all of that mess, too. How does it stand up against the real thing, though?

This Claw Is Sharp

There are three main panes in ClawMenu, starting with the Finder bar in the black upper space. The upper pane will have three essential folders by default that can’t be removed, but you can add any other folders you need there. For instance, my Applications folder was already sitting tidy up top, but I need to get into my work files a lot, too, so I added my Documents. Everything can be rearranged how you like it and what works best for you.

The interface is fairly simple but goes a long way to organizing your most used files.

The interface is fairly simple but goes a long way to organizing your most used files.

The center pane works similarly to Finder. Single-click on one of your top pane folders, and it will open up in a familiar columns view. A single click on an entire folder or file will open it up back in the Finder, but hover over a folder or its contents to drill down and get a file preview in Claw Menu. Double-clicking a folder, though, brings up the icons view; you won’t get file previews but you’ll have a lot more space to sort through all your files and folders.

Down in the bottom pane you’ll find the Draft Zone, a sort of quick launch bar or place for you to stick some bookmarks. Add applications here that you access frequently to keep them from crowding your Dock. ClawMenu also lets you pop files into your Draft Zone, so if you have a document you’re always going into or image or HMTL files you need often for a current project, this is the place for those.. Move your shortcuts around so they make the most sense for how you work, and when you don’t need them anymore, delete the one’s you’re done with.

Preview files and organize applications.

Preview files and organize applications.

Cat-like Reflexes

ClawMenu seemed to load folder contents within the app and open folders in Finder even faster than browsing in Finder alone. For that reason, it really speeds up moving around Mac OS X. It was simple to add extra folders, if only temporarily, to the top menu pane and then remove them when the project I was working on was done. I wouldn’t normally add temporary shortcuts of that sort to my Finder sidebar, probably because I’m not used to thinking of Finder as that easily changed and put back. With ClawMenu, though, I had the freedom to add anything I needed to the menu pane, even if it wasn’t going to have a permanent use, while keeping my Finder sidebar intact.

The preferences help you out with some shortcuts.

The preferences help you out with some shortcuts.

If you feel the need for speed, ClawMenu wants to help with that. There are some nifty shortcuts to pull the app up and hide it again, like a repeated keystroke or swiping the mouse to the edge of your display. While the shortcuts aren’t really customizable and you won’t be able to change it to something cool like Command+Option+C, they should get the job done, and customizable or not, they make things a whole lot faster for hiding or showing the app.

I would have liked to have seen a way to get rid of the Dock icon, though. There’s a menu bar icon already, and the Dock icon doesn’t do anything the menu bar doesn’t. I certainly don’t need another do-nothing icon crowding out everything else on my Dock, and with the great shortcuts that bring the app to the fore, the Dock icon is superfluous. I’d really like to see an option to get rid of both icons, letting ClawMenu run invisibly in the background until needed.

You can even preview all sorts of files.

You can even preview all sorts of files.

Final Thoughts

The big winner for me was the Draft Zone. The iOS style of the Draft Zone allows you to reorder your application and file icons as you desire and bookmark only what you need. Unfortunately, you can’t create folders, but a two finger swipe will create a new page to hold your icons, which is almost like a folder. All of the applications you need first thing can reside on the first page, stuff you need for a hobby can be on the second, and so on. Create additional pages to house files you temporarily want to bookmark for specific projects, and then remove everything on those pages when you’re done.

Everything else in ClawMenu I’ve already got in Finder. It’s just that ClawMenu speeds it all up a bit, and if I ever decide I don’t want all those extra folders I’ve bookmarked in my top ClawMenu pane cluttering up my Finder sidebar, well, they’re not, because I’m keeping it all separate. ClawMenu makes Finder organization easier and lets me put everything exactly where I want it to be without actually having to move anything.


Summary

Neat app to quickly get at applications and files.

8
  • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

    Is this for real? that’s a big NO NO for me. It will never be in any of my 5 Macs. No sir. Path Finder is the real problem solver here. Not this piece of crap! 8?? Really? 8?? Give them a 5 just for the try.

    • Jeremy

      Path Finder is nothing but a cluttered mess. TotalFinder, or XtraFinder is the way to go.

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      Hey Albert, the app worked well, and I liked how I could create a separate workspace of shortcuts without actually changing anything in Finder.

      That doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other great apps out there that can do the same or similar job in a different way. This wasn’t a comparison review, so it was judged on its own merits. :) I’m glad you’ve found something you like!

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