Using OS X Leopard’s Spaces Productively
Divide workspaces by projects, not applications.
I use web browsers, terminals, finder windows, and code editors for my software engineering projects.
I also use applications that are project independent and should stay out of the way when not needed yet remain easily accessible without having to switch through a bunch of “spaces.” I consider Mail and iTunes to be such applications. These tend to be applications that only use one window and as a result they are easily managed just by using the Dock and Command-Tab features in Mac OS X.
My setup can be accomplished with two quick steps:
Turn off the “auto swoosh” by running this in Terminal (command line):
defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO killall Dock
Configure your Spaces settings so that project independent applications are set to show on every space:
In my case, apps like Safari, Terminal, TextMate, etc. will not make an appearance in the “Application Assignments” configuration.
To manage the apps that appear on “Every Space,” just keep them hidden (press Command-H when they are active). When you need one just click its icon in the Dock or Command-Tab to it. When you’re done with it, just hide it again.
What about OS X 10.3 Panther and 10.4 Tiger?
I used to use Desktop Manager with good results, but can’t get it to work right on Leopard.