Make Your Mac More Productive With Alfred 4 + Powerpack | Review

If you are a regular reader, you know that I keep on trying new things that can help boost my productivity. If I find something that is helpful and can help change the way you work, then I am sure to share it with you.

Once I start seeing benefits from an app I am using, I stay updated with the new features they bring out. Alfred is one such software application for boosting your and your Mac’s productivity and ease of use. I have already reviewed Alfred 3, but now they are out with Alfred 4, and I had to see the exciting new changes being made.

Let’s first talk about Alfred’s best features.

The best thing to me is that Alfred is focused on simplifying your repetitive tasks so that you can focus on things that are more important and require more attention. Add in the Powerpack and you have a plethora of features simplifying most of your frequent actions that you just can’t seem to shake off.

Snippets and Text Expansion

How many times have you typed the same question, the same response, the same search? Definitely more times than you can count. No matter who you are and what you do, you will always have something that you type or search over and over again.

The new update comes with Rich Text snippets. You also get automatic link detection in the snippet edior, which makes it easier for you to include links in your snippets.

text expansion

Here are some things or texts that we frequently access or need:

  • Our email address.
  • Postal address – yours or the companies.
  • Answers to the FAQs about your business, product, or service.
  • Frequently used instructions with some current content. (You can use a placeholder for this) Improved Dynamic Syntax Placeholder is what is introduced with this update.
  • Commonly used website links.
  • Frequently used social media and account links.

You can create snippets with your responses to FAQs and repetitive information. So, the next time you need it, you will have it handy and won’t have to go to the trouble of repeating yourself for the umpteenth time.

You can also have shortcuts that you can use to expand to the original text. You just have to simply put an exclamation mark followed by the snippet name. When you use the name, you will have the full text ready to use. This is called auto-expansion.

You also get a new and improved theme editor to customize and make your own.

The Clipboard Magic

With the help of Clipboard History you can either view the data you copy in the Clipboard Viewer or save as a new Snippet. How cool is that?

You have to first enable the Clipboard History feature so that Alfred can start saving your clipboard content. It doesn’t do that if the feature is disabled. So, you can choose for a record of the texts you copied to be maintained or not.

You can quickly search for and find texts, images, and files that you copied recently. This helps you access recently used files more efficiently and also save time.

Once you enable the Clipboard History feature, how this works is that whenever you copy some text using ⌘ + C, Alfred will add it to the clipboard. All of this can be accessed through the Clipboard Viewer. Just open it and grab an item you copied earlier.

If you want to turn the text in your Clipboard Viewer into a snippet, all you have to do is use ⌘ + S. This will make a new snippet that you can use anytime.

The New Features in Alfred 4

Internal Preferences Search

preference search

If you want to quickly edit something in a snippet or a workflow or access your preferences section, the new feature for internal searches will make your life easier. There are even shortcuts to add new items.

You can either use the search bar in the top right of the Preferences or access what you need by prefixing your search with a question mark in Alfred’s search bar.

You can use whatever comes to your mind first – the name of the preferences section, the name of the workflow you want, the keyword of your snippet, etc. You can even use a custom search or workflow. Add a question mark before the word, hit return, and you will have relevant preferences that you can select to be launched from.

The look and feel of the Preferences have also been overhauled in the latest version.

workflow

Dark Mode Compatibility

With every app and software coming up with a dark mode option, Alfred has followed suit and now has a compatibility option for the feature.

dark mode

New Workflow Improvements

New workflow objects have been added to make it even easier to create workflows without any coding skills. They are designed and improved to add more functionality and flexibility. 

  • The File Filter Input can sort your results based on Alfred’s Knowledge (default), Created Date or Last Modified Date.
  • You can use Variable Placeholders to create dynamic file filters. It can show you as many as 200 results.
  • You can use rich text support to color-code your workflow system and can see it easier in your Copy to Clipboard Output.
  • You can use the Play Sound Output to set a workflow notification tune with a new audio file (mp3 and wavs).
  • You can customize the Large Type Output by changing the fonts, colors, and alignments. You can even choose how quickly it fades in.

Even the Workflow Debugger has been improved to get you more information. The debug log is more interactive in its navigation and allows for concurrent debugging across all workflows. You can even filter through individual workflows and selected objects.

Pricing

You can use Alfred for free but you will need to pay for the Powerpack add-on that brings in the most incredible features. There are two licenses available:

  • Single license for a single user – $32.49
  • Mega Supporter for a single user – $58.49 (comes with free lifetime upgrades)

Final Thoughts

Most of the features that I have talked about in detail are the ones that I use daily and have helped me. There are a lot more features and improvements made like open search integrations in custom web searches and configurable dynamic sorting and searching for file navigation. These are also what I use regularly. The ease that this software brings to my daily tasks takes a lot off of my plate, which is why I recommend to at least give it a try.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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