16 Great Workflows to Jumpstart Your Alfred Experience

Alfred’s an amazing tool for increasing your productivity, but you can only make the most of it if you’re trying out all the awesome user-created workflows available for download. Sure, Alfred’s pretty sweet all on its own–Pedro Lobo thought it was pretty wonderful in the AppStorm review of Alfred 2 last month–but you need to put in a little elbow grease to get the best experience. Or, you can let other people put in all the effort and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Since Alfred 2 was released, a ton of workflows have been uploaded and shared on the Alfred forums, GitHub, and elsewhere. I’ve gathered together sixteen great workflows to help you get more done with Alfred.

The Workflows

I’m only a recent convert to Alfred myself, so I’m looking to help those who haven’t quite figured out what the big deal is. Hopefully these workflows will demonstrate that there’s a lot more you can do with Alfred than just launch applications, though that’s pretty nice, too! Remember, if you want to download and install these workflows, you’ll need an Alfred Powerpack license on top of the free app.

Search for Apps

There are a lot of great App Store search workflows that fulfill a lot of different needs, and this one’s pretty great, because it actually opens the Mac App Store app and iTunes. The only problem is that it defaults to the Chinese store, so while you’ll end up in the right place in the end, portions of your results in Alfred will be in Chinese. You can fix this by searching for “country=cn” in the workflow script and replacing “CN” with your country code. If that’s beyond you, this is another great workflow option, but it won’t open the App Store apps for you.

Mail Actions

This is a nice workflow for increasing your productivity in Mail, and I’m not just saying that because it was created by AppStorm writer Pedro Lobo. Navigate to your mailboxes and get into any mailbox you want. From there, you can perform whatever action in Alfred you want, including moving and copying emails, marking messages as read, or deleting everything!

Open Selected Finder Items in Application

It happens on occasion that I don’t want to use the default application to open a file and instead choose another app. There are a couple of ways to get around an app’s default application setting in Finder, but this Alfred workflow takes care of it for you quite nicely. With the file selected, type the trigger keyword and then the name of the application you want to use. Simple!

Faves–Formerly Favorite Folders

Set any file, folder, or application as a favorite in Alfred. The workflow creates a list of the things you use most often so they’re easily accessible. Favorites can be browsed or acted upon in Alfred using the workflows triggers.

End Process

If you have an application or process that’s acting up and you need to end it quickly, this workflow helps you do that. Enter the trigger kill into Alfred followed by the name of the process and hit enter. Not only will it display the application or process, but it tells you the CPU usage, just to let you know you’re doing the right thing but cutting it off.

Weather

This workflow outputs your weather in a really beautiful way, all without leaving Alfred. Get your current forecast and the outlook for the next few days, including high and low temperatures and chance of rain. Make sure to set your location, though, or you might be confused when you look outside and what you see doesn’t match up with Alfred.

Evernote

Search and create notes right in Alfred. You can find your notes pretty much the same way as you would in Evernote, using the full range of modifiers Evernote provides. With the typenote trigger, you can even write your note in Alfred. A recent update to the workflow allows you to add tags to your updates, too.

Things

This workflow lets you create new tasks in Things using Alfred. Give your task a name, stick it in a project, tag it, and even slap a due date on it. The workflow also lets you search your Things tasks, too. It seems that the guy who created this one ran into a few problems when it first went live, but he’s constantly updating it and replying to users in forum comments.

Reminders

Create new to dos in Reminders inside of Alfred or view current reminders. Using date and time modifiers, set due dates. The r this command will create a reminder from whatever you’re looking at, including emails and browser windows.

Spotious

There was already a popular Spotify workflow for Alfred, but this developer wanted something that looked and acted a bit more like a true mini player, similar to the Alfred iTunes mini player. While it’s not quite there, it has the features and functionality that you want when you’re playing your Spotify music in Alfred, including play/pause, and search. You just have to give it a minute, because the Spotify API is apparently slower than a thing that isn’t very fast at all.

Grooveshark

Spotify doesn’t have all of the music that exists, so this workflow will help you search the Grooveshark website for everything else. Unfortunately, it doesn’t integrate with the desktop app and no word yet on whether that’s going to be a feature. Still, if there’s a song you just can’t get out of your head, the Grooveshark workflow can help you find it.

Rdio

If you prefer Rdio for streaming music, there’s a workflow for you, too. This one will play/pause, check the player status, and get info on the current track. It can’t add tracks to the play queue, unfortunately, but searching for an artist will play their top tracks, so you don’t have to select tracks individually.

Dropbox Short Links

This one is a constant struggle for me. I want to share a Dropbox file with someone, but it hasn’t always been easy to get a shareable link from the desktop app, and once you did that, you still had to shorten it. This workflow will create a shortened link for any selected file in your Dropbox folder and copy it to your clipboard, easy as that.

Shorten URLs

If you need to shorten any URL, not just one leading to a Dropbox file, this is the Alfred workflow for you. Using the trigger short, paste a long URL into the Alfred search window. the workflow will give you a list of services you can use to shorten your URL. Select the one you need, and the new short URL is copied to your clipboard and ready to be pasted wherever you need it.

