At Four Kitchens, we love our computers. We use them all day, making the best websites on the web, and into the wee hours, trying our hands at native apps and tools to help with our artistic pursuits.
The only thing we don’t love is the drudgery of computer use – hunting for applications or files hidden inside folders inside of folders, manually creating video chats for impromptu meetings, or even remembering to clean up our desktop before presentations.
That’s why many of us have enlisted the services of our personal robot butler, who goes by the name of Alfred. While there are several applications that are similar, including Quicksilver, Launchbar, and the latest version of Spotlight that is slated to launch this fall, we find Alfred to be the most flexible. Some of us Chefs wanted to share our favorite recipes (or Workflows in Alfred parlance) for success.
I tend to use Alfred as a glorified application launcher, but have added a few just-for-fun workflows I really like.
The perfect GIF at your fingertips
This is the workflow that tore me away from a long time relationship with Quicksilver and made me an Alfred user in the first place. This lets me keep a personal repository of reaction gifs, search for the perfect one, and then link them easily in chat rooms.
Emoji like a pro
Similar to the GIF workflow, this Workflow allows me to search the full emoji set for the perfect emoji, without using OSX’s super slow emoji picker. It also allows you to choose OSX style emoji (the literal character) or the Github style text emoji (
Quickly grok timestamps
An actually useful workflow, this allows me to paste a Unix timestamp from a database table or the command line and get a human-readable date. This is easy enough to accomplish through a search engine, but being able to popup Alfred and get the answer without having to switch from my work context is super useful, and really that’s the power of Alfred workflows.
Creating a quick application for adding frequently used things to the clipboard using Applescript
- Open the Apple Script Editor
- Put in a line like:
set the clipboard to "https://yourcompany.zoom.us/j/5551234567"
- Save it as an application named Zoom Link
Now you can add a Zoom link to to your clipboard from Alfred!
An alternative, specifically for Google Hangouts, is available here.
Hide/show desktop icons
Several years ago I conceded that I would never keep my “Desktop” folder empty. I also hate seeing all those random folders, images, and text snippets on my desktop. This Alfred workflow allows you to hide or show those pesky items for a truly minimal desktop. Works great for screen sharing too!
Generate an XKCD-style password
You might remember this XKCD webcomic that recommended creating secure, memorable passwords by combining four common words like “correct horse batter staple”. With this workflow, you can easily generate passwords like this and have them copied to your clipboard.