Fresh

As you know I am an experimenter and user of all kinds of apps on my Macs. Partly for Macessence content, but mostly because I am always looking for the next big thing, the app that makes my Mac life a little easier, the app that just makes sense. Lately I have come across Fresh from Ironic Software, a file managing app.

 

Overview

Fresh costs $4.95, you can buy it from the App Store or the developers website. It is pretty handy at managing files on your Mac. Once installed it is activated by hitting the Command Key (⌘), Backslash Key (/) combination or by using the menubar dropdown icon. You can change the key combinations to whatever you wish. Here is what the main window looks like:

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Keep in mind when you open Fresh it stretches across the width of your screen. In my case the above screen shot should be much wider on my 27″ iMac, lots more stuff. Fresh stays hidden in the background until you activate it. If we do it by the numbers then:

1. Spotlight – From here you can search and/or find documents anywhere on your Mac using OS X’s Spotlight. The search setup is fairly robust, but I don’t think I would use this as much as the other features.

2. Fresh – This is the Fresh area where files that are new, changed or recently opened are listed. It is fairly handy. From here you can access the file again or, if you right-click it, do a bunch of other stuff:

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I especially like the “Path” and “Move” commands, very handy. The idea is if you have worked with a file, say you downloaded it or opened an email attachment, you can go into Fresh and manage it (move it, find it, etc.). All items in Fresh are “pointers” to the actual file location. Keep in mind as new files are added to the Fresh area older files are removed. While we are on the subject of managing files, take a look at number three in the above screenshot.

3. The Cooler – If you have files you use all the time you can put them in The Cooler area. They remain in there until you remove them. Maybe you are working on a document over a period of time, The Cooler is the perfect place for that file. When you are finished with your document just remove it or move it to somewhere on your Mac using The Cooler. Bit of a correction here. Apparently, if you have too many files in The Cooler they drop off as well. The Cooler should be considered as a miniature Desktop for short term working file storage.

Once you open or drag something out of any of these areas, the Fresh window automatically closes. Fresh stays out of your way as much as possible. I like that feature a lot, Fresh is not an end in itself, it assists your workflow.

Preferences

Fresh has some Preferences of course. Here is the Preferences window:

Here you can change the way Fresh looks and tweak various other settings. I am not going to delve into the various Preferences here, but suffice it to say if you get the Fresh app you ought to at least look in here to see what is available.

Drop Zone

Speaking of Preferences, if you look at the top of the above screenshot window you see “Use Drop Zone”. This is a pretty handy feature that stays closed until you start dragging a file:

It pops out from the left or right side of your screen. If you drag a file to “Cool” it opens Fresh and puts it in The Cooler area. If you drag a file over “Tag” it opens Fresh and then opens a little window for you to add tags to that file. Pretty handy in my opinion since I save a lot of files to the Desktop that I might want in The Cooler.

Conclusion

There are several file management apps for OS X, but Fresh is easy to use and works well. You can download and try Fresh if you wish, but for $4.95 I don’t think it is too much of a risk to just buy it and play with it. I am finding new ways to use it’s capabilities all the time, it really is pretty handy.