Whether you run Mac OS X or Windows Vista, it’s running on a personal computer. The Mac may well be the most personal of computers, complete with personality and a willingness to please.
The trouble is, as we add software to our Macs we’re forced to organize them like we organize files. That requires thought, effort, trial and error. Is there a better way?
Make no mistake about it, these days our Macs are complicated beasts and we task the Mac with much. Files, email, browsing, graphics, movies, photos, money, contacts, calendar, and much more.
Five years ago I had a few dozen applications on my Mac. The best app launcher and organizer ever is the popular Drag Thing; capable, though complex.
This weekend I was showing a neighbor how to organize the many dozens of applications on his new Mac and pointed out the benefits of Drag Thing. His eyes rolled up around and back again two or three times.
I love Drag Thing but it’s got more configuration options than a NASA shuttle launch. My friend needed something easy to set up to help manage all his Mac apps.
Enter the Valet. Like a good assistant, Valet sits on your Mac and learns what you use. It records the applications you use and gives you a quick way to get to them.
Configuration? Hardly any. Valet simply watches what you use, then categorizes them on the fly. Once it trains itself, Valet lets you launch apps quickly with the Heads-Up Display or a simple menu bar icon.
Valet does even more than monitor and organize applications. You can add files and folders, too. Valet automatically detects new applications, knows which applications are already running, provides a quick launch, a quick switch between applications or files.
Wouldn’t it be fun to speak to your Mac and tell it what you want it to do? Valet listens using voice control and launches what you want when you ask for it.
The Heads-Up feature in Valet looks like Dashboard Widgets but is exclusively for your Mac’s applications, tools, utilities, files and folders. Valet even works with Windows running in Parallels.
If Valet’s easy simplicity and near zero configuration doesn’t satisfy the obsessive compulsive Monk in you, then the Organizer gives you more customization options to categorize your applications, the most used tools and utilities, and even files and folders.
It’s there when you need it, gone when you don’t. No matter how you look at it, Valet gets you a quick launch of the most used applications and files very quickly, with almost no configuration. Click, and it’s just there with everything you need, nothing you don’t, in a pull down Menu Bar menu, or a Dashboard-like screen.
If your Mac doesn’t have a microphone, or speaking commands isn’t a good option, the Heads-Up hot key brings up a screen full of apps and files that can be navigated through using the mouse or the keyboard.
As good as Valet is an watching what you use and making sure it’s available for you, good old drag and drop works, too. Drag the apps, files, folders you want to use right to the Organizer window. Monk would be proud.
There are umpteen gazillion ways to personalize your Mac, organize it to fit your needs and lifestyle. Some utilities are superb, such as Drag Thing, but require plenty of time consuming configuration.
Valet is one utility that leaves out the configuration from the beginning, gives you quick access to what you use, ignores the rest until you decide you want to use it. That makes Valet a good choice for new Mac users who don’t want to configure a new utility.
Do nothing, or click, or speak, or organize yourself—Valet just works.