Some keys get used more just because they’re more common, but for keyboard fiends, there’s a whole different set of keys that get worn out. If you’ve ever worn out the ⌘, Ctrl, or alt keys on your keyboard, chances are you couldn’t get by with just a mouse.
If anything, keyboard shortcuts are one of the best things in OS X. There’s the usual suspects, like ⌘+C and ⌘+V for copy and paste, or ⌘+tab for switching between apps, but you get those everywhere. Then there’s the ones that make OS X especially nice for writing: Alt+left/right to jump between words and ⌘+left/right to jump to the beginning/end of a line, with the addition of holding shift down to select text. There’s even more obscure text editing shortcuts, like Ctrl+T to swap the two letters your curser’s currently between.
Then, there’s the even more powerful keyboard shortcuts: those like ⌘+space to open Spotlight search or the default Alt+space to start Alfred. Those — combined with app specific shortcuts, and those you can setup yourself from your Keyboard’s system preferences — are the most powerful tools to keep you from having to revert to your mouse or touchpad all day. They’ll get so ingrained in your muscle memory, a computer without them feels broken.
For me, Alt+space is that killer shortcut that I invoke over a hundred times a day to use Alfred. What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut?
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. (more…)
Recently I’ve gotten interested in time management techniques and apps, and I’ve gotten to review a few Pomodoro Technique apps and even had an interview with the developer of one of them. If you’re easily distracted and have a tendency to procrastinate, there’s nothing better than a little pull on the ears to keep you on track and away from distractions, and those tools are great for that.
But what about when those tools become more distracting and harder to use than they are helpful? Having all those great features and animations can actually slow you down, as I have found. So the question is, are these tools actually necessary, and to what extent? Let’s explore a few of the ins and outs of the problem.
Just a little over two years ago, when I moved from Linux to the Mac, I set out to find an app launcher similar to what I was accustomed to. At the time, Quicksilver was pretty much defunct and Launchbar… well that just didn’t click with me. Then I found Alfred and have never looked back.
Dubbing Alfred as a mere application launcher is very misleading though, simply because it’s capable of so much more. It a true productivity powerhouse, the backbone of so many of my workflows… An app without which I would feel crippled on a Mac.
As is the case with any vital tool, when I hear the words “New version” or “Major rewrite”, I cannot help but cringe and feel a little bit anxious with what lies ahead. Will it remain the crux of my workflow, or will the glue that holds the many intricate pieces together fail? Well… Will it?
The new year is here, and with it should come a ton of exciting new apps and app updates. A number of our favorite app developers have already announced major updates coming this year. Throw in the countless new apps that will come out, and perhaps an as-yet-unannounced app upgrade from Apple or Adobe, and it should be yet another exciting year for apps on the Mac.
Here’s some of the apps we’re most excited about in 2013.
In the previous instalment, I covered quite a few topics. Ranging from search and working with URLs to the various little neat features that make working with your Mac all the more pleasurable. As overwhelming as it all may have seemed at the time, I did warn you that there was still more to Alfred. Much more in fact.
So without further delay, let’s continue on our quest and wake this beast from its slumber once and for all.
To most of our readers, our love of Alfred should be immediately apparent. It is one of those apps that is an integral part in so many of our workflows. I for one feel naked and lost working on a Mac without it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear that I was giddy with the news that version 2 will soon be knocking on our eager doors.
In a recent blog post, Vero goes into a little detail, stating that version 2 has been secretly in the making for the past six months. The app has been rewritten from the ground up keeping very little of the original codebase and promises to be even more powerful, flexible and efficient. Vero also reassures Veteran users that they will still feel right at home in the new iteration of Alfred. Developers on the other hand, will have to tweak most of their existing extensions for them to work in the new version.
Details are still a little sketchy at this time but the team behind Alfred has promised to tantalise our senses in the coming weeks with sneak peaks of the new features. A beta of the new version is slated to be available sometime in January 2013, but it will only be available to Mega Supporters. If you haven’t yet bought a license then this would be the perfect time to do so, or alternatively you can upgrade your existing license and be part of all the fun when beta testing begins.