Sunday, July 29, 2007

Overflow: keeping the Dock neat and tidy

OverflowI'll admit it, I'm a dock addict. I put everything in my dock I could ever use. If I had a purse, I'd do great on Let's Make a Deal (if you don't know the reference, then you've always grown up with Macs--lucky you) However, now that everything is in my dock, I can't find anything on it! Arrgh.

Overflow was in the bottom of my stack of things to review from Macworld, which only proves why I'm an ideal candidate for it. I loved Dragstrip and, though developed separately, does exactly what Dragstrip did. (You might remember that Dragstrip provided a dock like structure in OS 9).

Instead of having one dock at the bottom of the screen, Overflow creates a palette of icons that allows you to subdivide your aliases into categories. For example. I have a category of Disk Utilities that includes Apple's Disk Utility, CD burning software, etc. Instead of having to navigate three of four folders deep in my hard drive to find an application, I simply can press the hot key for Overflow (F1 by default) and then click the category and then icon (or press command and the arrows to quickly shift between categories). Also, like the dock, you can drag and drop items onto a particular alias. The drag and drop feature is great when you want to open a document in a different app for a change (opening a pdf in Acrobat instead of preview). Similar to the dock, you can add individual documents that you use often.

While the program allows you to configure the size and color of the icons, it doesn't allow keyboard combos as a hotkey--only one individual key. For example, on my Macbook, I have to press the function key before I can use F1. I'd rather map it to option and command (which was my dragstrip quickey), but I can't. Not a major complaint, more of an annoyance. Weird because Apple allows keyboard combinations in Expose and with all my other programs, I'm slowly running out of hotkeys

I highly recommend the program, and with a $14.95 price tag it's hard not to resist. Much less expensive than those Dock Addict's Anonymous meetings. Overflow has quickly proven itself an indispensable productivity tool.
Pros: Efficiently manages all your dock items in easy to use categories
Cons: Limited options for hotkeys.