Launch your favorite Mac apps with keyboard shortcuts | Keyboard Maestro

By using keyboard shortcuts to launch apps on my Mac, I can cut back on mouse or trackpad usage to perform actions faster and more efficiently. In fact, the Dock on both my Macs is hidden. I launch all my most popular apps using keyboard shortcuts.

I’ve created my keyboard shortcuts using Keyboard Maestro. Within Keyboard Maestro I have a Group called Launch Apps. All my app launcher macros live there. Here’s how to create the app launcher macro:

Repeat this for all the apps that you would like to launch using a keyboard shortcut.

If you create the macro the way I have, the hotkey will also show/hide the app once launched.

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Web Finds for June 12, 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!

Screenfloats
Use ScreenFloat for Mac to create floating screenshots that are always visible, no matter which application you’re in. This way, you don’t have to move or resize windows around to keep information visible on your screen. You can send shots created with ScreenFloat to any application that handles image files. I love this app.

Yoink
Yoink for Mac simplifies and improves drag and drop between windows, apps, spaces and fullscreen apps. When you start dragging files in Finder or content from an application, Yoink fades in a tiny window at the edge of your screen so you can drag to it. This frees up your mouse so you can comfortably navigate to the destination of the files and resume the drag from Yoink’s window more comfortably.

TwitRSS.me
Get a twitter user feed or search as a RSS.

2017 Apple Design Awards
This year’s Apple Design Award winners were announced at WWDC last week. The thirteen apps selected at this years awards include 5 games and 7 apps for iOS.

Previous Web Finds are here.

Recent Items 4.2 for Alfred 3

If you’re not familiar with Alfred, Alfred 3 for Mac is an award-winning app for which boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords, text expansion and more.

Recents is an Alfred workflow triggered by the rec keyword. This opens up the navigation menu shown in the screenshot below where I can select a category to narrow down my search of recent items. The available options are Now (for the most recently accessed files), Folders, Applications, Documents, Downloads, and Favorites.

I use this instead of using Finder or the Recent Items menu to find recently used files, folders, documents, applications etc. I find this much quicker as all my recent items are in one place.

The download link for the workflow is here.

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Keyboard Maestro macro for plain-text pasting anywhere

I discovered the plain text paste Keyboard Maestro macro on tjlouma’s GitHub page.

Here’s what it does:

  1. Remove any formatting from the clipboard.
  2. Inserts the clipboard text by typing.

Here are a few of the scenarios when this comes in handy:

  • any time you want to ‘paste’ text but do not wanted any formatting kept
  • any time you are faced with a text field that does not respond to a ⌘ + V (paste) command
  • any time you need to enter a phone number into one of those stupid web-forms that uses three different fields for a phone number (area code + prefix + suffix) where you can’t use ‘paste’ because it will put all of the digits into the first box

I use this keyboard shortcut almost every day. I use it when I know I don’t want formatting and am not sure if where I’m pasting will keep the formatting or not. I use it to login into websites or apps that don’t allow pasting. For example you can’t login into an encrypted disk image by pasting. It’s not allowed. So instead of typing your password copy it to the clipboard and past it in using ⌥V.

You can download the Keyboard Maestro macro here, courtesy of tjlouma at Github. tjlouma has a bunch of other Keyboard Maestro macros available on his Github account as well.

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Web Finds for May 23, 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!

Apple launched a new iPhone 7 video series entitled “How to Shoot on iPhone 7,” featuring a range of tutorial videos.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac scans for and removes malware and Trojans that degrade the performance of your system.

Focuslist
FocusList is a daily planner & focus app for planning your day and being more productive using 25 minute intervals. Go through your tasks in 30 minute blocks. (25 minutes work + 5 minutes break). It helps you focus by separating work time and rest time.

Bartender 2
Bartender 2 for Mac lets you organize your menu bar apps, by hiding them, rearranging them, or moving them to the Bartender Bar. You can display the full menu bar, set options to have menu bar items show in the menu bar when they have updated, or have them always visible in the Bartender Bar. Bartender has a 4 week free trial.

Previous Web Finds are here.

I’ve gone paperless

No more filing cabinets no more bankers boxes full of paper. I now keep my bills, medical and insurance paperwork, bank statements, etc. digitally.

