A weapon-savvy Productivity Ninja uses tools and apps to boost their productivity. We talk about various tools in our time management training, but we know how overwhelming it can be to put together your toolkit, including choosing the perfect apps. That’s why we like to review various apps out there and this time, we’re looking at a way to keep your desktop clutter free.
Chosen App: Declutter
Available On: Mac (desktop version)
Why did you pick this particular app?
Here’s the thing about those of us who are freelance writers. We have a huge variety of clients and, with those, a huge variety of writing projects. As we complete writing projects, we tend to save them on our desktops or in document folders. Sometimes, we relegate them to the trash bin, because we know we can find them later, if necessary.
So what I was accumulating on my desktop, my documents folders, and in my trash bin were individual files that I then had to search for in several places when I needed to recall them. For example, I write a lot of reviews of academic websites for college writing. I did not have them organized in any way – they were just files sitting out there somewhere. It was pretty crazy.
Then, a friend recommended the Declutter app. So, I accessed the website to find out exactly what I could do with this app that would organize my files (and my work life). What I found was pretty much the perfect solution.
How Does It Work?
Declutter creates a few folders on your desktop, on default they are Pictures and Documents, but you can customize that. Then it filters all your clutter by name or file extension and sorts it into the aforementioned folders. If you need more control, you can schedule its work.
How did you use the app? And what changed for you?
First of all, I discovered that you can create “rules” for organizing your files. So, I can organize by clients, by topics, or any other category I decided to create. The same file can be placed in a number of places, depending on those “rules,” and I don’t have to try to figure out where I saved it. This is a huge benefit for a freelance writer like me. Sometimes, different clients will ask for the same writing topic, and I can pull out what I have written before on that same topic before I begin new research to meet a new client’s need.
The beauty of this is that it is done automatically based on the rules I have set. I don’t have to manually move files to folders anymore.
What this has meant for me is that I can produce a piece of writing, designate categories for it and the app will automatically place that piece in the right folders. I love this feature – it’s probably one of my favorites.
What was your favorite feature?
I am still learning all that this app can do. I can design colors and icons for my folders, for example. And I now have it automatically set to launch from my start menu.
Nothing is perfect. What were the negatives of using the app?
Sure. Nothing is perfect. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve to be able to use all of the features of the Declutter app, but that learning is a process. As I work with the app, I find out more and more that I can do, and you will too.
But here’s an example of what your desktop can look like before and after activating this app.
Mine was worse than this screenshot shows, by the way.
Will you continue using it? Why/Why not?
This app has changed a key piece of my work life. I can even set it to organize the files sitting on my desktop on a specific schedule. And I can add or change categories as I want. Declutter takes care of all the rest for me.
So, yes, I will continue to use it, and I will continue to recommend it to others.
Who would you recommend this app for?
For busy people who prefer keeping their desktop neat, this is a perfect tool. Declutter isn’t the only icon filtering app on the market, but for me, it is definitely the easiest to use. If your aim is to avoid distractions from a messy desktop – Declutter is all you need.
And here’s some great news. Anyone who wants to try this app can do so for free for a trial period. Give it a try. You’ll love it.
By Luisa Brenton
Luisa is a brand developer in the past. Mom and educational blogger in the present. Freelance writer by trade. Hiking fan by choice. Desperate inspiration seeker all the time. Find more on Facebook and Twitter.