Send URL

This workflow grabs the URL from the topmost application or from the clipboard and gives you the option of sending it to a variety of other applications, including browsers, email applications, instant messengers, and more. You can copy the URL as an HTML or Markdown link, too.

Alleyoop

It can be difficult to check in on all of your Alfred workflows for updates, especially if you’re a power user and have a ton of workflows installed. Going one by one could take ages. This workflow makes that a bit easier by checking all of your workflows to see if they’ve been updated. It’s not universal, though, as each workflow’s developer has to sort of opt-in to using Alleyoop. Still, it’s a nice one to keep an eye on.

Show Us Your Stuff!

If you’re a power user, you’ve probably run into a few of these already, but hopefully you were able to find something new to make Alfred do more for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are lots of different ways to get the same thing done in Alfred. Do you have a favorite workflow that’s not listed here? Or have you created workflows for Alfred yourself? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget the links!


  • http://ikasch.de Kim

    I made a little workflow to search letterboxd.com!
    It can be found here: http://ikasch.de/alfred-letterboxd-search-workflow

    Just use “lb The Avengers” or “lb Christoph Waltz” or whatever. As soon as Letterboxd will release their API i’m on it!

  • Rami

    The Dash workflow is pretty awesome for developers: http://www.alfredforum.com/topic/1919-dash-documentation-for-80-apis/

  • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

    Nice roundup Paulo. It’s no easy feat wading through all those great workflows. This is just barely the tip of the iceberg.

    Some people to watch for since the produce many, and consistently good, workflows are (in no particular order):
    http://www.alfredforum.com/user/10-david-ferguson/
    http://www.alfredforum.com/user/1356-benzi/
    http://www.alfredforum.com/user/660-carlos-sz/
    http://www.alfredforum.com/user/76-tyler-eich/
    http://www.alfredforum.com/user/29-phyllisstein/
    http://www.alfredforum.com/user/104-carlosnz/

    To all others out there creating great workflows… THANKS! I really couldn’t name you all though so no hard feelings ;)

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      My word, just now saw that I misspelled your name Paula, I blame the Portuguese autocorrect. Sorry about that dear.

      • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

        Haha, that’s okay! :) I used to work with a guy named Paulo, and everyone just dropped “Paula” entirely and called us “Paulo” collectively.

  • http://cl.ly/Ny7W Ben C

    Sometimes, when I download apps that haven’t been signed for Gatekeeper, I get a warning about the app that requires me to right-click on the app and press “Open”. I don’t want to get rid of Gatekeeper, so I made this workflow.

    http://cl.ly/Ny7W

    keyword: rem

    Just type in “rem” and then type in the name of the app you’d like to remove the warning from. The workflow searches for all .app files, regardless of location

    • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

      NICE!

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      That’s a great one!

      • Ben C

        Thank you!

  • http://technicallysimple.com Tim Stringer

    I recently released a video screencast showing how to use the Workflows feature to assign hotkeys to apps, websites, web searches and system commands.

    http://technicallysimple.com/screencasts/alfred-2-hotkeys/

    While very simple, I find these workflows make using my Mac much more efficient.

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      This is just what I’ve been wanting.

      • http://technicallysimple.com Tim Stringer

        Glad to hear you found this useful Paula!

  • Dominic

    All the above listed Workflows are just awesome and time saver! I use Alfred daily instead of OSX default search. I felt so much love for the Alfred app it has been the best productivity applications of all the time.

    The guys at the Running with Crayons they did a great job (Andrew and Vero) and their support is always outstanding they had provided great support for the valued users!

  • vdesabou

    The Spotifious workflow is great for searching in the complete Spotify catalog, but if you’re looking for an equivalent of the Alfred iTunes Mini Player for Spotify, check out my workflow “Spotify Mini Player” here http://d.pr/UamX
    It only searches in your playlists, that allows it to be very responsive as everything can be cached!!

  • http://www.pagico.com/blog/ Ryo

    We’ve got a workflow for Pagico — quickly save items as notes or tasks into your Inbox. Here’s a link to it: http://www.pagico.com/blog/pagico-workflow-for-alfred-2-is-now-available-for-free.html

    Ryo

  • Sue

    My fave time-saver …for accessing a lookup in the dictionary, super fast!

    Hit Alt+spacebar, then type dic, hit enter, then start typing the word you want to check, all before the Alfred pane has even appeared. Wait a sec then Voila! there it is. You can easily switch from Dictionary to Thesauraus and more. It minimises interruption when you’re in mid-flow on a document. Brilliant.

    Will seem very obvious to advanced users, but it’s a useful tip for newbies.

  • matt

    Alfred has made a huge difference in my productivity, and these are some very helpful workflows.

    I made a fork of the Search for Apps workflow from Siqi Yi for US residents so that it won’t be necessary to go in and change the “country=cn” text.

    It can be found here: https://github.com/temporalcube/alfred2-workflow-appstore

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      That’s so great! Thanks so much! I tend to rush headlong into stuff like this and figure if I get it wrong, I can just re-download, but I know others aren’t as foolhardy as me, so it’s amazing that you took the time to make this change for US users. :)

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