Using Alfred to trigger common system commands

One of my most used Alfred features is triggering system commands from the keyboard. This saves me a lot of mouse clicks. I can empty the trash, force quit apps, lock, logout, restart, or shutdown my Mac right from the keyboard.

The System Commands section in Settings has triggers for the most commonly used system commands.

I’ve carried this one step further. Instead of invoking Alfred and typing the trigger I’ve created hotkeys for my most often used system commands. So for example, instead of invoking Alfred and typing logout to bring up the action I use the hotkey ⌃⌥⌘O.

This is something you may want to do so you can download the workflow here.​

How to export Apple Notes as plain text files

Apple’s Notes.app for Mac and iOS has no option for exporting your notes other than PDF. This is not going to work if you’re wanting to move to another notes app like Bear. You might assume your locked in with no way to move your notes.

Well, I have some good news for you. Exporter app in the Mac App Store exports your notes as plain text files to a location of your choice. Exporter preserves creation and modification dates turns note formatting into Markdown, and creates a folder for each notebook inside Notes.app for persevering your organizational structure.

If you’re moving to Bear you will need to import your exported notes.

How I organize my Mac menu bar apps

I have collected my share of menu bar utility apps on my Macs. Some of them I like to see all the time and others I only need to see occasionally or not at all. Bartender 3 lets me organize my menu bar apps by hiding them, rearranging them, or moving them to the Bartender Bar.

I also like that I can place an app in the Bartender Bar but any time the app updates the icon will appear in the main menu bar. An example this would be the way I’ve configured Dropbox. I have it set to be in the Bartender Bar but anytime it updates the icon will show in the main menu bar for 15 seconds.

If you want to cleanup your menu bar give Bartender a try. You can download a 4 week trial here.

Checking out the new Firefox Quantum browser for Mac

Back in my PC days, Firefox was my browser of choice. So when I moved to the Mac I installed Firefox because that was what I was used to. After a month or so of using Firefox, I tried Safari and have never looked back until today.

I noticed a couple of articles about Firefox Quantum in my newsfeed yesterday. I thought I would check it out.

Here’s my quick takeaway:

It’s fast. Really fast! The speed increase comes from the completely overhauled core engine with new technology. I like the new look and feel. But I’m most impressed with how fast it is.

I’m going to run it as my default browser for a few days as a test. I doubt that it can replace Safari. It will definitely replace Chrome as my backup browser though.

If you’re already a Firefox user you should receive an automatic update otherwise you can download it here.

MacRumors has a good review of Firefox Quantum for Mac which you can read here.

iPhone X notch remover

I haven’t purchased the iPhone 10. Yet? I have read and listened to a lot of reviews on it though. One of the most controversial things about it is the notch at the top of the screen. Some people hate it, others are okay with it and some tolerate it.

Here’s a way to get rid of it. In the App Store, today there’s a new app Notch Remover. Notch Remover lets you remove the notch from the status bar. It modifies your wallpaper to adjust for the notch. You can check out some of the amazing results in the screenshots on the App Store.

I’ve also heard that using the black wallpaper that’s part of iOS 11 does a pretty good job of disguising it.

Web Finds for November 5, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

How to Hide Recent & Suggested Apps from iPad Dock in iOS 11
One of the various new features introduced to iPad with modern iOS is a revamped Dock, complete with a new Recent and Suggested Apps section that appears on the far right side of the iPad Dock, delineated by a faint separator line.

Cardhop
Cardhop for Mac is a new way to deal with contacts. The magical parsing engine is incredibly intuitive, letting you search, add, edit, and interact with your contacts using a simple sentence!

Path Finder 7
Path Finder is a Mac Finder replacement with power user file management features. Path Finder is designed to work with a variety of different workflows. Whether you’re a power user who accesses, manages, and manipulates a bunch of files a day, or just a casual user who loves being on top of everything.

Affirm: Easy monthly payments
With Affirm iOS app, you can split almost any online purchase into easy monthly payments. Unlike a credit card, there are no hidden fees and no surprises. Just enter a few pieces of information for a real-time decision, then choose the payment schedule that works for you!

Previous Web Finds are here.

Hide the app icon row in the iOS 11 Messages app

I’m not into iMessage apps. So after updating my iPhone to iOS 11 and seeing a row of brightly colored app icons at the bottom of Messages ticked me off. Since I never use the iMessage apps they were distracting and a waste of screen space. How to get rid of it? It took me a few days but after doing some poking around I stumbled upon a way to get rid of the app icon row.

The method for hiding the icon row is not obvious and there’s no setting for it in the Messages app Settings. Hiding and showing the iMessage app row is in the Messages app itself. To show or hide the app icon row tap App Store icon next to the message entry field.

Tip – Ulysses Smart Paste

Okay, I know I’m using Ulysses again after I said I was moving on to other options. I’m still not happy about the subscription model but that said I’ve been gradually gravitating back to Ulysses. It just fits my writing workflow better than the other options. Smart Paste is one of the features in Ulysses for Mac that’s missing in the other options.

Smart paste lets me paste text into a sheet the way I want. It detects all the appropriate ways for pasting and lets me choose the option that fits my purpose. The hotkey to trigger for Smart Paste is ⇧-⌘-V.

All Smart Paste options are also available in the Menu under Edit › Paste as and Edit › Paste from.