Our resident producer Dan Atchison is all about increased productivity. And he likes to spread the love, too. So he cooked up a three-part series on his favorite productivity apps to help you accomplish more in your work day. Here’s Part 2. If you missed Part 1, you can find it right here.
Increasing your productivity often means finding what you’re looking for in the shortest amount of time.
Apple does have a built-in search feature called “Spotlight”, which includes the ⌘ (Command) + Spacebar keyquick. But I’ve found the Alfred 3 app to be much more useful and efficient. Here are a few ways this app can improve your everyday.
In addition to the basic web search, Alfred can automatically search within specific sites like Facebook, eBay, Amazon, etc. No need open the browser, navigate to the site, or click the search field.
One of my favorites is Google Maps. I type “maps” and then enter an address (sometimes using TextExpander, which I covered in Tech Talk Part 1) or something like “Home to New York” and it automatically maps it for me.
Alfred’s great for finding files on your hard drive as well. Not only does it find the file you are looking for, it can manipulate those files with a few quick keystrokes.
In this case, the fake file is “[CLIENT-0001] Clear Filename that Actually Means Something”. (Which, by the way, do your friends a favor make your filenames clear and something besides, “document1.docx” or “Video03-Final-Final”.)
Now that Alfred has found it, a quick key gives me plenty of options:
Most of the time, I’m moving a file or emailing. I love the email function, which automatically adds the subject line for you.
Then I’ll use TextExpander by typing “aattach”.
Enter a quick note, hit enter, and done.
This is just scratching the surface though. Alfred can also launch applications, calculate mathematic formulas, find contacts and copy specific information, call contacts, send iMessages, hold recent clipboard items, control iTunes or Spotify, run System Commands, and a whole lot more.