Trickster is a Magical Utility that Enhances your Mac Productivity

Trickster is a Magical Utility that Enhances your Mac Productivity

I am a big fan of apps that enhance my productivity or bring some sort of value to my life be it on my phone or on my computer. I recently started using Apparent Software’s Trickster and have wondered how I managed to function without it. Trickster is a Mac utility that resides in the menu bar and keeps track of every file, app, or folder that you open or use on your Mac.

Working with Trickster

Trickster Screenshot

Trickster’s Tracking On Full Display

I don’t know about you, but I work with tons of files on a daily basis and sometimes I may misplace a file temporarily. As a result, I’ll find myself having to waste time trying to manually locate it again. With Trickster monitoring all of the files, folders, and apps that I use on my system, I am able to quickly and easily find what I’m looking for without interrupting my workflow.

You can customize how long Trickster tracks files from removing files that are older than one day to never with several intervals in between. The default is one week, which for my needs is sufficient. You can also have it monitor only opened files as opposed to files that are “touched.” Trickster contains a robust search tool that puts Spotlight to shame, but where it really excels is in its ability to sort files based on the type of media they are.

You’ll notice in the example that there are three columns of information. In the first column, you have the ability to sort by file type, folder, app, or by specific locations.

The middle column shows the list of files/apps/folders that were recently used/accessed. In this view, I have “everything” selected, which would show all files, folders, apps, etc. This view can be altered based on the filter from column one that is selected. For instance, I could select the “documents” filter and it would show me PDFs, Word Documents, HTML files, and others that are categorized as documents. You can also view a larger icon with the complete path to the file. In addition, you can sort the files by when they were accessed or via an alphabetical list. The choice is yours.

When you cursor over a particular item in the center column, a flag and a gear icon will appear to the right of the item. The flag item allows you add the item to your flag filter list (more on this in a moment) and the gear icon brings up a ton of useful options including showing the item in Finder; copying the file path to the clipboard; using QuickLook; trashing the item and more depending on your unique system configuration. As an example, I can also send an item to Evernote because I have it installed on my computer.

The Third column is a list of favorites which can be folders, files, or apps that you can add for quick access.

Custom Filters

Trickster New/Edit Filter Window

Trickster’s New / Edit Filter Window

Another awesome function of Trickster is its ability to create custom filters as well as edit the stock filters it comes with. Since I work with a lot of Adobe Illustrator files, it makes sense for me to create a custom filter that looks for only Illustrator files. To do this, I clicked the button at the bottom left corner and selected “Add Filter.” From there, I select the attributes I want this particular filter to look for. My choices include Matching Folders, Matching in filename, Matching extensions, Excluded folders, and file types. For this filter, I had it look for specific “.ai” extensions. In addition, from this screen, I can test whether or not Trickster will find a particular file based on the attributes I have assigned.

Flagging Files, Folders, and Apps

The Flag Filter in Trickster

Nothing Tricky about Trickster’s Flag Filter

Trickster also gives users the ability to “flag” files, folders, or apps. Clicking the “flag” filter will bring up any of these items so that you can access them quickly. I like to flag items that I’m currently working on as well as favorite apps.

To flag a file or folder, just move your cursor over the item and you’ll see a “Flag” icon appear to the right. Simply click the icon and it will be flagged.


Trickster is a fantastic Mac utility that will make you more productive. The one feature I wish the program had was the ability to capture web links from within my favorite browser. While I realize Safari and other browsers have histories, being able to search for specific pages, or even create my own list of favorites within Trickster would be very useful.

Aside from that minor quibble, Trickster is an incredibly robust utility that is worthy of being installed on your system. The app requires OSX 10.7 or later running on a 64 bit system. It will run you $9.95 from Apparent Software or if you prefer, $9.99 from the Mac App Store. In addition, you can download a free trial directly from Apparent Software to fully appreciate the functionality of the program. At the minimum, I recommend giving the trial a whirl. I’m confident that you’ll discover, as I did, how valuable Trickster is as a utility.

Disclosure of Material Connection

Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a modest commission from the sale. These links help support the maintenance of this website.

Please be advised that I only recommend products or services that I have used or tried personally and believe will add value to my readers' lives. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”