// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

SpotDJ: Make Your Own Party Mix

Stanton Warriors make my toes tap. They make music which I believe is clasified as "house." I discovered a software called SpotDJ which allowed me to make music mixes. Using StantonWarriors as my music of choice, I developed a mix of their sounds. It's really long, and since I haven't listened to all this music, and since the boys is StantonWarriors have a case of potty mouth at times, be warned some of their remixes may have language that's not particularly appropriate for all audiences. If you're like me though, you listen to this type of music, for the most part, for the beat. So for me, unless it's full of bad lyrics and words, when an occasional bad word pops up, I am perfectly capable of not letting that become part of my fabric. I trust you understand and that you will not listen if you're concerned. If you want to play around with making your own mix, click the "get one" graphic. To play my mix right here on this blog, click the small arrow next to the words Stanton Warriors.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Sprint Waitless: Fast-Forward Through Boring

Okay, so two out of three of today's posts are not at all about design. This is mainly because I have been thinking and pontificating way too much of late about all types of things, plus my friend Chris's blog has been AWOL, so I needed a break. In that spirit, I offer you Sprintcuts at Waitless.org. Save a ton of time. (Actual times may vary.)

Waitless. That's even more fun as you consider I found this via design float. Get it? I crack myself up sometimes. I'm a poet and I don't know it.

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Spinach? That's Not Spanish.

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FireFly Press: Letterpress Goodness

( via perfect.ioni.st blog )

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Old School Marketing: Crashing The Party

PreparedMind blog describes an all-too-often scenario about old school marketing. It goes like this.

You're at a party. Everyone knows each other. A stranger enters, interrupts a private discussion between a crowd of close friends, and starts to talk about himself. How rude. Self-absorbed. And clueless.
That's how old marketing comes across to the new economy. Clueless. I call it "marketing speak." David Armano, in a BusinessWeek Innovation blog post calls this "It's the Conversation Economy, Stupid." These platforms facilitate conversation. Conversation leads to relationships and relationships lead to affinity. An interesting article about how this new economy of conversations are no longer listening to this old approach jibber jabber. Read the rest of Armano's story here.

( via The Prepared Mind )

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Good Company Self-Destructive Habits

Jagdish Sheth, in writing his book, Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies…and How to Break Them, describes 7 reasons why good companies have such a short life span. After his book was published, he found that companies often commit an 8th offense: not enabling their people to rise to the top level of their talent.

Here are the 7 self-destructive habits:
  1. Denial of the threat of emerging technologies, changing consumer tastes, or a new global environment.
  2. Arrogance over past achievements, or pioneering products and services, or unique strengths.
  3. Complacency over past successes, or a belief that the future is in your control or an assumption that scale will protect you against setback.
  4. Competency dependence, relying on a unique capability which has become irrelevant or obsolete.
  5. Competitive myopia, characterized by a lack of peripheral vision, an inability to discern less obvious challengers whose threat, while not on today’s radar screen, is nonetheless dangerous.
  6. Volume obsession, often a by-product of growth, characterized by an unhealthy imbalance between costs and revenue.
  7. Territorial impulse leading employees and units within a company to become over-focused on their own turf, failing to connect with and focus on the goals of the organization at large.
Read Sheth's entire article at changethis and learn why these companies allow their top performing employees to “plateau.” And why talent is often left on the table.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

RosaLoves: T-shirts Designed for Good

Recently my friend Jess at howboutorange got the discussion started regarding creative folk using their God given talents for others. She shared OrangeTreeProject, Global Sistergoods, Word of Good, Aid to Artisans, to name a few. Since then I came across one that I'm just now finding time to share. It's called RosaLoves.

RosaLoves are Mike Fretto and Chris Lewis. Acutely aware of a need in their community, they decided to make T-shirt designs that directly effect people in their community, like Glenda. Money is raised through shirt sales and instead of donating to larger already established charity organizations - it would go to specific individuals with specific needs close to home, like the Coley Family.

