7 Ways To Get Easy Access To Important Folders

If you have a folder you need to access all the time, you can give yourself easy access to it in a number of ways. You can use the Dock, the Finder sidebar, the Finder Toolbar and an alias on the Desktop. You can also create an Automator task to open the folder and then a keyboard shortcut for that. Mission Control is another way to keep that folder easily available.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: 7 Ways To Get Easy Access To Important Folders.

Let's say you have a special folder, a very special folder, that you need to access all the time. Maybe you're storing daily reports in there or hourly tasks. You just need to have very easy access to this folder. But you don't want to just put it on the desktop. You want to have it in your Documents folder in the proper place. Maybe it's even down a few levels in some subfolders. But you still want to have easy access to it. Well, there's a whole bunch of different ways that you can get quick, easy access to one or a couple of folders on your Mac.

So one idea is to put it in the Dock. So you can drag this down to the Dock and you want to put it on the right side and you drop it there. Now this just creates an alias to that folder. The folder is still where it originally was. But you can now click on it and see the contents of it. You can Control click on it and change how it's displayed. Like as a List or a Grid. You can drag and drop things into it here in the Dock. So the Dock's a really good way to have quick and easy access to that folder.

You can also put it on the left sidebar of the Finder. So I'll drag it over here. You want to do it under Favorites. You can stick it there. Now you can not only get easy access to it by clicking in the Finder sidebar but when you're opening up a file or saving a file, so say you're running TextEdit. You create a new file, hit Command S to save, and you see the special folder now appear there in the left sidebar. You can easily access that in any open or saved dialogue in any application.

You can also put this folder in the Tool Bar of the Finder by dragging it there and holding the Command key down and dropping it in there. You'll see it appear there and you can click on it to quickly go to the folder. Any Finder window you open up is going to have that folder there in the top. To get that folder out simply Command drag down and away and it goes away.

If you like the idea of having this on your desktop but you don't want to move it out of your Documents folder or the subfolder it's in you can drag it to the desktop but then hold down the Command and Option keys. You'll see the cursor change to a curved arrow. When you drop it will create an alias or shortcut to the folder. So the folder is still here but you can see it's got this little curved arrow part of the icon there. So now I can drag and drop things into this icon here on the desktop where the real folder remains in Documents. You can also double click on it to open up a new Finder window with that folder there.

Even if you're doing a saved dialogue, so I create a new document in TextEdit and go to Save, I can use Commend D to jump to the desktop and then I find the special folder alias there. I can select that and save it here and it will actually still save it to the real location. Because this is just an alias. It's not a real folder there.

How about the Menu bar. Is there anyway to get it there? Well, you can kind of. In Automator you can create an automated task like this. I actually created this one as a Service so I selected service here and I dragged the action, Find Finder items and I knew the folder was in Documents. For all the following are true. The Kind is the folder. The Name is special folder. That will only return one result which is that folder. Then Open Finder Items, with the default application. So when I run this it will actually open up my special folder because that's all it can possibly do. Then I Saved it and Named it Open Special Folder. Now it appears under the Services menu here, Open Special Folder. I can access it in any application by going to Name the Application, Services, and then the Open Special Folder there.

In addition I can add a keyboard shortcut to that. So another way to do this is use that in the menu and under Keyboard, Shortcuts, under Services I can see under General I've got Open Special Folder will appear there after I've saved it. I've set it to Option Shift Command 1, So now Option Shift Command and 1 will open up the Special folder there.

Another thing I can do it use Mission Control to get access to it by giving it it's own desktop. So I have this Finder window open here. I hit the green button to make it full screen. Control up arrow shows I've now got desktop in Finder. If I go to the desktop here I can still open another Finder window. But I can always Control right arrow over to the second desktop which is just a full screen version of the Finder window showing that one folder. I can go back here to do things. If I open up TextEdit it will open up actually on the first desktop. So I can work on files here and see the contents there. So it's just another way, depending up why and how you want to access the folder all the time, that you can get easy access to it.

Comments: 3 Responses to “7 Ways To Get Easy Access To Important Folders”

    2 years ago

    Hi Gary, Attempted to save a test doc in text edit.
    When I hit ⌘ S, no left side bar opened up as at 1:25 of your video.
    I just got a drop down box.
    What setting should I use?

    2 years ago

    Bob: Perhaps you have the Save dialog features hidden? Is there a small reveal button (down arrow) to the right of the “Save As” field? Try clicking that to expand the Save dialog.

    2 years ago

    Great info just what I needed to know, you are the go to guy for my Mac needs.

    Thanks Brad

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