Dear potential Dock icon candidate – How to decide what icons make it to your dock

I have a whole batch of criteria for what makes it in my dock and gets tossed. I know we all have something that makes us promote an application to its often-clicked life in the Dock. I thought I would share some of mine and also see what readers do with their Dock icon set. These aren’t in any particular order of importance.

  1. Does the application have a good icon? I mean some of the developers are great programmers, but they desperately need a graphic artist to design them some justice. I don’t hide my dock, so if I have to look at it I want it to be pretty.
  2. Do I get convenient options or controls from the Dock’s contextual menu? Take for example, Mail lives in my dock for many useful reasons. One of these is the options I get from right-clicking on Mail’s Dock icon.

    With this I can immediately check my mail as well as create a new message or note. Did you also know that if you drag an item on the Mail icon it will attach the item to a new message? I do this frequently all day and its become part of my workflow.

  3. Is the application used daily? I love being able to come to work in the morning and have immediate access to the things I need to do in my Dock. I used to fill it up with Applications, but with this little hack you can enable the Recent Applications menu in the Dock. I’ve found I really only use about 10 applications a day anyway.
  4. Files and folders have to have many of these criteria as well. Most of the folders I put in my dock are current project folders, network volumes (they automatically connect if you put them in the Dock), and Downloads.

There you have it, very basic criteria for getting into the Dock. Its prime real estate for developers and more importantly Mac users.

What criteria do you have for your Dock?

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