Tools To Be a macOS Minimalist

Ben Myers
4 min readOct 20, 2022


When it comes to my workspace, I strive to keep it simple. Having an organized and clean Mac is great; what are some ways to reduce the clutter?

I’ve used Mac devices for over 8 years, and I’ve loved seeing how Apple has grown and improved their software. Tools like Calendar, Reminders, Photos, and many more have received countless updates to help users be more productive.

Lots of updates have also helped simplify the platform. Apple simplified sharing files with AirDrop, inviting guests in Calendar, audio/visual streaming with AirPlay, and more.

But Apple’s efforts aren’t all-encompassing. There are plenty of tools created by other users that help you have a simplified experience on your Mac.

In this article, I’ll cover some software that helps you achieve this. At the end, I’ll review a few tips for simplifying macOS from within the ecosystem.

Let’s get into it!

🧹 #1. Bartender

Bartender helps organize the trailing end of your Menu Bar by hiding extra elements.

Bartender (16 USD) is a tool that I highly recommend for all macOS users. It cleans up your menu bar. It’s supported for Big Sur and Monterey, with Ventura support on the way.

Out-of-the-box, Bartender organizes your menu bar items on the right side. But where it really shines is in customization. You can:

  • Rearrange menu bar items,
  • Hide menu bar items,
  • Show certain items on hover,
  • Add custom labels, spacers, and other elements to your menu bar.
You can customize your menu bar in Bartender.

But it doesn’t stop there. You can set up triggers that hide and show items based on certain events, like low battery network change, etc.

You can enable custom triggers to hide/show menu bar items in Bartender.

There’s a lot more to Bartender. Check out how I’ve set up my menu bar:

All of the unnecessary items are hidden until my mouse moves over the menu bar. Fantastic! Now there’s less going on up there when I’m focusing on my work, or browsing the web.

🌙 #2. HazeOver

HazeOver (60% off for 2 USD) is a app that dims inactive windows on your desktop. It’s great for focusing on a single window at a time.

HazeOver automatically dims inactive windows.

It’s very customizable. You can configure

  • Dim opacity,
  • Start at login,
  • Dim tint color,
  • Animation speed,
  • Shortcuts,
  • Which windows to ignore or group together.

⚡️ #3. Raycast

Raycast (free) has a lot of great productivity tools. It’s a little search box that packs a big punch.

I set up aliases like “sg” or “ch” to do tasks like

  • open saved websites quickly in Safari,
  • search Google,
  • check my clipboard history,
  • take quick notes with Floating Notes Window,
  • run scripts to empty Trash and Downloads,
  • and much more.

For minimizing my Safari Experience, I prefer to use Quicklinks to get to urls with a few keystrokes:

Opening specific links in Safari is as easy as typing “sg”, or “gcb” using Aliases.

This allows me to keep my Safari clean of bookmarks and other window-space-eating items.

🤏 #4. Dropover

Dropover (5 USD) is an app that allows you to move files on top of your windows. To activate Dropover, drag and shake a file until a window appears. You can use this window to store the file until you need it later.

Shake a file to store it in a Dropover shelf. You can even perform actions on that file using a context menu.

🗂 #5. AltTab

AltTab (free) allows you to use ALT + TAB to get an overview of your windows. It’s like command-tabbing for macOS, and it looks great too:

Use alt + tab to quickly switch between all active windows. Works just like cmd + tab.

Wrapping Up

Creating a minimalist experience can be quite some work, but if you have the right applications and mindset, you can make it happen.

If you find any other applications that you believe should be a part of this list, please comment them! I’ll be sure to give them a try.

Cheers! 🥂



Ben Myers

Working to share my learnings with others.