Stupid question about where to put stuff


I know this may sound dumb....But i'm a neat freak and I don't want my Applications folder all littered with programs in other folders. I want it all one click icons for easy use. Any suggestions or ways you guys have dealt with this? In short, i'm looking for the best place to install things like Graphics Converter...programs that have other things in the folder they need. I figure I can always just add a shortcut to the Applications folder. But I need a place to put this stuff.
With Mac OS X, you can't start making sub folders, or moving applications from sub folders to the main application folder. If you do this, you will break updaters and the auto updater proccess etc.

The best thing to do, is to drag the applications yuo use (all the time ,or once a month) to the dock, and then alias will be made on thye dock for that app. then it is just one click launch from the dock (Applications with triangles below them are the running applications while the ones without sre just alias).
Actually you have more customization than you think in Mac OS X. You should just not mess with the Users, Library, and System folders and their subfolders. You can mess with whatever you want in your own user folder, but you should probably keep all the orginial folders so that you can access them through the toolbar (if you delete them, the toolbar buttons may not work, depending on which folders you deleted).

Besides that, you can do whatever you want with your hard drive. The Users, Library, System folders should stay at the root level. If you really want to try, I bet it would work, but I wouldn't try it... you can make an alias to the Users, Library, and System folders, and then place the actual ones somewhere else... however that kind of defeats the purpose of placing them somewhere else. I've done this with my documents, movies, and music folders though, and the toolbar buttons still work perfectly.

Basically you now have 3 system folders that have to reside at the root level of your hard drive, as opposed to 1 system folder that can be moved anywhere in OS 9. The Applications folders should probably stay there too, but it doesn't have to. Like Mac Write said, it will probably break the software update for your applications, but that's the extent of the damage. Applications can run even if they're not in the Applications folder (if they don't, try putting them back, and it'll probably still not work, showing that this isn't necessary). Again, if you really want to, just make an alias of your normal applications folder on another hard drive, and then copy them all over there. Software update should work if you do that.

It seems like you have less customization of your hard drive, but you actually don't lose much.
I got DragThing. It does a very good job kind of spring folders did in 9.

I always had the feeling that it really takes to long to navigate through the Apps-folder, even in 9, to get to the app I wanted. That is why I used to have springfolders for my apps, which I then could easily reach by either opening my specific springfolder (or with DefaultFolder by a command-strike) or by dragging whatever document I wanted to open on the button set App-Icon. Now with DragThing I am, in the same way, able to specify all my Apps in classifications like DTP, Office or Online, what ever, and have them set as buttons to open by a click. Drag and drop also works.
I have aliases to all of my common programs inside the applications folder. Also inside the applications folder I have a sub-folders which contain all of those messy program folders you dont like. To get all of your sub folders to group at the top, add a space to the beginning of the folder name.

If you add the apps folder to the dock, you'll have a nice applications launcher, that will save you from wasting dock space on applications that aren't used as often.
most apps don't have folders anyway as everything is stored in the package ...
i've just got a folder called "folders" within my apps folder for all the messy apps that need folders...
so: properly packaged native apps just go in the apps folder, messy apps live in their folders within the "folders" folder with aliases in the apps folder ... that way i can access everything from the dock through my favorites icon ... which is sort of like having the apple menu back in the dock ...
I made one folder for aliases which I keep on my desktop. When I add an application or have a frequently used document I put an alias to it in this folder. Easiest way to do this is to hold down command-option then click and drag the icon to the other folder.

Now it takes two clicks to open this folder and two option-clicks to launch the application or open the document and close the folder. If we ever get back popup windows and button mode for icons this could be even faster.

I like this much better than the dock for several reasons. It puts the icons in a grid where I can see many at once, the names are visible without scrubbing the cursor over the icons, you can arrange the icons as you like or alphabetize them or even use list view, the icons stay where you put them. Also, I currently have 35 items in this folder, too many for the dock.

This method is fast, free, and works on any Mac without installing third party software.

Tip: I created a simple graphic with GraphicConverter splitting a rectangle into two colors. Then I made this graphic the background image for my aliases folder. I put the application icons in the top color zone and the icons for documents in the bottom color zone. Now, at a glance, I can distinguish icons for applications from icons for documents.