5 Tips To Make Workflows Work Harder For You

Workflows are a great way to extend Alfred in ways that fit your particular needs and the frequent tasks in your personal routine. In this post, I’ve gathered a few valuable tips on organising and managing your growing collection of workflows.

Sync your workflows

NsntJZzYPbAY4hb-v2mPIxYuSjcFKtg0rpCJgw5vIsoIf you have a Mac at home and that you’re lucky to have an enlightened boss, you might have a Mac at the office too. If you use Alfred on both, you can sync your Alfred settings – including your workflows – between your two Macs using Dropbox. Create a new workflow at work (or a theme, custom search or snippet) and it’ll be automatically synchronised with your Mac at home.

Jump to the Advanced tab in Alfred’s preferences to set synching up, or take a look at the tutorial on syncing using Dropbox for a walkthrough on syncing your settings.

Categorise and filter your workflows

As your collection of workflows grows, you can organise them into categories. There are a few default categories to get you started, but you can add your own so that you can quickly locate all your music-related workflows, for example.

Once you’ve assigned your workflows to categories, you can filter to show a single category by clicking on the magnifying glass at the top of your list of workflows.

Find out more about creating workflow categories and filtering on our support site.

Show which hotkeys are in use

If you’re a hotkey fiend but your memory sometimes fails you, you can see at a glance all of your workflow hotkeys in the workflows list. You can toggle this view by clicking on the magnifying glass and checking the “Show hotkeys” box under Display Options.

sidebar_categories

As well as showing the hotkeys, there are other Display Options; Show categories, show workflow creator’s name and only show enabled workflows.

Group actions into a single workflow

A handy way of keeping track of similar actions, such as hotkeys used to launch applications, is to add them to a single workflow instead of creating a new workflow for individual hotkeys.

For example, below is the workflow I use for launching applications like browsers and tools I need frequently. To add these hotkeys, you simply need a “Hotkey” trigger connected to a “Launch Apps / Files” action.

multiple_hotkeys

You could do the same for a collection of file filter workflows or any other actions you’ve grouped together, making it quicker and easier to locate them.

Look out for workflows created by other users

As well as creating your own workflows, it’s worth taking a look at the wonderful range of workflows created by fellow Alfred users.

You’ll find some here on the blog, on the Alfred forum and on the wonderful Packal (created and maintained by Shawn Rice). Many developers host their workflows on their own websites so it’s also worth a quick Google search and a look at Github. It’s likely that if you’ve thought about it, someone has created a workflow for it! :)

Giveaway: Share your Alfred tips [updated with winners]

As you might know, about 3 months ago I started Alfred Tips tumblr which now houses over 50 tips and tricks, helping you make the most of the many, both free and Powerpack features that Alfred offers.

There are tips for beginners as well as advanced users, ranging from descriptions of how to launch multiple apps and files at the same time, tips showing the possibilities of custom search uses or even mini-tutorials explaining how to teach Alfred to behave just as you want him to.

Now it’s your turn!

What is your tip or trick for how to make the most of Alfred? Is there one thing that makes you incredibly productive? Is there a feature you can’t imagine not having anymore? Have you found a neat little way to do something that used to take you lots of time?

Share your own Alfred tip in the comments below for a chance to be one of the 5 randomly selected entries that will receive a gift pack of the lovely and gorgeous Field Notes notebooks. Or do it just for the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes once you’ve realised that your tip may be helping thousands of Alfred users.

Submission time has ended, thank you all for participating!

For a taste of what some of the best tips were, we particularly liked the following one by Molo One:

Turn Aiport on or off in four keystrokes (or less) using the new “silent” terminal mode [PP]:
1| Create two shortcuts : aion & aiof
2| Define aion as : networksetup -setairportpower on (for Leopard) / networksetup -setairportpower AirPort on (for Snow Leopard)
3| Define aiof as : networksetup -setairportpower off (for Leopard) / networksetup -setairportpower AirPort off (for Snow Leopard)
4| Check the “Silent” checkbox.

The 5 random winners of a Field Notes pack or beautiful Alfred schwag are:

Congratulations! We’ll be emailing you shortly with more information.

We’ll close the comments in 24 hours, so be quick! You have until 4pm UK time (11am EST/8am PST) on Tuesday 10th May to submit your tip. We’ll then post the names of the randomly selected winners as an update to this blog post.

I’ll be looking forward to reading your tips!

Anna (@annamanasova)