Using a single 32-inch monitor with my M1 Mac Mini has caused me to re-think how I manage apps and windows. After a few iterations, I've settled on the following layout:
I love this setup, but sometimes I need to resize things so they better fit the content or maybe move an app out of the way for a minute. I use Moom to put everything back for me.
And here's what my screen looks like after triggering Minus (by hitting
CMD-ESC) and then bringing Emacs to the front so I could continue writing this post:
I had switched to Rectangle from Moom earlier this year, as it's simpler and a little snappier, but Rectangle doesn't (as far as I know) do custom window layouts, so I moved back to Moom. Now I arrange my windows exactly how I want them, save the arrangement in Moom, and assign it a keyboard shortcut for easy recall. This lets me clean up my windows quickly and get everything back where it belongs.
So at any time, I can hit
Command-Option-Shift-M and everything is reset and ready to go. Or, I can just activate Minus (via mouse or
Command-Escape) and have completely tidy blank slate to start with.
Minus lets me define "Distractions" and will let me know when I venture off into places I've told it I shouldn't. For example, if I visit Twitter the entire screen will go all gray and display a distraction warning. My options are to close the distraction or, if I really want to check Twitter, snooze the alert. This feature has made me painfully aware of how often I drift off into social media land. Minus has a few other features that I don't use or need, but it's been great at helping me keep things tidy and focused.
The configuration looks like this
My default configuration does the following:
Minus is not something I expected to find useful, but it really has made a difference. It has configurable "Desktop Environments" that will configure my Mac in a number of helpful ways. My default environment configuration does the following:
I recently learned about Minus: "Zero distractions, One task + Extra superpowers" and initially scoffed at it. I've always considered apps meant to reduce distractions to be gimmicks and never found them useful. I tried Minus anyway, and it's turned out to be great.
Tying all this together is Keyboard Maestro. I use a KM macro to make sure all the relevant apps are running, trigger Moom, and activate a specific tab in Safari. Here's the macro: