OS X is awesome and that’s why we (neckbeard-less?) developers love it. Of course not everything is perfect, and one area of contention is the menu bar. There tends to be a never-ending supply of icons that fill it up and destroy its usefulness due to information overload.
There’s even tools that help you organize your menu bar, but I think that’s just fighting symptoms and not a permanent solution. Anyway, these tools are not for me, and I’ve decided to put my menu bar on a diet.
Here is what I currently use:
Icons, from left to right, and why I use them:
- Dropbox—so I see if stuff is synced. I use the black & white icon.
- gfxCardStatus—so I see which graphics card my MacBook Pro uses, and to force it into using discrete graphics if browsers start to have graphical glitches, which is unfortunately quite often.
- Hackpad—we do most internal brainstorming and copywriting on Hackpad. (Hey Hackpad, update your icon for my retina screen!)
- Little Snitch—hovering over the icon shows Little Snitch’s nifty network monitor.
- iStat Menus 4 CPU monitor—helpful during development and has shortcuts to launch Activity Monitor and other tools.
- Time Machine—I like to see that it’s doing stuff when I have my backup drive connected at the office.
- Keyboard & Character Viewer—I use OS X’s Character Viewer tool ⓐⓛⓛ ⓣⓗⓔ ⓣⓘⓜⓔ.
- Bluetooth—useful at the office for my external keyboard, mouse and trackpad.
- iStat Menus 4 battery—more info than OS X’s default icon.
- Volume control—I use the keyboard to change the volume, but option-clicking the icon allows you to quickly set input and output devices.
- iStat Menus 4 clock—I like the “fuzzy clock” and the dark grey calendar icon.
And that’s it. YMMV.Tweet