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Meeting Alfred

(Or, if you’d prefer, giving up the Dock on OS X)

I’m a Mac user. Have been for just under a decade now.

I’ve travelled all the way from the Tiger to the Mountain Lion.

And throughout every great cat there was an equally powerful Dock behind it, giving users instant access to applications, drag-n-drop onto the Dock, and it had some cool effects like the Genie effect for minimising windows, etc.

And throughtout every great cat the Dock had some form of upgrade. In Leopard it got Stacks - the ability to navigate folders from the Dock. In Snow Leopard it got a rewrite and a cool reflective effect.

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But now, in OS X Mountain Lion, I’ve dropped the Dock in favour of a new way to navigate my Mac.

Alfred.

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Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for Mac OS X

Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords and file actions at your fingertips.

I think the best way I heard someone describe Alfred was “Spotlight on steroids”, which is surprisingly accurate.

Alfred speeds up my workflow by stopping me using my mouse. Literally. To get to the dock to open Coda, I use to stop typing, haul my mouse over to the dock and click. Click. Urgh. So overrated. These days I just Cmd + Space, type “c” and hit Enter. And Coda opens. So much quicker.

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It’s not just that. “g” for Chrome. “t” for Terminal. “s” for Spotify.

The reason I like Alfred so much is it can do so much more than just open Applications. You can get to System Preferences panes, enter URLs, and search the web, right from a single window:

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Every single day I am finding more and more uses for Alfred. This little app has single-handedly changed my workflow and the entire way of using my Mac, for the better.

It’s killed my Dock. Literally, I have moved my Dock to the left-hand side of the screen and hidden it, and I’ve not touched it since. At all. I don’t even need it to *Force Quit* applications anymore:

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Honestly, I can’t recommend this app enough. Go and get it from the developer’s website or the Mac App Store, and definitely follow them on Twitter. You won’t regret it. At all.

And just watch it takeover.

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