How You Use Alfred: James Bull, Design Lead at Shopify

In this series, we are taking a look at how some users have adopted Alfred in their workplace. They'll give us a glimpse of how they use Alfred, how they stay productive and what it's like working for some of the companies we know and love.

Here, James Bull from Shopify, shares how he gets stuff done with the help of Alfred workflows!

James Bull, Shopify

Who you are? What keeps you busy?

Oh hey there! I'm James, a Design Lead at Shopify in Ottawa, ON. All kinds of things are keeping me busy these days, one of my favourites is pushing our design team to do the amazing work they do at Shopify.

We’ve been working really hard to make a commerce platform that’s beautiful and easy to use. The team never ceases to amaze me, whether its new interaction patterns on our mobile POS apps, or rethinking how our web admin looks and functions. You can check out what the team is up to on Dribbble.

How long have you been using Alfred?

It’s gotta be 3 years, or possibly more. I started out with the un-paid version, but it wasn’t long before I upgraded with the Powerpack and got all the amazing features that come with it. Custom workflows FTW!

What aspects of Alfred make your workday easier, smoother, more productive, etc?

It's crazy to think, but I probably use Alfred 100x or more in my day. The custom workflows, web searches, clipboard history, file search, app launcher, preference syncing, spell check, dictionary support, and more make it so damn useful.

When OS X Yosemite launched last year with an improved Spotlight, I thought I’d test it out. Apple touted it as the enhanced app launcher we’ve all been waiting for. Spotlight lasted a whole 32 minutes before switching back to Alfred.

Are there workflows you’ve created or imported that you’d suggest/recommend?

I thought you’d never ask. The most powerful feature for me are the custom workflows, and being able to configure them with our internal tools at Shopify. Most of it involves searching our internal wiki and platform documentation, but the potential is limitless. Here are a few of my favourites:

Dev Doctor: a fantastic developer documentation workflow, easily look up css and js documentation with a few keyboard strokes

OS X Toolbox: a workflow to perform common system tasks, hiding/unhiding system files, relaunching finder, things like that

GIF & Dropbox Workflow: a little outdated, but can be manually updated and tweaked to work really well. you’ll be a Slack superstar in no time.

James Van Der Meme: a gif workflow based off the James Van Der Meme Tumblr

Foursquare & Yelp Search: great to settle office lunch debates

Water Theme: A great theme from James Bryant

I recently discovered Packal as well, so I’ll be cruising the categories for my next favourite workflow!

Thanks James for sharing your favourite workflows and tips with us!

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