Why Alfred is the best Launcher I’ve used

I’ve long been a fan of replacing Mac OSX’s Spotlight with other launchers, this web starting with QuickSilver and then moving to Launchbar when Quicksilver started to go downhill. A while ago, cost Joe Stump introduced me to Alfred and I downloaded it but didn’t get round to playing with it. Now I have and can say this is the best launcher I’ve ever used. Aside from opening applications and doing all the things you would expect, here’s a couple of other things I do with Alfred

Search LinkedIn, Salesforce, Twitter and Zendesk.

This saves me a ton of time, I don’t have to go to the browser, navigate to the correct page, mouse to the search box and type in my query there. I can simply type ‘linked John Smith’ or ‘sales New York Times’ for a browser window to instantly appear with my results. This is done using the Custom Search option in Alfred’s preferences, here are the custom searches I’ve created for LinkedIn, Salesforce and Twitter:

  • http://www.linkedin.com/commonSearch?type=people&keywords={query}&pplSearchOrigin=GLHD&pageKey=nmp-home&search=Search
  • https://na7.salesforce.com/_ui/common/search/client/ui/UnifiedSearchResults?searchType=2&str={query}&cache=gj36qyva
  • http://search.twitter.com/search?q={query}

Btw, I also use Custom Searches like this to work with chartbeat’s internal admin system. It’s this understanding that there shouldn’t be a divide between what is stored on your computer and what is accessible online that makes Alfred so powerful.


I use and love Tweetdeck (particularly the Chromedeck version) but the only issue can be the time it takes to load when I want to dash off a quick tweet. With Alfred I can set up certain actions within applications like Twitter for Mac so now I just type ‘tweet This tweet was created by Alfred’ and it automatically creates the tweet for me to send.

  • twitter://post?message={query}

I’m looking forward to exploring just what else I can do within applications using Alfred.

There’s a ton of other things you can do within Alfred that they explain far better than I, from emailing, copying or deleting files to playing music to navigating the file system. I highly recommend you go to the site, pay for the performance pack and see just what you can do with Alfred!

One Reply to “Why Alfred is the best Launcher I’ve used”

  1. I agree that Alfred is great, but I’ve been very happy with the similar, and more mature LaunchBar for a long time. Alfred seems to be Launchbar with a prettier interface for the most part, but I’ll try it out and see for myself.

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