I am finally getting to learn AlfredApp Workflows. Previously they looked rather daunting to me.

Since I moved to a new laptop I’m learning to do more with AlfredApp (it is Mac only, and I use the paid PowerPack option). On my old laptop I first only used it for custom search, such as finding a business on Open Street Map. Later I added the automated expansion of text snippets, which saves me a lot of typing during the day.

AlfredApp also allows you to make Workflows, where you string together triggers, inputs, operators, actions and outputs to automate tasks on your machine. I had previously looked at Workflows but they seemed complicated to me, judging by some example workflows I downloaded that weren’t at all clear to me. Early this morning I came across this video of Automating All The Things, where Aron Korenblit talks with Chris Messina about using Workflows (it was early and I did not jot down where I found the vid, in someone’s RSS, mastodon stream or someplace else, so HT to whoever pushed it in my stream)

this is just a screenshot from the video that links to the video on YT, not a video player: I didn’t want to embed YT video.

This morning I reckoned I wasn’t going to watch a 87 minute video, but I was wrong (though I did jump forward a few times). Chris takes Aron through the basics of building your own Workflows, and I now get what they are and how to build my own. First I’ve added some fairly easy things, like having typing ‘read’ open up my fresh articles in my TinyTinyRSS feedreader instance, or typing ‘blog’ followed by a type of post, e.g. ‘blog bookmark’ open up the correct editing window for it. Next, I will be thinking through my local routines and context switches, and how I might be able to assist myself by automating them. The video starts with a few quick tips on how to make AlfredApp easier to access and use for yourself, so it can get embedded in your muscle memory.

4 reactions on “Getting AlfredApp Workflows

  1. I’ve been using Alfred forever, and so your video is very, very helpful to me, as Alfred has evolved while I’ve continued to use it for the same core things I have always used it for.

    Among the ways I use Alfred, several times a day, especially when writing blogs posts where I want to refer to earlier posts, I trigger a custom “Web Search” in Alfred, keyword “ruk” with search URL http://ruk.ca/search/node/{query} — this makes it really easy to look up posts-past.

    (The equivalent search URL for this blog would be https://www.zylstra.org/blog/?s={query})

  2. Thanks for the link to the video. I’ve done a few workflows and, like Ton, had some difficulty really understanding how they work, so I am going to find time for this. I don’t think Automators.fm has ever done an episode on Alfred; I wish they would.

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