If you’ve used a Mac for for than 27-seconds then you’ve used the Menubar in OS X. The Mac’s Menubar has two basic sections. The left side of the Menubar for app menus. The right side of the Menubar for utilities and tools. That’s the side that needs some work.
Mac app developers have done to the Menubar what Apple has not and birthed hundreds of useful apps to populate the Menubar and give Mac users additional utility and functionality. The problem here is that Apple hasn’t kept up with the changes and all too often the Menubar– and Mac users– suffers.
The Menubar is home to the Wi-Fi icon, Bluetooth icon, time and date, Mac user, Spotlight search, and the Notification center– all utilities from Apple. This past weekend I wanted to drop in a nifty new Menubar app that displays the next even in Calendar. It’s called Next Meeting. Guess where the app resides. The Menubar.
Not bad, right? One glance and you can see what’s next in Calendar. I like that. It’s free. And it works not only with OS X’s Calendar app but also Exchange, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and even CalDAV. What’s not to like?
Sometimes Next Meeting, or any one or more additional apps that reside in the Menubar will disappear, depending upon the main app you’re using at the moment. Apparently, an open app that uses more Menubar space for menus can crowd out, or truncate the right side Menubar utilities.
We’re victims of the Menubar’s success. Add too many utilities or tools or apps to the Mac’s Menubar and something has to give. First, some apps just may not show up. Second, they may show up in different locations along the Menubar each day. Third, the Menubar can be truncated– apps disappear– by an app that uses up more Menubar space. Finally, it’s a mess up there.
Apple doesn’t appear to be interested in a solution so adept Mac app developers have picked up the slack. A favorite fixer-upper is Bartender, a Mac Menubar utility which lets you have multiple Menubars, and gives you options to arrange items as needed.
Another utility that I installed after my mishap this weekend is MenuBar ReArranger. You guessed it. This one resides in the Menubar, too, but it uncluttered and organizes the Menubar the way you want it to be.
This is the way you would expect the Mac’s Menubar to work. MenuBar ReArranger manages the Menubar utilities and apps the way you want. It can also be used as a quick launcher. Plus, there are keyboard shortcuts for Mac power users. Even items in the Menubar you don’t want to be visible (but still accessed by the keyboard shortcut) can be hidden.
It bothers me that I found Next Meeting but had to eliminate some Menubar items just to use it. MenuBar ReArrange and Bartender make it possible to cram more utility into the Menubar but OS X’s shortcomings mean you sometimes need to buy a utility just to use another utility.