For first 30 days, I ran paperless while maintaining my paper workflow. Once convinced going paperless was going to work I started the great purge of my old documents.

Here are the tools in my paperless workflow:

Scanner
I use the scanner that is part of my older Canon printer. It’s slow but it works for me. If you don’t have a scanner check out the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Mobile Document Scanner . It comes highly recommended. I also have Scanner Pro by Readdle. on my iPhone.

PDFpen
My scanner doesn’t have OCR capabilities so I needed a way to OCR my scans. For this I chose PDFpen. PDFpen besides its OCR capabilities is also a great pdf reader and editor. If you’re not familiar with OCR here is what it does. It converts an image of the text to text that is searchable by computers and computer software like Hazel, Spotlight, and Alfred.

Hazel
Hazel is the program I use to automatically name and organize my files according to rules I’ve created.

Shredder
After I scan my documents I destroy the originals with a cross cut shredder.

The Great Purge:

I processed my backlog of documents this way. I went through all my old documents and organized them into three groups scan and keep, scan and shred, and shred. With that complete, I reached the point of doing the actual shredding. There was no way I was going to be able to shred 18 boxes of paper with my little shredder. So I called a local mobile shredding service and had them come to the house and do the shredding. It took just 15 minutes and I was able to watch all my get shredded.

Here’s my paperless workflow:

Now every incoming piece of paper goes into the inbox pile on my desk. All digital documents go into the Inbox folder on my Mac. Every Friday I go through both inboxes and process all the documents using the tools in my paperless tool in my paperless workflow.

Here are a couple of recommendations if you are thinking about going paperless. Read Zachary Sexton article Think going paperless is hard work? Think again. Here’s how I showed my 56-year-old dad go paperless. Zachary’s article got the ball rolling for me. For a more in-depth guide check out The MacSparky Paperless Field Guide by David Sparks.

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Web Finds for May 7, 2017

My Dilemma With Better Touch Tool

I’ve only been using Better Touch Tool for a little over a month. In that time I’ve created a small number of gestures. The primary ones are for managing windows on my desktop. Prior to using BTT I was managing windows with Magnet. Magnet uses hotkeys to manage windows rather than gestures.

Here’s my dilemma. Would I rather use hotkeys or gestures to manage windows? Either way, you have to remember a gesture or a hotkey. After using both my preference is remembering and using hotkeys.

I’m a die hard Alfred and Keyboard Maestro user so using hotkeys fits my workflow better. The other advantage to using Magnet is the menubar drop down in case I forget a hotkey.

The other thing I find myself doing with BTT is accidentally executing a gesture. I have a gesture setup to quit an app. I’ve accidentally executed that while working in Safari with several tabs open. What a pain! This is less likely to happen using hotkeys.

After mulling this over for a bit I’m going to manage windows with Magnet and use BTT to trigger a few of my most used keyboard shortcuts.

As for my long term use of BTT? Well, the jury is still out.

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Web Finds for May 7, 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!

MarginNote
More and more university professors, college instructors, guest speakers, and business lecturers are using PDFs and EPUB files to hand out their materials. MarginNote Mac app is a powerful reading tool for learners. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a researcher, a lawyer or someone with a curious mind to learn, MarginNote can help you quickly organize, study and manage large volumes of PDFs and EPUBs. All in one learning app enables you to highlight PDF and EPUB, take note, create mind map, review flashcards and saves you from switching endlessly between different Apps.

Soulver
Soulver helps you do quick calculations and work things out. Use Soulver to play around with numbers, do “back of the envelope” calculations, and solve day-to-day problems. Annotate your numbers with words, so that they make sense to you. Soulver picks out the numbers and calculates your answer as you type. Do calculations over multiple lines, and refer to previous lines, much like a spreadsheet. Soulver is great for adding things up, doing all kinds of percentages easily, and converting things, like currencies. It’s quicker to use than a spreadsheet, and smarter and clearer than a traditional calculator.

CloudMounter
CloudMounter Mac app is a must-have tool for laptop users with low-capacity SSD-drives, and owners of multiple cloud accounts. You can easily mount Dropbox, Google Drive and other clouds as disks without having to download online files on the hard drive.

Postbox – Spring Sale save 20% Right Now
Postbox for Mac is built for heavy email users. When you are serious about email, Postbox has the tools you need to power through mountains of messages.

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Previous Web Finds are here.