Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
Smashing Conf Barcelona 2016

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Hidden Productivity Secrets With Alfred

Good developers are always looking for ways to be faster and to automate their workflows. Today, we present a series of workflows in Alfred that will boost your productivity and rock your world.

What Is Alfred? Link

For those who don’t know, Alfred1 is an award-winning Mac OS X app that saves time when you search for files online or on your machine. The new version 2 brings a series of improvements and, with the Powerpack2, enables you to create your own workflows.

Below you’ll find a curated list of workflows that will change the way you work.

Open With Sublime Text Link

One of my favorite features in Alfred is its powerful file and folder search capability. What if we take advantage of this to open files and folders in our favorite code editor — say, Sublime Text 33?

Looking for another code editor? See the “Extras7” wiki.


Can I Use… Workflow Link

In this era of HTML5, you need to check for browser support before implementing certain CSS properties and JavaScript APIs. You could do it by opening a browser tab, navigating to Can I Use…9, searching for a keyword and then checking for browser support. Or you could use this Alfred workflow.


Dash Workflow Link

No one knows everything about a given programming language or framework. We occasionally need to check how to use a particular method. Recently, I found an amazing app, Dash14, that looks up documentation for different APIs locally, no Internet connection needed. With this workflow, you can search Dash by filtering the keyword for each language. Note that Dash is a free external application, so make sure to download it15 before using this workflow.

  • Dash Workflow16, developed by @willfarrell52271711
  • Download18
  • Triggers: dash, html, css, js, jquery, jqueryui, angularjs, bootstrap, svg, nodejs, php, redis, mysql, man, cpp, sass, compass, backbone, underscore, wordpress, drupal, django, python, python2, elisp, android, yui, ruby, rails, gem



Terminal Finder Link

Some operations we prefer to do in the terminal, others in Finder. This workflow switches between them smoothly. Open the current Finder window in Terminal or iTerm, and vice versa.



Package Managers Workflow Link

Reusing code is an important part of software development, and these days we have a lot of solutions to distribute our code and to search for third-party packages. Need a Node.js module? Need a Grunt task? With this workflow, you can look up plugins and components for your favorite package managers in one place, quickly.




Colors Link

Stop opening Photoshop every time you want to convert a color format. Convert HEX, RGB and HSL colors easily with this workflow.


Jenkins Workflow Link

Unit testing is great, but running a test manually every time you change a line of code is crazy. To get a more complete picture of code quality, we need to run more tests, or at least automate the ones that we already run. That’s why continuous integration systems are so important. With this workflow, you can list Jenkins34 jobs and see their status.


Open in FileZilla Link

FTP is still the most popular way to transfer files to a Web server. Here’s a workflow to help you connect through FileZilla39. Note that FileZilla is a free external application, so make sure to download it40 before using this workflow.

Looking for another FTP client? See the “Extras44” wiki.


Domainr Workflow Link

Don’t miss another cool domain name. Find domains quickly using Domainr46’s API.


Encode / Decode Link

Occasionally, we need to convert UTF-8 characters into HTML entities, or decode a URL. No need to waste time with those little things anymore. Transform query strings in base64, HTML, URL and UTF-8 with Encode / Decode.


Font Awesome Workflow Link

Font icons are great. Just type something like <i class="my-icon-name"></i>, and there you have it. The problem is, we keep forgetting the exact class name of the icon we want, so we have to check for it in the documentation. Not anymore. Now we can search through Font Awesome55’s icon set with this workflow.


Source Tree Workflow Link

Some people prefer the terminal for Git commands, while others prefer a GUI. If you’re in the latter group, then the Source Tree60 workflow will help you list, search and open Git repositories. Note that Source Tree is a free external application, so make sure to download it61 before using this workflow.

Looking for another Git client? See the “Extras65” wiki.


GitHub Workflow Link

If your favorite social network is GitHub6867, then you might want to check this one out. Easily open GitHub6867 repositories and more in the browser.




StackOverflow Workflow Link

Seek computer programming answers, including from StackOverflow75, right in Alfred.


TimeZones Workflow Link

Nowadays, most of us work with teams distributed across the world. I try not to bother my coworkers outside of working hours; so, before pinging them, I always check the time in their country. This workflow is just perfect for that. Get a list of the current time in various cities around the world instantly.


VirtualBox Control Link

Unfortunately, cross-browser compatibility is still a problem for developers. There’s no escaping it — you need to test that your website runs fine in different browsers and on different operation systems. One popular way to do this is to use a virtual machine, such as VirtualBox84, that simulates other operating systems. Note that VirtualBox is a free external application, so make sure to download it85 before using this workflow.

Looking for another virtual machine client? See the “Extras89” wiki.



