The Best Holding Bin: DragonDrop or Yoink?

Two apps recently came out that solve the same problem for Mac users. The one I think is almost divinely inspired, while the other is, well, let’s just call it tacky.

But I’ll let you be the judge, and I will put aside my own feelings for a moment to tell you about both of these apps. With either one, you are going to be more productive in your daily Mac life—unquestionably so, if you use them as they are intended.

DragonDrop iconDragonDrop for Mac

The app is a great way to simplify your organization of files in the Finder and on your desktop. DragonDrop puts an icon in your Menu Bar at the top-right of your Mac’s screen. If you select files and place them on top of the icon, DragonDrop acts as a placeholder. Then, if you got to another place in your filing system, you can easily tell DragonDrop to place the files in the new place.

It’s also possible to use a gesture, of sorts, on the Mac that achieves a similar workflow. Rather than placing the files atop the DragonDrop’s icon in the Menu Bar, select the files, hold the mouse button, then shake the mouse/cursor around. This is auto-add the files to DragonDrop for the moving. This is probably the more common way people use DragonDrop.

Now that you have the general idea, you may see where the solution comes really handy.

Yoink iconYoink for the Mac (does the same thing in its own way)

Yoink came to the market at least two months before DragonDrop. Yoink has a different way of accomplishing the same task, making it super easy to move a file or a collection of files to anywhere—from one place in the Finder, to someplace else (could be your desktop, a server, an external hard drive, etc.).

I perceive Yoink almost blends into the Mac OS Lion interface. If it came on the Mac pre-installed, I would’ve assumed it was an intelligent solution Apple designed. Yoink, like DragonDrop, is customizable to some degree. You can control Yoink from an icon in the Menu Bar, or turn off the icon in the Menu Bar altogether. Yoink will run invisibly until you start to drag files around on your Mac.

Why these apps are so handy

It’s always cumbersome to open multiple Finder windows to transfer files from one place to another. The screen real estate is limited, so your windows sloppily overlap and create an annoyingly convoluted interface. This always gets in the way of my focus on the task at hand.

Yoink’s dock, or DragonDrop’s Menu Bar icon or alternative shake-indused widget take all the clutter away from your interface. They are both relatively simple and user-friendly. While I wouldn’t say either are especially intuitive, once you know what they were meant to carry out, they serve the task so well it’s a no-brainer for the Mac user.

Now, would you like to know which I prefer? Read on.

Yoink is far superior, IMHO.

DragonDrop is trying to be “different” from Yoink [we must pardon the developers for giving Yoink such a terrible name…]. DragonDrop came later to the market, and rather than match Yoink’s simplicity, DragonDrop aims to be oh-so clever. I think the shake-indused gesture is a shot at fixing a problem with an equally difficult solution. What if I unintentionally shake the mouse? Many people do this as sort of a nervous habit. I don’t always want DragonDrop to interrupt my focus of actions on my screen.

Yoink is consistent with just one solution. The pop-up dock is the one way to move a single file or multiple files. Yoink is robust (since some of the more recent updates) and is very predictable, so it never distracts me when it appears while I move files—whether I intend to move them using Yoink or not.

And I generally prefer “originals” over copycats. Yoink was around first.

PS: Never make an app purchase based on the price. If you do, then you care more about saving pennies than using a powerful tool, which will save you time and money. Trust me: go with the best app, even if it costs more.