I’ve written previously about using Hazel on macOS to react to a new file appearing in a synced iCloud Drive folder and running commands. But I wanted a faster solution that I could trigger from almost anywhere – including an iOS Shortcut. A way to send a command directly from my phone (or maybe any other device?) to my Mac.
What I came up with is a tiny, macOS menu bar app I call Shelley – because as a friend told me, it’s a Frankenstein of a hack.
The point of this blog post is to say that I’m preparing for an eventual move to another photo cloud service. I’m also trying to keep my local backups neatly organized. So, I wrote a small command-line tool to specifically deal with the Google Photos backup format that you’ll receive if you request a dump of your data.
It takes Google’s directory structure and all their duplicated files, merges, sorts, and deduplicates your photos and videos into a sane folder structure – the one I’ve been using for over a decade.
Oliver Reichenstein, founder of iA Writer, writes about Apple and modern software monopolies. The entire post is well worth reading. And whether you side with him and the $17.86 billion corporation or the $1.97 trillion corporation, you gotta admit it takes guts to lay out that argument on your company blog when the future of your business depends on the kind of day your next anonymous App Store reviewer is having.
Jigsaw is one of those ridiculously fun (dumb?) ideas that come along and smack you upside the head one day and you can’t help but take an afternoon to build.
Apple already lets you sync the contents of your Desktop using iCloud. But, if you’re a visual person like me who often arranges their Desktop icons in meaningful ways, not having the positions of your files on screen also stay in sync is frustrating as I move between my laptop and desktop throughout the day.
Jigsaw solves that by syncing the positions of your Desktop icons over iCloud. Move a folder on your iMac, and a few seconds later it mirrors itself on your laptop.
Jigsaw is free to download.
For me, my Mac’s Desktop is my staging ground, my active workspace, the digital representation of my mental RAM. I’ll typically have all of the files related to the task I’m currently working on stored on my Desktop. Once it’s complete, I’ll either file them away or delete them and move on to the next thing.
Having the Desktop on my iMac at home stay in-sync with my work laptop eases the transition and context switching as I move between locations. Dropbox has been doing this for years, but actually getting into the correct folder in Dropbox always has just enough friction to keep me from using it with active files the way I do my Desktop. When Apple added the option to sync your Documents and Desktop folders into iCloud Drive a number of years ago, it was a perfect fit for me…