Create Your Own! Link

All of these workflows are awesome and will be pretty useful for a lot of people. But each one of us works in a different way; so, go ahead create your own workflow. It’s pretty simple. To encourage you, let’s see how to create a workflow to automate searches on Smashing Magazine in less than 10 seconds.


Want More? Link

Check out my collection of Alfred workflows92 on GitHub.

Plenty of more workflows can be found in the official Alfred forums93.

The End? Link

There you have it! A collection of great tricks to automate your work. Hopefully, some will speed up your workflow. Maybe they will even inspire you to share some of your hidden secrets of productivity.

If your favorite workflow isn’t on this list, please share it with us in the comments section below. Have any of the above changed your life? If so, let us know how!

(al, il, ea)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36
  37. 37
  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
  44. 44
  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
  48. 48
  49. 49
  50. 50
  51. 51
  52. 52
  53. 53
  54. 54
  55. 55
  56. 56
  57. 57
  58. 58
  59. 59
  60. 60
  61. 61
  62. 62
  63. 63
  64. 64
  65. 65
  66. 66
  67. 67
  68. 68
  69. 69
  70. 70
  71. 71
  72. 72
  73. 73
  74. 74
  75. 75
  76. 76
  77. 77
  78. 78
  79. 79
  80. 80
  81. 81
  82. 82
  83. 83
  84. 84
  85. 85
  86. 86
  87. 87
  88. 88
  89. 89
  90. 90
  91. 91
  92. 92
  93. 93
SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook


Zeno Rocha is the author of some cool open source projects like Browser Diet, jQuery Boilerplate and Wormz, a HTML5 Chrome Experiment. He used to work as a software developer at Petrobras (the largest company in Latin America) and (the most accessed sports website in Brazil). Now he's a Front-end Engineer at Liferay and co-founder of BrazilJS Foundation.

  1. 1

    Love it!

    These work also great for me:
    – Google Translate. When you communicate a lot in a non-native language. I just use it for looking up words.

    – Image resizer

  2. 4

    Luis Paulo Lohmann

    October 25, 2013 5:28 am

    Great article! This will be very helpful. Thanks!

  3. 5

    Amazing article!

  4. 6
  5. 7

    Literally this post is only for Mac Users. Right?

    Though sublime Text has via Package Control some of these features available but I think PC users won’t benefit much here.

  6. 8

    Ricardo Torres

    October 25, 2013 4:46 am

    Nice one, Zeno!

    I actually use the terminal to perform some of these tasks, but it looks easier/faster with Alfred.
    I’ll give it a try ;)


  7. 9

    Fantastic writeup. Is there one to start/stop a local webserver? (native apache not MAMP).

  8. 11

    Nice post!

    Is there any windows alternative?

  9. 12

    Andy Matthews

    October 25, 2013 5:21 am

    I wrote a quick workflow to “slugify” strings. It’s really handy for creating git branch names off of ticket titles, or folder names, that sort of thing:

  10. 14

    I will allow myself, to advertise another extension for DataURI handling – Alfred2 DataUri – .

  11. 16

    Dennis Mahipus

    October 25, 2013 6:12 am

    Awesome man! these will definitely improve my workflow. Thank you very much!!!

  12. 17

    Hernán Ciudad

    October 25, 2013 7:06 am

    Jumping on the self-promotion bandwagon, here’s a workflow I created to generate and paste in Bacon Ipsum from

  13. 18

    Nice, i didn’t know some of them.
    Here are a few more extensions that I use:

    Display Last Changed Files:

    Kill Process (Instantly quit apps)

    Leo Dictionary (Translate between many languages)


    AppCleaner (Deinstall apps with AppCleaner)

    Regex renamer (Rename finder files using RegEx)

    Toggle Bluetooth on/off
    Bluetooth Toggle:

    FormatSize: Quickly show mm dimensions of standard paper sizes

  14. 19

    Thank you this is really great, and yes this is for mac only, some things are.

  15. 20

    It is also worth pointing out that the workflow functionality is part of the Powerpack, which is not included with the free download of Alfred. A single license is about $30, but is worth every penny for this extra functionality not to mention supporting a great product.

  16. 21

    Great article!

  17. 22

    Neil Renicker

    October 25, 2013 1:04 pm

    Thanks, great writeup! If any of you fine comment readers use Harvest for time-tracking, you might appreciate my Harvest workflow for Alfred:

    Or you can download it from Github here:

  18. 23

    You could use Synapse, very useful (maybe with less tools included but have many plugins), on all Linux distributions.

  19. 24

    I have this amazing workflow where, with just typing “web XXX”, I create a folder, populate it with the contents of the Foundation framework and add it to Codekit, so I have a starting point with just a couple of keystrokes.

  20. 25

    Colin Wiseman

    October 26, 2013 2:04 am

    Excellent article, but the intro… I am a good developer, but I don’t want to get faster – paid by the hour ;-)


↑ Back to top