EOY Menu Bar Review

We haven’t had a menu bar exclusive post in awhile (last I see is July 2018) and its the end of the year so why not?!

Are you using a “menu bar manager”?
What’s your general philosophy in tending to your menu bar garden? What do you have to have shown/hidden? Why?

Long-time Bartender (available on Setapp) user here but this weekend’s Changelog newsletter mentioned Hidden Bar which is free and available on the App Store. I’m trying it out and so far my only complaint is that it doesn’t hide the dock icon. (There’s a recent open issue for this, so maybe soon…) I like its “divider” approach:

Bartender can emulate this but it takes a lot more icon position management as you add apps over time.

Here’s the organizational strategy I use with Bartender:
2019-12-04 at 10.57 AM

Pretty much the same with Hidden Bar, just have HB’s divider (<) on the far left:
2019-12-22 at 11.24 AM

Another thing I like about HB is that you can adjust what’s shown/hidden just by dragging icons around in the Menu Bar, instead of having to go to its Prefs, search for the app, select an option from a dropdown. Bartender has more options but I really don’t use any of them.

Happy Holidays, MPU! :christmas_tree:


From left to right

  • Tyme time tracking
  • 1Password
  • Synology Drive
  • Dropbox
  • TimeMachine
  • iStat Menus: HDD, RAM, temps, CPU
  • System Wifi
  • iStat Menus: upload/download
  • iStat Menus: battery incl. AirPod battery indicator
  • System Volume to switch to AirPods
  • iStat Menus: local times of SF/NY/HK/SYD (I’ll interpolate roughly by feel anything in between those)
  • Fantastical (displaying calendar week)
  • Calendar 366 II (displaying time/date, where I am)
  • Bartender

Hidden in Bartender (shown in main menubar when active):

  • KeepingYouAwake
  • Systeem VPN
  • TripMode
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • ColorSnapper2
  • Rocket Typist
  • Keyboard Maestro
  • Alfred
  • PopClip
  • MisssionControlPlus
  • HyperFocus
  • MicroSnitch
  • AppleScript
  • System BlueTooth Menu
  • Search

Oooh, fun!
I use bartender, so I have two categories, show and hide.

From left to Right:

  • iStat Menus sensors for CPU temperature and fan speed, since I’m trying to tweak the settings of Turbo Speed Pro
  • Telegram
  • Turbo Speed Pro, which Marco Arment suggested on ATP, and I want to get more mileage out of my battery.
  • Magnet, which could be hidden since I hardly ever use the menubar feature, but for now it stays
  • Jetbrains Toolbox so I can open frequently used projects
  • Arq backup option, which must have changed in the last two minutes, since it’s usually hidden
  • OneSwitch for small tasks like switching to dark mode and stuff like that
  • ToothFairy for my PowerBeats Pro which are currently broken and won’t charge, which I could rant about for quite a while…
  • iStat Menus CPU current load with both all cores and all HT cores showing, I really just have a 6-core MBP
  • iStat Menus CPU historical load graph
  • iStat Menus current RAM usage
  • iStat Menus network historical load graph
  • iStat Menus current disk usage
  • iStat Menus battery condition. I think I’m going to hide that when it’s 100%, but didn’t think of it until now…
  • Cardhop, which I thought I’d use more and am considering just dropping
  • Fantastical, which I didn’t think use as much as I do, and am definitely NOT dropping.
  • iStat current time with a world clock.
  • Current input language. I normally type norwegian prose, but I code in US ANSI - I can’t use a norwegian keyboard for programming, it takes two hands to write the character ‘{’!
  • Sound…
  • Bartender menu
  • external display setting…? No idea why that is showing… (checks) Oh, iPad and Apple TV
  • Notifications widget which I never use

And hide:
Screenshot 2019-12-28 at 14.49.57

  • SetApp Menu
  • Alfred
  • Docker
  • Karabiner Elements, for Hyper-key
  • 1Password for the twelfth year running
  • Spotlight
  • Hammerspoon for keyboard-based window movement (move to another screen, put on the left side and so on)
  • Dropbox is doing something…
  • Numi
  • Stay so I don’t have to keep putting windows back where they should be every time I have to bring my computer to a meeting
  • Hey, Arq moved back to hidden again within the 8 seconds between those screenshots…
  • Bartender again
  • Notifications widget

Here’s something I wish one of these menubar hiders had: “Show when icon looks like this, this or this, and hide when it looks like this or this” option with all the possible icons for the app.