RosaLoves exists in part to shed light on local stories of need like Indo Made ("mah-day"), to give them a real face, a real name, and the overall hope is to encourage individuals to get involved in their own community on a somewhat tangible scale by providing financial support to those in need by infiltrating the t-shirt industry with a new perspective of how clothing can serve a purpose other than outfitting. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a need. By using art and creativity, they hope to foster hope and encouragement through the aid of apparel. Each story will be told through stimulating graphics and actual text that will appear on the inverse of the shirt directly in line with the heart, where the Rosa Loves movement stems from. Rosa Loves is less about charity and more about awareness, awareness that we are all apart of something greater and are therefore joined by common threads.

Hats off two these gents for giving the shirts off their backs, so to speak, for work that glorifies the kingdom.

( via muse )

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Innovation: It Pays to Know

Creativity and innovation are built around trust and freedom. Companies don't get that. They think it is a process. It is really about creating trust between the people creating and the freedom to go to new places. - Ivy Ross - Chief Creative Officer, Disney Stores

To download the entire 2 page Ivy Ross interview as a PDF, click here.

( via Metacool )

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Internal Brand Building: Executive Buy-in

Interesting and rather comprehensive— a unique perspective on internal brand building obstacles and some ways to get executives to understand and support brand management from the inside out.

( via Brand Strategy: the Branding Blog )

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pictobrowser: A BarryBlog Experiement

Pardon the selfish nature of this post, but I'm experimenting a bit with my Flickr photos, some new code and trying to resize it a bit to fit all nice and whatnot. As a by product of this, you are more than welcome to grab these images and use them for whatever you want. In fact I've made this offer before here and here, and they've been downloaded over 4,500 times so far. Okay, back to the experiment...

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Slide and Flickr: Another Experiment

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Design is connections, connections, connections

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Great Quote on Having a Vision

“Anyone can count the seeds in a melon. It takes vision to count the melons in a seed.”

( via )

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Internet People...I recognize half. You?

I believe I recognize about half of the references here. See how many you see. If you hang long enough, at around 2:38. You see one of my fav's...the guy from Chocolate Rain fame. This video covers the good, the bad and the ugly. Dan Meth is the man.

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Book Designer Extraordinaire: Brian Moore

Brian T. Moore is a serious talent. His book design is second to none, and his print work is also impressive. He is a high level design thinker. I'm blown away by the breadth of his talent. He's currently a designer at Houghton Mifflin, and they're fortunate to have him aboard. I highly recommend checking our Brian's work. He can also be found via his design:related profile.

( via design:related )

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

$4,000 Prize Giveaway: via David Airey

Irish designer David Airey, a logo designer, is holding a "give-away the farm style" anniversary prize giveaway. There’s an amazing $4,000+ worth in free prizes! Check out all you can win on David’s graphic design blog. I want the Mark McGuinness consult or the cash or the Amazon giftcard, or any of the prizes, really.

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Design Feast: Growing A Usable Resource

Design Feast was conceived and is sustained since 1999 by Nate Burgos, Inc. It's evolving and Nate hopes it becomes a usable resource into the future. Hats off for his willingness to share.

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Design Float: Digg-Like Design Aggregator

Design Float, in a nutshell, is basically a niche version of Digg.com, but speciffically for design related content. It's a community driven news aggregator that collects design-related content from across the web. The goal: to categorize design related content into articles in order of importance/relevance as decided by the community. I find it useful. You might too.

Also, there's a live feed version if that's of interest to you.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Partner With Ryan Toyota (and God)

Canadians Ryan Toyota and wife Jenn are developing prayer and financial support so he can work full-time for the organization Hungry For Life. He's developed a nice site so you can find out more this organization, learn more about Ryan himself and how God lead him in this mission, view some of the videos he's created, find out how you can partner with he and Jenn, and how to contact him if you have questions.

You never know how or through who the Spirit moves, so if you feel led, give him a shout out. His site is really inspired.

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EKLIPS: Human Beat Box

Perhaps it’s just me, but you know that baby voice almost everyone uses to talk to, well, babies? To me, that’s what people speaking French sounds like. Anyway, here’s a beatboxer named Eklips. He’s talented in any language, as you'll see in this video.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Concert Idea: The Beatles in your backyard.

Have you ever thought how great it would be if you could talk your favorite comedian, band or celebrity to come to your party or event—and if so how much it would set ya back? Concert Ideas is your answer. Fascinating. For the record, I will work for food.

