Use Stacks and Search in macOS to get work done

Everyone who’s ever worked on a project knows the feeling. You’ve tried hard to keep all your project data filed in the right place, but items often go missing — and there’s always at least one essential document that proves really hard to find.

Fortunately, the Mac has a couple of useful tools (and several others) to help you maintain desktop law and order.

Use stacks to keep order

I’m as guilty as anyone of saving documents to my Mac Desktop with the intention of filing them away properly eventually, and then failing to do so. As time goes by, the Desktop becomes over-populated, which ultimately means you’ll spend too much time finding that particular file you need.

Stacks is a macOS feature that tries to help you manage all the files, folders, documents, images, and other items as they crowd out your Desktop. To use it, control-click a blank part of your Desktop and then choose Use Stacks in the menu that appears. macOS will sort all the items on your Desktop into Stacks, logically assembled collections gathered according to criteria.

To set those criteria, control-click a blank part of your Desktop once again and select Group Stacks By and choose between the following options:

  • Kind: For example, documents or images.
  • Date Last Opened: Typically, date selections are curated into collections representing Yesterday, Last 7 Days, Last 30 Days.
  • Date Added.
  • Date Modified.
  • Date Created.
  • Tags: A really useful and sadly under-used Mac feature.

The beauty of this approach is that if you choose to set Stacks up by Date Added, you can more easily look for that item you added last week, while sorting items out by Kind is a really practical way for visual thinkers to find PDFs, images or any other item quickly.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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