Kondo your Mac

How to setup a distraction free macOS to focus on shipping code

David Leuliette
5 min readFeb 26, 2019

Last week, I was chilling on Netflix and I found one famous TV Show with Marie Kondo. She’s a Japanese organising consultant and author. Organising…
We are really living in exciting times…

And then I found this great article by Rubens Cantuni about organizing your sketch files.

I got hooked.

Before opening my own agency of cleaning consultant, I decided to share with you my best hacks to tidy your Mac and transform your developer life.

Your real life begins after putting your house in order.
– Marie Kondo

Spark joy in your terminal

As a developer, I spend around 1h / day in the terminal. That’s literally my remote control for everything. My awesome and well-organized naming framework for my coding projects is this one:


I am using iTerm2 to split, and navigate across projects and files. And if you are using the script z — jump around, you are literally 125% more effective than people using the keyboard + mouse combo.

refined theme for iTerm2

I have plenty of shortcuts thanks to oh-my-zsh –with this clean theme called refined– to be super efficient. If I need to keep only one productivity hack, I would definitely choose this: Launch your editor form the terminal.

// Sublime Text
st .
// Atom
atom .
// VSCode
code .

- Install sublime plugin for oh-my-zsh
- Install atom and apm on Mac
- Install code command in PATH for VSCode

Everything has its place in your Finder

Let’s face it, the proportion of mess on your machine is exponential. If you don’t set some rules at the beginning, after 1 month your new shiny computer is full of crap.

Your computer is infected

Here is my Shinto Workflow for cleaning and organizing files properly:

Add Favourites

Open your terminal and write `open .` to open the finder. Remove all the distractions links and add the favourites ones like this.

Create a screenshot folder

By default, all your screenshot are saved on your desktop. I changed that for another folder called… `Screenshots`.

# Save screenshots to the Screenshot (or elsewhere)
defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ${HOME}/Screenshots

Store vertically

You can’t do 2 things at the same time. So why are you keeping the dock with all the applications available on your Mac? You can launch them with your keyboard thanks to spotlight and the shortcut `⌘` + `space`.

Marie Rondo says storing vertically will save space and allow your belongings to become more eye-catching. Let’s hide our dock when we don’t need it with a left vertical position.

Custom Window Organizer

Windows users are going to love this one: you can tilling and organise your applications since a long time with `windows` + `→`.

On macOS we have the fullscreen mode. But it’s not really powerfull, and it’s complicated to assign keyboard shortcuts to be effective.

Split your screen

I am using Divvy since ages to fix this issue, I can split my screens and I have differents shortcuts for my needs: full screen, half-left, top-right... You can pick-up any windows manager to “Hikidashi” your working days.

Clean your menu bar icons

Everything you own needs his own designated space. Dozer is a little application to hide icons on your menu bar. With this hack you can finally get rid of the spotlight icon! The easiest way to install it is with `brew`.

$ brew cask install dozer

You can check on GitHub the installation notes.



Tidy by category

Yes! I am looking at you modern full stack developer! I know you have the hype and can solve the cancert problem with JavaScript, but in my opinion, you have too many tabs opened.
That means a lack of focus and we are going to be late for the mars missions because you are not focus.

soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many tabs opened

You can pin tabs if you want to keep something, and try to organise your browsing experience by category:

  • Google Chrome: Work emails and backlog in ZenHub
  • Safari: React Native releases on app Store and play store
  • Google Chrome Canary: Personal emails and youtube
  • Firefox developer Edition: Main browser for everything else
At least here I can quit / restore tabs depending on the context

After theses small hacks you gonna have the same kind of zen distraction-free laptop, ready to focus and ship code!

If you liked this article, check out:

- All the macOS I use to be efficient as a front-end developer.

If you want to learn more and improve your skills, you can follow me on Twitter as I continue to document my journey.



David Leuliette

Freelance on a mission to automate my life. Currently launching a book about the React Native ecosystem → https://davidl.fr/road-to-react-native