( Via Brent at Everything's Better With Brentter )

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Before His Time: Eliel, Father of Eero Saarinen

Cranbook Education Community in Bloomfield Hills Michigan is the home to Cranbrook Kingswood School, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Cranbrook House and Gardens, and Christ Church Cranbrook. The architect who developed the plans and designed the Cranbrook campus, and was also their president in 1932 was the legendary Eliel Saarinen. I knew that bit of information due to my Michigan roots, but it never dawned on me that he was Eero Saarinen's father.

If you find this interesting (I do, hense the name BarryBlog) and to find out more, click on the links I have set in this post.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Raising The Bar: Downhill From Here?

I hope this is the beginning of a God honoring union. It appears the scheme was successful. Congrats Sara. While I don't know the couple personally, it appears we have Chicagoland and an appreciation for Sigur Ros in common.

( via
the curious shopper )

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Insightful Exchange: Two Smart Generations

Read this post on the BellDesign Blog. It is a fascinating discussion between a professional woman named Charlotte Bell and her 23-year old daughter who works in internet marketing and is considering post-graduate study in business. Her daughter's insights give Charlotte some hope for the future. My hunch is this is a classic Apple-Doesn't-Fall-Too-Far-From-The-Tree scenario, as Charlotte's blog has more interesting insights than this. Thanks ladies for your transparency and willingness to share.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

DWR: Are We Out Of Our Materialistic Minds?

Lifestyle of the rich and famous store Design Within Reach now has a blog. It's called Design Notes. I have always appreciated their Design Bio site on the DWR main site. It's free. But as a normal Joe, somewhat representative of the typical designer salary-type who is rather design goo-goo, I have a question. I suspect it might be something you've thought about to.

It's about the Name. "Design Within Reach." Come on, it can't just be me? Isn't their name worth reconsideration? Currently, I find it to be a bit of a kick in the teeth.

An example: On their blog right now is featured the Herman Miller Eames Soft Pad Management Chair in Espana Leather at a mere $2,948. Now perhaps this chair at this price is Within Someone's Reach, but not mine. Now as some of you know, I do own one of these beauties, having been at the right place, at the right time, and paid the right price at a tag sale. Now if I could only get similarly lucky seven more times, because if I were to pay DWR's price for the conference room down the hall from my office with eight chairs, it would set me back just shy of 24 thousand dollars ($23,584, for 8 chairs!).

Seriously. Who buys this stuff? Are we out of our materialistic minds? I assume the name DesignWithinReach indicates their ability to bring high design products to the masses, but the name feels like the rabbit that races about 15 yards ahead of the race dog. We all know he's never gonna catch it, even though it is "Within Reach."

No one wants to admit they can't (or shouldn't) afford a $2,948 chair, right?
I would love to hear your comments on this under-blogged reality.

( I thank Nate at Design Feast for the link to BarryBlog as well as Design Notes )

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Industrial Design Goodness: Reddish Studio

Bath&Beyond Chair.

Made out of an old bathtub. Pure genius. Reddish was founded in 2002 by Industrial designers Naama Steinbock and Idan Friedman. Both born in 1975, graduates with distinction from the Holon Academic Institute of Technology, Israel.

( via style-files )

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Shtikl: Most Plans are Rubbish

An amateur cook needs a long winded recipe to prepare a dish and it still will be mediocre at best. The seasoned chef needs just the idea and he will turn it into a masterpiece......Einstein didn’t initially plan to discover relativity theory, Columbus didn’t plan to find America and Steve Jobs didn’t plan to invent the iPod.
( via swissmiss )

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Agecy Idol: User Generated Content, Yes or No?

TheMarketingStore's Lombard IL office has a Senior VP and director of direct and relationship marketing named Derek Moore who sees the big picture. He's developed a rather simple venue called AgencyIdol that allows people to join the conversation about user generated content, specifically, three major brand ads for SuperBowl XLI, and produced by normal people. While it appears The Marketing Agency is not one of the agencies working with the brands (I may be wrong), they have still added to the larger conversation in a useful way. I found the Chevy spots and AgencyIdol via their website What'sNew section in an article called "Consumer Generated Ads: Yes or no?" Though this isn't completely new information, it is to me so I though you might also enjoy checking it out.

