I am always on the lookout for a Mac utility App that makes my life easier. I try them, keep some, remove others. Sometimes they just are not that good, but most often I remove them because I do not need what they do. A good case in point is a neat little App called Start by Innovative:: bytes Software. If you only use the basic software on your Mac, this App would not interest you. However, if you use a moderate or large amount of software Apps, read on. The Start App might be just what you need.


Let me describe a fairly common occurrence in my Mac routine. I have tons of Apps on my Mac. I use many of them and then some of them are just there for testing for the Macessence blog. What typically happens is I want to perform some function. I know I have some Apps on my Mac that will meet this need, but cannot remember all of them. So, I go looking through my Applications Folder. Eventually, I find an App and/or Apps that can do what I need. You can sort the Mac Finder by Category of Apps which is helpful, but sometimes the Mac and I don’t categorize things the same. Enter a really helpful App called Start. Let’s see what it can do.

When you install Start it puts an icon in your menubar. You say your menubar is too full as it is! So, get the Bartender App and manage those little menubar buggers. You will thank me. When you click on the Start icon you get the drop down window of All your Apps. Just click on the little menu icon upper-right corner and select Preferences to do the categorizing of your Apps:

Start Preferences

Choosing Preferences takes you into this window area”

Start Window

You can click on the “All” drop down and select Applications, Folders, Files. I primarily use it for Applications, I just leave it set to “All”. Start lists all your Apps in the left hand column. The idea is to assign Categories to Apps. Here is an example using the Yummy FTP Pro App:

Start Assign Categories

You click on Yummy FTP to select it, then go up to the “Modify Tags” Window and type in the category Tag for that App. If the category is already present, it will pop up a list as you type. Just select the appropriate category. You can assign more than one category to an App.

As you setup various categories and assign Apps to them the Start App lists them in the Preferences “Tags” area:

Start Tags

You can see I have several different categories. You can delete categories if you need to do so. I have already combined a couple of categories that seemed more logical to me. In the above example I wanted to see what Blogging Apps I had on my Mac. If I wanted to launch one of those Apps, I would just double-click on it.

Now, if I am searching for a certain type of App for a specific purpose all I have to do is click on the Start icon in the menubar and choose from one of the categories in the left sidebar area:

Start Left Sidebar

Then I double-click on one of those Apps to start it. It takes a while and some effort to go through and categorize your Apps, but it is time well spent.


Here is the thing with this App. I will not need it tremendously often. But, when I need to find some type of App functionality on my Mac, it will be there as a great time saver! Start costs $4.99 in the App Store. As far as I am concerned it is worth every penny because it is going to make my life easier and save me time.