Sidefolders for Mac OS X is a simple utility that’s available from the Mac App Store – it positions a drawer-style pane on your desktop, in which you can store links to any files and/or folders you currently have on your Mac. The premise of the app is extremely good, offering quick access to those hard to reach places that you have to dive into fairly regularly.
You can decide whether you want Sidefolders docked on either the left or right of the desktop, which may depend on your preference regarding the OS X dock. Down the inner tab of the pane, you have a few controls. ‘+’ and ‘-‘ are pretty self explanatory, in that they allow you to add or remove directories to your Sidefolders pane, and underneath that there’s a typical settings icon. Clicking it opens a simple context menu, which allows you to quickly hide or show the default directories, switch the position of the pane to the other side of the screen, check out what Sidefolders is about, or quit the app. You can also set it to open on startup, which is helpful as ever.
Whilst you’re not using it, it keeps completely out of the way. Invisible until called upon, and because of that it almost makes it extremely difficult to argue against having it there. And, Sidefolders is extremely light on resources, unnoticeable in fact.
It’s not all sweetness and light, though, in truth there are a number of glaring omissions and obscurities with this app, and whilst they don’t directly harm the basic functionality of the application, adding a couple of extra features would certainly enhance it.
The first of which is the inability to trash files direct from the Sidefolders pane. Now, this is most likely a result of the file not actually being stored in Sidefolders, only an alias, and right clicking said alias will bring up a small context menu allowing you to show the folder/file in finder.
The second is a more cosmetic issue. It would definitely be more fruitful for the developer to have included some sort of tweaking tool to alter fonts and themes, as whilst it will be construed as a trivial issue, it doesn’t look particularly mac-like on the desktop, particularly the font type, which would appear more at home if it matched the system fonts.
Similarly, it would be nice if the pane could be resized, as by default the majority of the pane is filled with nothing more than white space, and unless you intend to pack it to the rafters, it will remain that way. It looks unsightly, and it would be great if it would be draggable, or resize automatically to the required size. In any case, a few more aesthetic preferences would make a good utility, a great one.
There are so many third-party apps and tools for OS X that become an integral part of the operating system for me, and Sidefolders has the potential to fall into that category. With a few aesthetic improvements especially, and the addition of a few relatively small features, it would be impossible to be productive without it. Having said that, the basic function of the app remains impressive, and countless times I’ve relied on it to find files deep into the system folder hierarchy, which can at times be pretty time consuming.