I specifically enjoyed Chevy's episode 8, of Chevy's SuperBowl College Ad Challenge. This episode chronicles the path the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's freshman Katie Crabb takes on her way to the top, as the overall winner. (See them all here). I had a perma-smile on for the entire episode as her story is told from start to finish. What a great story, and thanks to Derek Moore for creating a site that allows people to discuss the merits of regular people creating and contributing at a high level of creative. Fun.

I find the idea of user generated content rather intriguing, as you'll see from other posts of mine in the past. Judging by the small amount of AgencyIdol comments received, it appears a true dialog was not achieved, but again, TheMarketingStore's actions on behalf of creating a conversation is brilliant. Kudos for the effort.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hebrews 13: New Living Translation

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Apple Branding: Going Beyond Expectation

Apple, Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs has written an open letter, which in my estimation is one of the boldest, brilliant and most decent things I have ever heard a company do on behalf of a loyal customer base, as well as to attract new ones. This letter has to do with the new iPhone, which as of today has dropped $200 in price.

The letter is directed to anyone who bought a celebrated iPhone, but I suspect the effect it will have will be much broader. No money in the world could buy the kind of good will this act will.

Click here to read the letter.

P.S. I'm drooling over the new iPod Touch.

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Beautiful Iceland: via Sigur Ros's Heima

Sigur Ros's documentary Heima looks amazing. As many of you know, I'm not a big movie buff, but if the production quality in this trailer is any indication, the DVD release on November 5th can't come soon enough. The film produced a year ago at the end of their world tour. The group returned to their homeland, Iceland, and played a series of free and unannounced concerts. The film portrays Iceland almost like another planet. It is stunning. I'm gonna have to check to see if the movie's playing around here.

( via Josh Spear )

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Leadership is Influence, Not Control

A reminder from Thomas Nelson CEO Michael Hyatt in his blog FromWhereISit that true leadership is about influence and not control. His big four include:

He states that "time and time again, I have witnessed the power of a simple thank you.” Michael is teaching a great deal about being transparent, how encouragement pays dividends, and how it's okay to be bold. To me, the angst to be the best is worship. Christian publishing deserves nothing less.

( via From Where I Sit )

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I Been Waitin' For This Moment, All My Life

You can thank me later for this gem.

( via ventilate )

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Brief Message: 200 Word or Less On Design

Manifesto's galore—blogged about here. But now, it's a new concept by Subtraction and NYT's Design Director Khoi Vinh, and Liz Danzico, comes A Brief Message – somewhere between critique and manifesto, wordy and skimpy. Brief Messages discuss issues of design. Pithy, provocative and short — 200 words or less. Now this has my attention.

Ads by the pretty people at The Deck and the usual cast of characters. Should be good. And over blogged. (Guilty! As charged).

( via Bad Banana )

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Helvetica Documentary: DVD Pre-Order Now!

Per the website shop: Helvetica DVD pre-order (Retail version) The DVD includes the full 80-minute feature film, plus over 90 minutes of additional interviews with Massimo Vignelli, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Hermann Zapf, and more. NTSC, 16x9 anamorphic widescreen presentation, full-color booklet, English and German language subtitles. Release date: November 6. Pre-order now, you'll save $5 and receive early shipping (a week before street date) and two love/hate Helvetica film buttons.
$20 (reg. $24.98)

( via HowMag )

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Rule 29: Refreshed and Ready

Refreshed and ready, the hyper self-promoters Rule29 give you even more reasons to love them (as I do). Justin, Josh, Kara, Kerri, Dan and the occasional guest blogger are at it full force. A newly finessed website, a brand spanking new blog, and crap you can buy, or if you ask nice, they might just give you (give them a good reason). Justin and the crew have one speed. FORWARD. And these new updates are but the tip of the iceberg.

Aside from the lame uber over done Office shtick and the all-Flash website, these guys are tip top creatively. And my man Justin also knows the real meaning of what serving is all about, which is really What Matters.

If you're looking for a communication design firm that can take you to a next level, and you understand that Creative Matters, hop on the R29 bandwagon.

