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Organize Your Apps

January 8, 2019 — Jim Neumann

One great feature of macOS is virtual desktops that Apple refers to as Spaces. Especially useful on laptops with their limited screen space, these allow you to have multiple screens to organize your applications. Check out System Preferences > Mission Control for options.

If you find yourself running the same applications, day in and day out, here’s a handy tip to keep those windows organized:

  1. Switch to a Space you want to use. A three-finger swipe, left or right, on the trackpad is a quick way to switch.
  2. Launch a specific application. When it’s launched, right-click its dock icon and choose Options > Assign to > This Desktop.
    Now when you launch that application it will always launch in that Space. And yes, you can obviously assign more than one application to a Space.

Think about how you interact with these applications. For example, I run DEVONthink Pro Office in Space 1, my browser in Space 2, a code editor in Space 3, Mail in Space 4, and Script Editor is unassigned since I may use it anywhere. Other Spaces are used on an ad-hoc basis, as the need arises.

As a bonus tip, if you haven’t done the above procedure, and you have windows from one application in many different windows, you can temporarily use this option to gather all the windows into one Space, then set it back to None, if desired.