Both solutions are free, easy to use, and effective. It all starts with clutter.
Rather, how to rid the Mac’s screen of clutter that slows you down, and makes you lose focus. Think magic. Think magic wand. Think Harry Houdini. Without the Harry.
Enter Houdini, The Magical Solution
Mac app developers seem to understand the basics. What’s the mother of invention? Necessity. If the Mac’s screen clutter also clutters our minds while we work, we need a solution.
Houdini does something similar to what your Mac does already, but with a single click.
It’s a Menubar app that, when clicked, hides applications that have been inactive for awhile.
You configure Houdini by assigning a number of seconds to specific apps (usually those you use the most). Then, when you click Houdini, all those apps beyond the set time will disappear from view.
What’s the magic in that? Focus.
Just as distraction-free functionality in word processors helps writers focus on their writing and not on computing, Houdini lets Mac users focus on the app that’s foremost on the screen.
Wait a minute. Doesn’t the Mac already do that with the Hide feature? Yes. And no. It’s not quite the same.
In nearly every Mac app you’ll find a Hide selection in the app’s menu. Take Safari, for example. Click Safari in the Menubar. Select either Hide Safari or Hide Others.
Hide Others removes from visibility most of the other app windows so you can focus on Safari.
The same functionality works in Mail and most other Mac apps, so it’s another free way to hide the onscreen clutter so you can focus on the foremost app. Houdini simply gives you a few more options and a handy, single-click Menubar icon to hide the clutter.
Apple’s built-in Hide function doesn’t hide every app. Some remain visible, which means screen clutter (including the Desktop picture).
What I’d like to see in Houdini is an app that brings up a neutral colored background and hides everything else on the Mac’s screen except the front most app. Houdini is free, but that extra function is worth money.