Since I started using OS X as my primary desktop, I’ve loved Spotlight for launching apps and finding files. I resisted trying any of the replacement apps, for fear of the bottomless pit of customisation that they seemed to offer. With the very recent release of Alfred 2, I was finally tempted to try it by the previews of their Workflow feature. The idea is that you can add new commands to Alfred by writing scripts in bash/python/ruby/php and then neatly package them up and share them with others. I was expecting to write a few myself and share them, but the user community has been spinning up so quickly that they’ve already covered everything I was going to write. Instead, I decided to use some time to write about the workflows I’m using so far:
- Google Search - get live results from Google as you type. It’s not always what I want when I’m searching, but it’s a very quick way to get some insight into the results available.
- New OmniFocus Inbox Task - Very quick way to create a new task for later triage
- Open SSH - This collects up all your hosts from SSH’s known_host file, config file and local network, then opens terminal windows for you to ssh to the host you choose.
- Parallels Desktop - Easy way to start/resume your Parallels virtual machines.
- Rate iTunes Track - does what it sounds like, rate the current iTunes track.
- Screen Sharing - quickly VNC to the hosts on your network that are advertising it (including iCloud hosts if you have Back To My Mac configured)
- VPN Toggle - get on/off your corporate network quickly.
Lots more on the Alfred 2 forums. At some point it would be nice to see this unified into some kind of integrated search/download feature of Alfred 2.
Update: (2012-04-12) I’ve written a second post that covers a few more workflows I’ve discovered since this one.