There’s no shortage of apps that help make macOS a productivity dream, but few do it as well as Alfred. Think of Alfred as an application that makes it look as if Spotlight has been given a shot of steroids. Alfred will make you ten times more productive, with hundreds of custom actions, best known as workflows.
Alfred Workflows are similar to Google Chrome extensions. Fortunately, there’s a huge community of folks all over the world that have already written workflows, and they’re a breeze to install. If a workflow doesn’t exist, writing your own is something even Alfred novices can easily tackle.
Here are some of the best Alfred workflows that will make you more productive on Mac.
1. Text Expansion
If you’re all about saving time and don’t love typing out dates, email addresses or common block phrases every day, this Text Snippets workflow is going to be your new best friend. Upon installation, you can set up “snippets” with a name, keyword (what you want to type to activate the snippet), and that’s it.
Set them up all at once or break them out into groups like work or home so they are easily organized. There’s no limit to how many you can create, so the sky’s the limit.
2. AirPods Connector
Apple’s AirPods are awesome and unquestionably one of their most successful products in recent years. Instead of the usual three to four steps it takes to connect them to a Mac without Alfred, this AirPod workflow syncs them in one easy step.
Once you’ve installed the workflow, select your AirPods under the Bluetooth drop-down. After making the connection to your AirPods, type “airp” to connect or disconnect them in the future. If you want to change to another Bluetooth device, enter
airp config, and select the Bluetooth device of your choosing.
3. Google Maps Directions
Using Google Maps right from Alfred might not seem like an easier solution than just opening the browser, until you try it. Once the Google Maps Directions workflow has been installed, it’s as easy as typing
directions into Alfred and then the address of your destination. After hitting Enter, Alfred will open the default browser, pulling up Google Maps with routes, directions and the rest of Google’s feature-rich Maps menu.
4. Kill Process
When you’re in the midst of a workday, there’s nothing more aggravating than an app that won’t cooperate. Killing macOS processes isn’t for the faint of heart, but Alfred makes it as easy as it gets.
If Google Chrome all of a sudden freezes up, just type
Kill Chro, and Alfred will show all the processes currently in use by the browser. Select the browser or tab you want to kill, and Alfred will handle the rest.
5. Default Web Searches
Handily one of Alfred’s best time-saving workflows is the ability to quickly access a variety of search options. Favorites like Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and Amazon are all present, and it’s so much easier than opening your browser. To get started, just start your search with the keyword of your choosing. If you want to search Google, type
6. Upgrade Your Slack
Remote and in-office teams alike know the power of Slack. Enhancing Slack with Alfred makes an already useful app even more capable. The sky’s the limit on what you can do with this workflow, including easily switching between channels, groups and private messages.
Sending a message is as easy as typing
slm, selecting the right channel, hitting Tab, then typing out your message and hitting Enter. Searching for attachments or files is as quick as typing
slf and selecting the right file.
7. Apple Mail Search
Users of Apple’s built-in Mail app know that search isn’t always its strongest point. Enter Mail.app Search workflows to quickly power up your search box. No more wasting time finding that one specific message.
After you install this workflow, it’s a breeze to find exactly the email you’re looking for. This workflow enables a variety of search functions including sender name and email address (
emfrom), email attachments (
ema), subject line (
emsubj) and a combination of both subject line and email content (
Results will appear in real time as you type, and hitting Enter on the mail message you’re looking for opens it directly in the Mail app.
8. Search Apple Notes
Apple’s Notes app might be bare-bones compared to note-taking giants like Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote, but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, its search function often pulls up more results than necessary.
Alfred to the rescue. This Apple Notes workflow will help find exactly the note you want with a powerful search function. Type
n so it looks like (n[part of note]) followed by whatever search term you want, and results appear instantly.
With Alfred and its workflows, there is no reason for you to be unproductive on your Mac. Check out these workflows and let us know which one you prefer.