Here: 10 Alfred Workflows That Will Improve Your Life

I have a lot of tools I use for getting tasks done faster on my Mac, but Alfred is by far one of my favorites. For the uninitiated, Alfred is like Spotlight on steroids. Alfred’s most powerful feature is Workflows, custom functionality that you can create to reduce repetitive tasks. In fact, with the release of Alfred 3, they overhauled workflows and made them even easier to write.

Below is a small sampling of workflows that I use every day.

1. Look Up Documentation

Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Combined with Alfred, it’s an incredibly fast way to get answers from documentation.

Needle, haystack? Haystack, needle?

2. Edit Common Files

There are a couple of files that I edit quite frequently (SSH config, hosts file, bash profile, etc). Writing a quick Alfred workflow to open them up in Sublime makes it a lot less painful.

Thank you, Noun Project, for making this look more official.

Each bash script is one line:

/usr/local/bin/sublime ~/.ssh/config

3. Search Emojis

I am what you might call a casual emoji user. But if it’s not baked right into the app I’m using, I can never remember how to pull them up on the Mac. Now I don’t have to.


4. Block Distracting Sites

When I have to really get something done, there are times I have to put on the digital blinders. This workflow simply inserts problematic URLs into my local hosts file, preventing me from accessing them.

Stop distracting me, internet.

5. Look Up Song Lyrics on Genius

I listen to a lot of music. When I just can’t understand what the artist is saying, Genius is my weapon of choice. Tapping into the Genius API via Alfred scratches that itch even faster.

I don’t like to sleep, I’m up like coyote

6. Kill Running Process

Not aware of a faster way to kill a running Mac process by name.


7. Google Maps Directions

I use Google Maps for directions constantly, mostly when coming from home or work. This workflow uses the new variables feature to open the correct Maps URL automatically.

Craving that fried chicken sandwich.{var:startingAddress}/{query}

8. Open Directory in Terminal

Often, I want to go directly to a local directory in my terminal. Combining the power of Alfred folder search with workflows, the solution was easy.

set pathForTerminal to "{query}"
tell application "System Events"
if not (exists (processes where name is "Terminal")) then
do shell script "open -a Terminal " & quoted form of pathForTerminal
tell application "Terminal"
tell application "System Events" to tell process "" to keystroke "t" using command down
do script ("cd " & quoted form of pathForTerminal) in first window
end tell
end if
end tell

9. SSH Quickly

SSH into anything, anytime. Reads from your ssh config and known hosts. Super easy.

10. Upload Files with Transmit

Gotta upload that file now? Open up any connection saved in Transmit right away.

Mmmm… Sammiches.

What Else?

What did I miss? I’m always looking for more useful Alfred Workflows, let me know what other gems are out there in the comments.