Alfred or Keyboard Maestro or both

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Alfred and Keyboard Maestro.

Alfred was one of the first apps that I discovered after moving from a PC to a Mac. I use its features many times every day.

I discovered Keyboard Maestro a little later on. Since Alfred was already ingrained in the way I used my Mac there were a lot of its features that I didn’t use. There’s a lot of feature overlap between Alfred and Keyboard Maestro. Over time I created or accumulated a couple of dozen Keyboard Maestro macros some that I used often and others that I rarely used.

When Alfred 4 came out in June I immediately upgraded without a thought. I think the cost was around $15. Today I received an email from the developer of Keyboard Maestro letting me know that version 9 is now available with lots of new features and an upgrade price of $25. But, I’m having trouble justifying the upgrade. After reviewing what’s new I’m not sure I’ll use any of the new features or actions.

So that leads me to question whether I even needed Keyboard Maestro. I figured if I could recreate my KM macros as Alfred workflows I wouldn’t need Keyboard Maestro any longer. So that’s what I did. To my surprise, I was able to create Alfred workflows that would do the same thing that my KM macros did. To be fair to Keyboard Maestro I love the app but don’t need to apps that will do the same thing. Also, my macros were just scratching the surface of what Keyboard Maestro can do.

For now I’ve stopped using Keyboard Maestro and I’m using Alfred for 100% of my automation. Folks, this is what works for me but may not be what works for you.

Apple listening

I love the Mac. It’s my preferred computing device. What makes the Mac great are all the apps that increase productivity. I’m thinking about Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, PopClip, Moom, and Hazel to name a few. You won’t find these in iOS or iPadOS

So, my Mac’s are getting old. Up to today, I have been concerned with what I would replace them when the time comes?

If you care about the Mac as I do you’ll want to read Marco Arment’s article Apple is Listening. After WWDC and reading Marco’s article I’m encouraged about the future of the Mac and that I will be able to continue to enjoy the Mac and the apps that I love using.

But there has clearly been a major shift in direction for the better since early 2017, and they couldn’t be more clear now:

Apple is listening again, they’ve still got it, and the Mac is back.

Alfred 4 Is Here

My Mac launcher app has gotten an update.

Although I didn’t see much reason to upgrade from version 3 I did so anyway. I want to support the developer so I also upgraded my Powerpack license.

Alfred is an indispensable part of the daily use of my Macs. I use it at least 20 to 30 times every day. You can find all the articles that I’ve written about Alfred here.

 

Interact with Things 3 using Alfred

I wanted to share this cool Alfred Workflow, Things for Alfred, with you since I know a lot of you have moved to Things 3 since its launch. Here’s what it does.

Using the keyword todo

  • Use the keyword todo to show Things lists and action any of them for displaying the corresponding to-dos.
  • Action a to-do to display it in the Things UI.
  • Try the modifier keys either in lists or in to-dos for more actions.

File Quick View with Alfred

If you have been following my blog for a while you know that I’m a big fan of Alfred. I use it all the time for finding and opening files. One thing I didn’t know though is that when searching files you can do a Quick View. In the past, I’ve always opened the file in the appropriate app to view it. With Alfred Quick View I can press ⇧ or ⌘Y to bring up a quick view of the file. This is a nice time saver.

Credit to Lee Garrett: Quick View with Alfred

 

My Mac Menu Bar – June 2018

Visible

1Password: For my passwords
Copied: For syncing clipboards.
Fantastical: For quick access to my calendars.
Screenfloat: For taking or accessing screenshots.
TunnelBear VPN: For private browsing.
Bartender 3: For hiding the menu bar items that I don’t want to see.

Hidden

Alfred: For efficiency and productivity.
Keyboard Maestro: For efficiency and productivity.
PopClip: For managing selected text.
Yoink: For drag and drop.
Oversight: For alerting me when my internal mic or webcam is being accessed.
Time Machine: For backup to an external USB drive.

Search Bear notes from Alfred

If you’re using Alfred and Bear I want to share a workflow with you that I use to search Bear notes or tags and open the result from Alfred.

Here’s how it works.

Searching and opening results

  • bs — Search for a note by title and open it in Bear.
  • bst — Search for a tag (a group of notes) by tag title and open it in Bear.

You can also create a new note from Alfred.

Creating a new note

  • bn — Create a new note with input as title. Tags optional.
    • bn I love notes! — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!”
    • bn I love notes! #love #notes — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!” and the tags “#love” and “#notes”

This saves some keystrokes if I’m not already working in Bear.

Download the workflow.