My interpretation of minimalism in the home office is removing all distracting items that are not constantly utilized. For software, this is both easy and cheap. Becoming a hardware minimalist is slightly more expensive and time consuming and I recommend reading Apartment Therapy’s Unplggd for recommendations.
I recently discovered a website called Minimal Mac, and it is rapidly climbing the charts as my favorite blog. Naturally, it has a simple design that utilizes plenty of white space. Reading this blog has inspired me to clean up my iMac by reducing the clutter. Below are a few quick and easy steps to help you reach software bliss.
Clean Up Your Desktop
Open Preferences for the Finder and deselect everything. Organize your files in the Documents folder. Doing this will remove all files, folders, hard drives, etc. from your desktop.
Empty Out Your Menu Bar
Do you always use the same Wi-Fi network? Remove the Wi-Fi icon in the Network System Preferences. Time machine backs up every hour automatically, so there’s no need for the icon. Are you unsure if it’s AM or PM? First, get more sleep. Second, remove it in the Date & Time System Preferences. Use your keyboard to change the volume? Remove the Volume icon in Sound System Preferences. You get the idea.
For extra credit you can remove the Spotlight icon using Onyx, a thorough maintenance and optimization tool.
Warning: disabling the icon also disables the hot key to activate Spotlight. Only do this if you don’t use Spotlight or if you’re satisfied with using Command-F in the Finder.
Simplify Your iTunes Controller
The built-in mini controller for iTunes is simple to use, but it’s definitely too large and distracting. I recently discovered the perfect app for reducing your iTunes controller to a single line of text. It’s called Bowtie. It offers a variety of cool themes, but the one that is consistent with this post is Simple Bar. It provides previous and next buttons, the artist, the title, and rating controls.
I don’t usually rate songs in iTunes, so I got fancy and removed the stars from the Simple Bar theme by modifying its plist and html files.
Forget About iChat
Empty Out Your Dock
Search for a Desktop background
Ten Minutes Later
Below is my new desktop after following these steps. Smaller dock, quiet buddy list, empty menubar, serene background, clean desktop.
What are some ways you keep your Mac minimal?