My day job has me working with a few hundred Macs, PCs, Chromebooks, and iPads at a private Chicagoland school. That means I see it all and what I see differs greatly from user to user. What I like to give students, faculty, and staff are options to customize a Mac. Here’s one.
Most Mac users navigate through the files, apps, and folders the old fashioned way. The Dock and the Finder. Some venture into Menubar utilities but there are better ways and they fall into two basic categories. First, keyboard shortcuts like Quicksilver. And customized menu options like CustomMenu. Both have their strong suits.
CustomMenu is a fast and easy way to use a single menu system in the Menubar to navigate through apps, files, and folders. Once it’s set up nothing is easier to use, but the initial setup period takes a bit of thinking and some ongoing effort.
Look what you can do with a click.
One click gets you options to open an app, file, or folder and to navigate about anywhere you want on your Mac. Use CustomMenu to switch between applications, select Recent Items, get to favorite apps, view and select recent files, and even navigate to frequented folders– Desktop, Applications, Downloads, Documents.
CustomMenu is smart enough to give you file information and a Preview of the files details without having to click around or deal with Quick Look.
The problem with using the Mac’s Dock or Menubar is obvious. Screen real estate is limited. The more applications and files you jam into the Dock, the smaller the Dock icons get, and the Dock itself shrinks. The Mac’s Menubar can only hold a limited number of utilities. CustomMenu saves space in both by giving you a single click option to find apps, files, and navigate folders from the Menubar.
My favorite Finder view is Column view because I can see the folder and file hierarchy. CustomMenu does much the same thing with a click.
Sweet, right? And CustomMenu is, well, highly customizable. You control which apps and files and folders show up and where they’re accessed. Like Quicksilver, the keyboard centric Mac utility for navigation, CustomMenu has keyboard shortcuts and it works in fullscreen mode. The app has been around for many years. It’s a bit geeky to setup initially, but becomes mostly set it and forget. Not bad for a few bucks.