While some people like to visit Finder every time they want to access a file, other place regularly used folders and files in their Mac OS X dock. Some people use Spotlight for this purpose, yet others use tools such as QuickSilver, Alfred, Launchbar. These are just multiple ways to achieve the same end, and everybody has their own preference.
I like to keep my dock hidden, and it shows up only when I take my mouse near its location on the screen (currently at the bottom). That way it doesn’t end up taking a chunk of precious screen estate at all times, and is accessible to me when I want it to be.
The Mac OS X menu bar, however, is an interface feature that is always present, no matter which app you’re using. The exception to this is obviously full-screen apps (a new feature in Lion), but for the topic at hand, we can ignore these edge cases. Since the menu bar is almost always visible to you at the top, having shortcuts to a handful of important folders can greatly speed up your workflow, and reduce the time you usually take to find and open up a document or file.
XMenu is a freeware app for Mac OS X (developed by DEVONtechnologies LLC) that helps you get quick access to some of the important Mac OS X folders from your menu bar. By default, it displays the /Applications folder in your menu bar, which is the usual location on OS X for all your applications.
Other folders that you can add to your menu bar are:
- User-defined – This contains of a folder within the XMenu settings, and you can place shortcuts or symbolic links to any folders that you want to see in this menu, in that folder. The path to the folder is: ~/Library/Application Support/XMenu/Custom
- Snippets – Plain and rich text documents, text clippings, Internet locations, and other files added to the folder for the Snippets menu are not opened using the Finder when you select them but their content is inserted into the current application if no modifier key is pressed. The path to the folder for this is: ~/Library/Application Support/XMenu/Snippets