50 Mac Essentials #15: Spirited Away

By

20100930-spiritedaway.jpg

Spirited Away is useful for people who like to focus. It just does one simple job. You’ll either love it, or be completely baffled by it.

It runs in the background, and hides all applications other than the one you’re using. That’s it.

So, if you switch to Mail halfway through working on your spreadsheet, Spirited Away hides the spreadsheet – and your chat client, your browser, your Skype window, everything else that isn’t Mail. It all just disappears.

So why would you want this? Well, removing visual clutter on screen can be helpful for people. It means you can concentrate your mind on the task at hand, and not allow it to be distracted by other stuff. It’s probably not much use if you’re just messing about, but if you want to actually get some work done, it comes into its own.

And it’s flexible enough to bend its own rules, if that’s what you want from it. If you’d like all the other application windows hidden except your iChat window, or except iTunes – well, you can tell it to leave those apps alone.

You might hate the idea of Spirited Away. You might think it’s a long way from being essential. But it’s essential to some of us, and might be essential to some of you, too.

(You’re reading the 15th post in our series, 50 Essential Mac Applications: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more.)