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Top 5 Extensions for Alfred

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Top 5 Extensions for Alfred


    When I last wrote about Alfred (and how amazing it is)—10 Awesome Alfred Actions to Speed Up Your Day—the first item in my top 10 was:

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    Powerpack Alfred App – Powerpack. Yes, the free version of Alfred is great, more than half of my favorite things to do with it are core to the free version. The thing is that some of the most useful shortcuts come with the Powerpack.

    Right, getting the Alfred Powerpack. Now beyond unlocking a ton of amazing new abilities (scripting, send commands to Terminal, extra actions) with the Powerpack you can install Alfred Extensions which takes all the cool things you can do with Alfred and dials it up to an 11.

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    Right now there are hundreds of extensions that you can get—Alfred Extensions & Scripts – Alfred Support—and more being added all the time. So with that kind of selection, where do you start?

    Exactly.

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    So, here are my top 5 Alfred Extensions to start with:

    1. Create a Task in Things: My task manager of choice is Things, but yours might be OmniFocus or whatever. Regardless, having a action to quickly create a to do item just rocks. Oh, and if Things isn’t your thing, there are extensions for pretty much any to do manager.
    2. Note taking extensions (like Evernote): I’m a big Evernote fan and pretty much everything I save in Instapaper goes right into Evernote, but there are times you just need to create a note. These extensions let you add notes, search notes, and add tags to Evernote with a few keystrokes.
    3. Extension Updater for Alfred: This extension, well, the name says it all. Extensions in Alfred, like a lot of other plugin-type systems, get updated now and then. Maybe there was a bug, maybe a new feature is added, maybe a system update borked something. In any case this extension automatically checks for updates to your extensions and updates them.
    4. iTunes now playing: It might not be sexy, but it sure is useful! Yeah, yeah — you know — all the songs in your iTunes library. Well…I have so many operas, concertos, symphonies, and such that I can’t keep all the tracks straight, so I like to use to figure out what part of a longer piece is playing.
    5. Open AirDrop: A place I worked recently, we used AirDrop a lot to quickly move files around. Stuff like, “Hey, is that updated header ready?”. The thing was often we forgot to keep an AirDrop window open so the person could just drop the file. This fixes that. No switching to the Finder and opening…just tappity-tap and done.

    Now that you’ve read my top 5 extensions, I have a confession. Most of the time—and believe me I use Alfred all the time—I don’t use the extra capabilities in the extensions. It’s like this post today—Why Complicated Productivity Tools Will Get You Stuck—don’t sweat if you’re getting everything out of an app if you’re getting what you need out of an app. So, no, I don’t use a lot of Alfred extensions and I don’t use them very often. I have them installed, I like them, but most of the time I use the tools that come with the Powerpack.

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    That, I think, really says the most about an app, doesn’t it? You can adapt it to what you need and only what you need and still have it be an essential part of your workflow.

    More by this author

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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