Make things easy at work. Save time for the important bits. That’s something everyone talks about but there’s no real “that’s mine” guide out there. A while ago I decided to try something new – I switched my entire work place from Linux to macOS. Working with colleagues using their tools on a daily basis made me ask several times – how does that work? How could I use that workflow? Can you show me how the trackpad works? Swiping with two fingers going back in browser history?
Turns out there are a couple of tools which help me save time day by day. Some of them are not part of macOS themselves and thus require you to buy them. If a tool really saves my life (and time) I am willing to do so.
One of these tools is Alfred. Generally speaking Alfred can be used to search your mac, quickly open files and applications, use hotkeys for actions. Things you can achieve with Apple’s Spotlight already. The coolest thing is the additional Alfred Powerpack. This allows you to run shell commands on your macOS. You can extend the functionality by adding custom Alfred workflows. That way you can manage your chat clients, music apps, search the mail application and so on.
Locking your screen requires a somewhat quirky key combination or moving the cursor to hot corners. Both of which I don’t like and therefore just type in “lock” into the Alfred command popup. These days locking my screen is just “Cmd + Space, l, Enter” because Alfred remembers the history. Another tip from Bernd – type “empty” and automatically empty your trash bin.
We’re using Jabber at work, and I’m a heavy Adium user. When I want to chat with a co-worker, I just open Alfred and start typing “im <name>” and a new Adium chat tab opens. This is all thanks to this workflow. If you’re sending an email over the ocean, what time is it? Use this workflow to avoid googling. Another cool tip – if you are for instance converting inches to the metric system, a workflow called units comes in handy.
Yet another workflow is for Github repos which really helps after the migration for all Icinga repositories. Just type in “gh icinga2” and open the corresponding Github repository in your browser. Search for repos or users or open a new issue in a specific repository.
Alfred saves me a lot of time already. Keep focus and develop faster 🙂