How You Use Alfred: Hundreds of Tips from Podcasts and Blogs

We love seeing Alfred community members get excited about productivity on Twitter, on their blogs and in videos or podcasts. Sure, we enjoy sharing our own tips and tricks, but it's even better to read or hear yours.

David & Rosemary's Automators Podcast

Automators Podcast logo

You may already know long-time host of the Mac Power Users podcast, David Sparks (aka MacSparky). He also co-hosts a podcast called Automators in collaboration with Rosemary Orchard. A few weeks ago, they dedicated episode 76: Automating with Alfred to covering in incredible depth the many ways they use Alfred.

Rosemary's tips are:

"Set your shortcut to CMD+Space and replace Spotlight, look for Alfred workflows for the apps you use every day, and explore the settings!

Alfred has lots of features, try Clipboard History, Snippets, 1Password integration, or anything else that catches your eye."

Snazzy Labs

Quinn Nelson, also known as Snazzy Labs, has been publishing honest tech reviews on YouTube since 2008. We should know; Quinn was one of the very first people to ever review Alfred in video form in 2010! Eleven years on, he reviews his favourite Mac Apps, saying:

"This is the one app I truly cannot use a Mac without. It is the best Mac app ever made, and it's the first app I install on every new Mac."

Gosh, you're making us blush!

Chris Messina & Aron at Automate All The Things

Chris Messina, who introduced the world to the hashtag, has shared his enthusiasm for Alfred all over the web, most recently chatting with Aron Korenblit of Automate All The Things, as well as sharing his own workflow and themes.

The Productivity Shop

Luke Carter from The Productivity Shop also covers in great detail how he uses Alfred, "one of the building blocks of his workflows". He dedicates the first half of his video to the core (non-Powerpack) features, and the second half to Powerpack features, so it's a great intro to share with a friend or colleague new to Alfred.

Ali Abdaal

And finally, Ali Abdaal, a Cambridge University medicine graduate, certainly wins the prize of most unusual description, calling Alfred "the lubricating jelly to his Mac life" in his Favourite Mac Apps in 2020 video. 😆

If you've written or shared how you use Alfred, be sure to tweet us @alfredapp to let us know. Happy reading, listening and watching!

Alfred 4.5: New Universal Actions Feature in Pre-Release

Alfred 4.5 is a very exciting major update to Alfred, bringing you a whole new way to use Alfred.

Alfred Universal Actions for a text item

In Alfred 4.5, you can take any text, URLs or files and perform actions on them from anywhere within Alfred or on your Mac using your Universal Action hotkey.

This update is currently in pre-release, if you'd like to take an early look. New to pre-releases? Go to Alfred's Update preferences and choose "Pre-releases" from the dropdown menu; You'll now see more frequent Alfred updates and early features.

Find out more about Universal Actions on the official preview page!

System Commands: Take Control of macOS

Alfred's System Commands are so simple to use, they can easily go unmentioned.

From emptying your Mac's trash and launching your screen saver, to hiding or quitting apps and ejecting volumes, the System Commands are brilliantly useful. No need to take your fingers off the keyboard, or hunt for items in the menu bar.

The Shut Down command in Alfred

Many of the commands can be set to require confirmation before performing them, so that you don't accidentally restart your Mac when you meant to open Reminders.

Alfred Preferences showing System Commands

Want to lock your screen before leaving your Mac?

My most-used command is the screen saver; My Mac is set to require a password after sleep or screen saver (which you can set in your System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General), so when I step away from my Mac, I can type "scr" and know my Mac is locked.

I've also created a workflow so that I can trigger the screen saver command with a hotkey combo, which makes it even quicker to set!

Workflow using a hotkey to trigger the Screensaver command

Clipboard History: The Feature You Never Knew You Needed

Alfred's Clipboard History feature is invaluable, allowing you to copy as many items without having to worry whether you've pasted the previous clipboard content. Later on, you can always quickly search back for the link or paragraph you need in the Clipboard Viewer.

The tips below assume that you've already enabled the Clipboard History and Snippets feature; Here's how you can enable them both if you're using these features for the first time:

This is one of the many brilliant features you can unlock by purchasing an Alfred Powerpack license.

1. Browse and search the Clipboard Viewer

You can show the Clipboard Viewer by using the default hotkey combo ⌥⌘C or by typing "clipboard" into Alfred.

Alfred Clipboard Viewer

Alfred will show you the most recent items you've copied, with a search bar at the top. Type a word or phrase from the clip you're looking for to filter down to the most relevant results.

Press Return to paste the clip to the frontmost app, or use ⌘C to copy it to your current clipboard.

2. Save your most used clips as snippets

If you notice that you're frequently looking for the same clip, or need to sync certain bits of text across your Macs, use ⌘S in the Clipboard Viewer to save the clip as a snippet.

You can then give it a text expansion keyword, save it in a collection and you're good to go!

3. Clear your history

You can clear unwanted items from your clipboard history either individually or by time period.

Use Fn + backspace on an individual Clipboard History item or type "clear" into Alfred to choose how far back to delete the history.

Clearing the Clipboard History

And finally, what's the most useful thing you can do with Clipboard History? It's telling a friend or colleague so that they can take advantage of this indispensable feature every Mac should have! :)

Give Your Files Helpful Nicknames to Find Them Faster

What's the solution when the app you want to launch is Photos, but you keep calling it "iPhoto" - out of habit or nostalgia for the old days - or when you frequently misspell an app's name?

You let Alfred do the legwork of launching the right app or file for you by creating the simplest workflow ever!

Keywords to launch an app or file with a nickname

Create a simple workflow using Templates > Files and Apps > "Launch file group from keyword", or create your own blank workflow. Connect a Keyword Input to a Launch Apps/Files Action and fill in the details.

You can add multiple object pairs to this particular workflow, connecting each app you want to launch to its respective alternative keyword.

Latest Blog Post:

Searching Google Drive with an Alfred workflow

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