Stupid Simple Mac Tips for Lawyers #20 – About that mess on your Desktop

Stupid Simple Mac Tips for Lawyers #20 – About that mess on your Desktop

By Tom Lambotte | March 5, 2020

This week we’re here to talk about your Mac’s Desktop.

Specifically, the chaotic mess of files littered there.

You might not realize the impact, but it robs you of your time as you painstakingly read the name of each and every file as you search for what you need.

Let’s improve this with some quick changes, by adjusting your preferences for how files are sorted.

I personally change my icon size and sort them by Kind as well while I’m in there.

This does 3 things:

  1. Change icon size = more items on the desktop without feeling crowded.
  2. Sorts by Kind, meaning Folders, PDF, Screenshots, etc.
  3. An added bonus is that it sorts alphabetically.

For example, your PDF files will be first grouped together and then sorted alphabetically. Just with those little changes, it’ll now be much easier to find what you’re looking for on your Desktop.

To do this:
1. Get to the settings:

  • Click on Finder in your dock
  • In the menu bar, click on Go > Desktop
  • In the menu bar, click on View > “Show View Options”

2. Make these changes:

  • Set Group By to Kind
  • Set Sort By to Name

3. Adjust the icon size to the smaller option

Whammy! That’s it, quick easy and it’s now just a little bit easier to find what you are looking for. If you like these settings, you can check “Use as Defaults” and it will use these settings for all other folders.

Now, if you are have TONS of files on your Desktop (you know who you are), here’s the advice I’ve given to hundreds of messy lawyers over the years:

Do it the right way. Spend some time purging and cleaning that mess:

1)     On your Desktop, create 3 folders:

  • Delete
  • To File
  • Unsure

2)     Clean up

  • Quickly move each file into one of 3 folders
  • Drag the “Delete” folder to the trash
  • File all the files in that folder in their proper location
  • Do another pass with the Unsure files

From there, your desktop will be far more organized as your items will be easily identified and won’t overlap. You’ll also feel less anxiety over your out-of-control desktop.

Warm Regards,


P.S. Whenever you are ready…here are 3 ways I can help you with Apple technology in your law firm:

  1. To request our brand new report, just click on this link, we’ll do the rest: 10 Cybersecurity Tips for Lawyers on Apple Computers in 2020
  2. Are you suffering trying to find a good source of proven best practices for your firm? Why don’t we hop on a 1on1 strategy call and I’ll help you overcome it. Book your call with me: Schedule a strategy session
  3. Know someone who’d benefit from these Stupid Simple Mac Tips weekly series? Tell them to text MACTIPS to 44222 to be added!
  • March 5, 2020

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is CEO of GlobalMacIT, the only company in the world that specializes in providing IT support to Mac-based law firms. His methods are based on close to a decade of research, testing and real-world refinement of Best Practices, working directly with Mac-based law firms and firms switching from PC to Mac, across the country and around the world. Tom is the author of Hassle Free Mac IT Support for Law Firms and a highly sought after speaker at national events such as the ABA Techshow and MILOfest, a Mac Lovin’ Lawyers Event. Learn more about Tom and GlobalMac IT at

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