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated by R29 for my opinion regarding their ability to knock it out of the park, creatively. I just personally believe they rock. However I will accept checks to any amount made out to Barry A. Smith

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BarryBlog: The Week In Review

Lifehacker offers a weekly summary which I find helpful. So what the hey? Why not me? Here's BarryBlog's Week In Review, which may or may not be a permanent fixture here.

When To Use Flash Entirely: A Flow Chart

Calling All B-Ballers

In A Pinch: An Emergency Light Source

10 Minute Mail: Temporary Email Goodness

Studio Gearbox: Always on Their Game?!

BarryBlog MacOSX Tips-N-Tricks

brandnavigation: Transcending Ordinary

scanR: To the Rescue

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Monday, September 03, 2007

scanR: To the Rescue

Brainstorming's been going strong for what's approaching an hour, and all of a sudden you hit upon the most ridiculously innovative idea in your career. To say the excitement in the room is high is an understatement. Looking at the clock, everyone agrees a break is another good idea, so everyone leaves for an agreed upon 15 minutes. Upon return...pure horror! A small team from across the hall has mistakenly deemed the room available and has set up shop— completely erasing the whiteboard. Yes, THE whiteboard. The one with that once in a career idea. Enter ScanR. No more whiteboard erase problems. Just take a digital shot of the whiteboard, or multiple shots if you want to erase one and fill more, then send the photo to ScanR from your phone and it's immediately emailed to whatever account you want, as a fully editable PDF. It works for whiteboards, pretty much any document, and even business cards. Now I haven't tried it myself, but I plan to. If you do and you like it, let everyone know by leaving a comment. Here are some examples showing the original photo and the resulting PDF of whiteboards, documents and business cards. Let me know what you find. 'Cuz after all, FactsR Friendly.

( via Lifehacker's Top10 PDF tricks )

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brandnavigation: Transcending Ordinary

brandnavigation is on the short list of companies that caught my attention after moving from Michigan to Illinois to begin serving in the role of art director for a christian publisher. At the time, the company was called The Design Office of Bill Chiaravalle. A name I was glad to see changed.

As a new believer, and as an art director for a publisher for the first time in 14 years, Chiaravalle's work kept capturing my attention, one book at at time. Well it's been about 6 years and I just re-visitied the brandnavigation site, and it reminded me what I found so compelling. At the end of the day, good work is good work. But superior work stands out. Chiaravalle's crew transcends the ordinary and strikes a chord. Attention to detail at their fabric and remarkable design thinking from front to end are only part of the intrigue. A balance of boldness with finesse, and a focus on effective communication is what I've found so compelling.

Another impressive thing about brandnavigation is the breadth of work. Simply put, they've been at it for a long time. Like myself, 20+ years in the trenches. Some weeding of the portfolio might benefit the company as a whole, but admittedly it all stands up well in the test of time for sure. Hats off to brandnavigation. They've somehow managed to grow and maintain at a high level in a business that's all about being relevant.

I suspect you might also enjoy their portfolio, and if you're particularly interested in identity, as am I, check out their case study section. You'll have to discover these directly on the site, because unfortunately I cannot provide you a link to their portfolio or case studies because they've built their entire site in flash.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

BarryBlog MacOSX Tips-N-Tricks

So here's something I've been really digging of late and something I bet you may not be aware of. It has to do with that awesome Finder Sidebar, you know, that thing that you can drag apps, files, folders, even entire volumes into? It's available in every Open and Save dialog throughout Mac OS X, which is very cool. Well cooler yet, I discovered a way, with just 2 clicks, to add anything I want to it on the fly. Kind of like filling the Finder Sidebar up with little stickie notes.

All you have to do is locate that file, app icon, or volume, click it, then hit Command-T. That's it. It automatically shows up in the Finder Sidebar list. Anything that's important to you, for whatever reason, can be immediately placed with this simple move. I use it for that web clipping of a post I'll want to blog about later, or for articles, photos or folders I am constantly calling on that day for my project at hand. It's fairly limitless to the reasons you might ustilize Command-T in this fashion. And like has always been the case, anything in the Finder Sidebar can be removed by dragging it out of the window, and poosh! It's gone.

( via tuaw )

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