As blondes in heels go, I’m something of a Mac power user. So, I was surprised to get a little warning dialog box pop up to tell me that my start up disk was nearly full.
Sure enough, 500 gigs of inexpensive storage had only 7 gigabytes left. What happened? Where did all that space go? Sure, I have a lot of music and photos and some movies, but when is 500 gigabytes not enough?
Rather than running out to buy a couple of one terabyte hard drives to replace my paltry half terabyte drives, I decided to clean house. Using Omni’s now free OmniDiskSweeper utility, I found plenty of files I didn’t need.
Within an hour I had reclaimed another five gigabytes so I thought I’d be safe for awhile; at least until I decide to get a new Mac.
What OmniDiskSweeper found was a folder with almost one gigabyte of files. It was Together, my favorite Mac “save stuff” utility.
A few years ago my Mac organization skills were being called into question by my then husband-to-be. Sure, we have more fun, but Blondie me has a little trouble remembering where I put things, Mac, kitchen or closet.
I tried a few of the organizers and almost fell for Bare Bones’ Yojimbo, which is very useful, but I had a problem figuring out how to move and synchronize the data between Macs. I collect a lot of stuff and the pile of stuff collected seems to grow, sometimes exponentially.
Together, also a collector of stuff, stores everything in a folder of my choice which makes it easy to back up, and easy to sync between Mac desktop and Mac notebook.
Together is somewhat self descriptive. Think of it as a single Mac utility which stores all the stuff you want to save but can’t remember where it should go. I save all my stuff in a Together folder in the Mac’s Documents folder.
Text, photos, movies, bookmarks, notes, documents, PDFs, web pages (the full page, not just a link) can all be stored comfortably and easily in Together which works something like iPhoto and iTunes.
How so? Everything you save gets dumped into the Library. You can tag and identify any file, document, whatever and organize according to type and custom folders (think of them as albums or playlists, ala iPhoto or iTunes—it’s that easy).
The best part is this. I don’t have to think or worry or get all obsessive compulsive over every file and what to do with it. It’s drag and drop and that’s a methodology I can handle. I do it with the laundry. Why not with my Mac?
Here’s how it works. Open Together and let it sit there. Don’t worry about anything except setting up the pop out Shelf because that’s what you’ll use first.
The Shelf can be set up on the right side of your screen with a little tab that says, ta da! Together. Drag and drop a file—some text, a PDF, a photo, a bookmark, and email message, whatever you want saved—to the Shelf tab.
The tab slides out and displays your Library and any folders you’ve created to organize all the files and stuff you want to save. Then drop whatever it is you dragged into the Library or appropriate folder.
That’s it. You’re done. It’s saved. Organizing can take place later, but everything gets stored in the Library anyway. Organizing is simply, are you ready for this, drag and drop. Browse the Library, drag and drop similar files into whatever folder organization suits you.
Alright, once you get files into Together, then what? Together lets you view most documents with a single click, either natively or using Quick Look. The point is, you get to see what you’ve saved.
Organizing is easy, too. Create folders in Groups. Drag and drop what you save. Otherwise, Together knows what’s what and stores documents in Documents, notes in Notes, images in Images, movies in Movies, bookmarks in Bookmarks and web page archives in Web Pages.
See? I told you it would be easy. There’s also a Quick Notes feature in the shelf. The Shelf pops out when you mouse over it, click Quick Note, type. You’re done. Notes get stored in the Notes section for later retrieval.
After storing almost a gigabyte of the aforementioned stuff, how do you find it? After all, who wants to scroll through a Library of thousands of files and documents? Not me.
Together indexes quickly and lets you use Spotlight for search through the Library, fast and neat.
How many Macs do you have? For me, there’s always a desktop Mac with a big screen, in this case a 24-inch iMac. There’s also my MacBook Pro which I take with me during the day. Keeping Macs in sync was once a chore, now made easier by a few great Mac utilities.
Together syncs with MobileMe, automatically, in the background. Life is good. One thing I’d like to see in a future version of Together is nested folders that can be dropped within Groups.
The Shelf is God’s gift to people like me who don’t tolerate clutter but don’t know how to organize the clutter in my life. It’s life having an automatically organized closet which sucks in all the clothing I drop all over the house.