Mac: WorkStrip | Dafacto

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Mac: WorkStrip

06 November 2005

WorkStrip by Softchaos, which at first glance appears to be a Dock replacement, is a surprisingly useful productivity tool. Using WorkStrip, one can create and configure “work spaces,” which, when activated, populate the WorkStrip dock with files, folders, applications and other resources associated with the defined workspace context. This is best illustrated with an example.

If you have a look at this video (careful, it’s tall and narrow), you’ll see that when no workspaces are active, I have WorkStrip configured to make available a minimum number of persistent resources — the Finder, my startup drive, my network volume, my IRC client, Mail, my OmniOutliner planning document, and my DEVONthink database. Once I activate my “Weblog” workspace, WorkStrip is suddenly populated with all the resources I want handy when working on my weblog — folders to my local website, Photoshop, TextMate, Transmit, Ecto, iView Media Pro, and URLs to my local staging site, and my live site.

If you need to add a resource to a workspace, just drag it to the particular workspace’s icon within the WorkStrip. In addition, WorkStrip tracks files that are opened and URLs accessed during an active workspace session. So, for example, if you have a “Coding” workspace defined, all the files you’ve recently accessed with your editor will be immediately available under the associated application icon within the WorkStrip.

All in all, my impression that WorkStrip is a well thought out, and well engineered utility. I didn’t immediately catch how useful it would become to my workflow, but about a week after purchasing a license, it fits like a glove. I even gave up using Path Finder in order to have access to all the additional nifty services WorkStrip provides which rely on the Finder.

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