Mac Power Users 471: Menu Bars, Docks & Startup Apps, Oh My!


This is what I call a “classic” MPU episode! Lots of good info here, will probably get Popclip soon.


Can’t wait to listen but I will say, Popclip is awesome. Been using it for years and love how useful it is.


Did not know of Popclip existence until now… trying the Trial version…

I’m so glad bartender was the first one mentioned. With a MacBook Air 11” it is essential when I’m not plugged into an external monitor.


I love Bartender and find it absolutely essential on my MacBook Pro and Mac mini. On my iMac I’m with @ismh in finding that I have enough menu bar real estate that I don’t need to use it. However, I’ve actually been thinking about installing it there as well, just becuase the line of apps in my menu bar is long enough that while I can see them all on the iMac’s big screen, I sometimes have trouble finding things. Hiding some of the less used ones might help make the important ones easier to find (especially since I’ll be adding more after this podcast).


That is exactly the reason why I have Bartender installed on my iMac as well. I just don‘t need to see all the icons I never use. It just makes it harder to spot the ones I need. That‘s why I prefer to get rid of them, no matter how much space I have.


@macsparky, I’d definitely be interested in a screencast or field guide on Better Touch Tool. I’ve got it installed, but I don’t use it nearly to it’s potential.


There’s a Udemy course on BTT. I bought it last year when there was a $5.99 sale going on (it’s twice that now) so I can’t yet speak about it:

But the man who made that course put up this 15-minute video on BTT on his YouTube page:

In fact there are a bunch of BTT instructional videos on YouTube:


I was pointed to BBT through this forum. I wanted the Home & End keys on my full Mac keyboard to function like the Home & End keys function on a PC. It’s really great! Although, I paid for a license.

I use Bartender as well but often find myself hampered with the “out of sight, out of mind” paradox: the apps I hide in Bartender tend to be forgotten about and I’ll forget to use them (things like DropZone, Evernote drop, etc.) so I have to be fairly specific about what I hide, lest it disappear from my daily usage.

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This episode, 471, has many takeaway ideas for Mac users. Great!

If tech podcasts don’t consistently offer useful ideas, I ignore them. Looking forward to more iOS driven shows too.

Enjoyed the episode!

@ismh have you tried the Brave Browser?
It’s based on Chrome, but has the evil removed.

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@MacSparky and @ismh if you guys ever do a show on BetterTouchTool, you should definitely have Bakari Chavanu on. He is the author of the Udemy Course, runs and is the master of both BTT and Keyboard Maestro. He is the real deal. Become a good friend, too!


A couple of menu bar apps I really like that @macsparky and @ismh didn’t mention:

  • HazeOver – This dims everything on your screen except the foreground app. It’s a big part of how I can run three monitors but not have it be too distracting when I need to concentrate on one app.
  • Mountain – Allows you to control the mounting and unmounting of external drives. I use it to keep backup drives connected but not mounted (CCC can mount them when it kicks off a backup task and unmount them when it’s finished). It hasn’t been updated in a while, but it still works. I believe I learned about this one from @katiefloyd.
  • Karabiner Elements – A very powerful keyboard remapping app. I use it to turn my CapsLock key into a Hyper key (Control + Option + Command) a la Brett Terpstra (drink!)

Based on this episode I’m trying out DropShare and Yoink (which I already used on iOS as a shelf app). I’ve also been using PopClip for a while, but not really finding it that useful. This episode really spurred me to dive into the extensions, which seem like they’re really going to increase the value I get from it (the Deliveries extension alone would be worth keeping it installed).

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Thanks for the tip. This is useful. I think it is better than Marco’s Quitter in that it enable me to focus on the window at hand.

I also thought this was interesting. I didn’t know menu bar item has such interactivity:

Use mouse wheel or trackpad scrolling gesture to turn the brightness of your distractions down. Place the mouse pointer over HazeOver menu bar icon and scroll to adjust dimming intensity. Scrolling down to the minimum will disable HazeOver.

I have so many icons in the menu bar and I wonder if all these little apps suck my memory dry (using a measly 8GB MBP).

Good episode. @MacSparky and @ismh already sound so comfortable with each other.

I wanted to add a menu bar app:

Nightowl is a neat little app and free that lets you schedule dark mode for your Mac or set a keyboard shortcut to switch to dark mode.

Also, I really like iA Writer as an editor. Instead of having to export every document, on the Mac you can add a Dropbox folder as a location to the iA Writer library which will let you edit documents in place.

Unfortunately you cannot add a Dropbox folder as a location on iOS but you can add any iCloud folder as well as a Working Copy repo.

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I’d like to share Divvy. This little menu bar app allows the OCD me to resize my window by just pressing Ctrl-D and then dragging a table on the pop up screen overlay. The app window will quickly resize to this. I have tried apps like Magnet which allows you to resize based on pre-defined area of the screen - for instance, top left or left one-third of the screen. Magnet does not allow me to chose my window size and position in the screen.

Divvy is really useful for those who are very particular about how they want each window to look, whether it is center or of a certain size. As I mentioned, useful for a OCD person like me… LOL


So, I listened to the episode a little bit more during lunch time and Rocket was mentioned. Rocket is a cool app for emoji but being an Alfred user, I prefer to use Alfred Emoji workflow for the emoji which works equally well and less one menu bar item to install.

I use Alfred a lot and depend on it very much, but I think I’m still not using the workflow as much as it is capable of. Would like to listen to some tips from a Alfred power-user.


I already had this workflow installed, and the reason I didn’t use it is because I don’t remember to. Rocket is better because as soon as you write a colon to start a (admittedly old fashioned) emoticon it pops up.
Of course not everyone is as old as me.