Mac applications come and go but some ways of using our Macs never change. Sure, we can be productive with Calendar, Reminders, and Notes. We all need Safari to browse and Mail to waste time with spam.
Apple gives Mac users so many different tools to help us get through the workday with accuracy and efficiency. Pages, Numbers, Keynote, FaceTime, Messages, even iTunes. But if you really want to be a Mac power user you have to change something.
Improvement, Meet Change
One of Mac360’s co-founders once said, “Nothing improves without change.” One could call that an axiom of life. How can you improve what you do on your Mac? Start with the Mac’s keyboard. No, it’s not the mouse or trackpad that makes you better at what the Mac can do. It’s the keyboard.
macOS High Sierra itself and most Mac applications have keyboard shortcuts. The problem most of us have with keyboard shortcuts is remembering what the shortcut is and what it does. Thankfully, there are a handful of Mac apps that help; utilities that improve our memory, so to speak.
Among other keyboard centric apps is Alfred. Just use the Mac’s keyboard to invoke Alfred and then search, launch, find, and open files from the keyboard without removing your fingers to find the mouse or trackpad.
Start typing. What do you want? Open an app? Find a file? Move to another app?
See? How easy is that?
Alfred learns from what you type so it can anticipate your needs and that saves time each day. You’ll also use the built-in clipboard history so what you copy once can be found and used again later without having to backup to find what you copied way back when.
You can set up text snippets and abbreviations to create what amount to your own keyboard shortcuts.
Alfred is smart enough to help you run iTunes– from the keyboard. There’s also an extra Powerpack which comes with user-defined options to link hotkeys together with actions to create a personalized workflow but that’s getting into geeky territory. What else does Alfred let you do from the keyboard and shortcuts?
- Find apps and files
- Search the web
- Spell and define words
- Use Mac system commands
- View recent clipboard history
- Control iTunes
- Create a workflow
- View recent documents
And, yes, for more. Alfred by itself is free to download and use forever. The Powerpack has a price tag but by the time you reach that level of power user you’ll appreciate all the extras. There are other keyboard centric Mac apps we’ve reviewed on Mac360, Launchbar and QuickSilver come to mind. Alfred is an easier way to get started with becoming a Mac power user.