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recommended app of the week: Alfred

Alfred

Ever get tired of having to reach for the mouse every time you need a new application or document? It slows you down, and half the time you can’t find what your looking for anyway. Alfred puts an end to all of this. This app is a must have for anyone wanting to increase efficiency. Plus, people are impressed when you can quickly get around your computer without a mouse.

There are several great apps out there that do the same thing, so feel free to replace “Alfred” with whichever works for you and your platform (Quicksilver for Mac or Launchy for PC, to name a few).

Most computers have their own search features built in, but Alfred has done a great job of making searching for apps and documents simple. Forget multiple clicks of the mouse to find your Firefox browser within the applications or programs folder; simply launch Alfred and type in the letters “FI” and Firefox is at your fingertips, literally.

Here is how it works:

  • Launch Alfred with a keyboard shortcut (for me, its Command-Space, but you can set it to whatever is comfortable for you)
  • Type the first few letters of the name of the app or document you are looking for (for me, “FI” produced Firefox as the first option, but all apps, documents, etc., beginning with “FI” will be offered to you)
  • Use your arrow keys to move up and down the list to select the app or document you want
  • Highlight the app or document you are looking for and press Return

It’s that simple. Ready for more power? Play with the settings and soon you will be using Alfred to search for contact information, launch webpages and much more. I use this little app literally hundreds of times a week. It may take a few weeks to train your hand not to reach for the mouse, but once you do, you will want to throw your mouse away. Try it out and let us know what you think.

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