How to launch multiple applications with one shortcut

In the note “Mac distracts from work. What to do?” I told you how to close all unnecessary applications with one shortcut and switch to Do Not Disturb mode. Today we will talk about the opposite – how to launch applications using shortcuts, and how you can save time on this.

To do this, you will need the Alfred Power Pack again.

Running one application

Many applications I run through Alfred. The launch speed depends on the number of typos when typing names. This takes 3 steps and from 6 keystrokes:

  1. Open Alfred window – 2 clicks;
  2. dial the first letters of the application – at least 3 clicks;
  3. press Enter.

An example of running Tweetbot with Alfred

But there are several programs that I turn to many times a day. If you configure their launch by shortcut, then three actions will be reduced to one, and the number of clicks will decrease from six to two. Here are my shortcuts and programs:

CapsLockW – iA Writer
CapsLockA – Spark
CapsLockT – Telegram
CapsLockB – Safari

Download Application Launch.alfredworkflow.

Workflow for launching applications. Change keyboard shortcuts and programs to your liking

The first time you press the shortcut, it launches the desired application, everything is simple here. On repeat, hides it in the Dock or returns it to the Desktop. But, if the programs are open in full screen, then repeated clicks will switch between screens. Such a replacement for the combination CmdTab

Launching an application group

There is a job for which you need to use several programs. For example, at the School of Editors Artyom Gorbunov, we were dumped weekly with a theory that consisted of a set of links to articles. All these materials had to be downloaded to the computer with a whole arsenal of applications.

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For this I need to open:

  1. Chrome browser (in which I watch lectures and export to PDF)
  2. the tab of the personal account of the School of Editors
  3. FokLift file manager (sorting uploaded lectures)
  4. Folx Pro downloader (downloading videos from YouTube)
  5. PDF Expert (glue articles into one PDF file, cut out chapters from books, read lectures)

Everything about everything takes from 25 clicks and from 15 to 20 seconds of time. It all depends on small typos and the need to switch the font when entering queries in Alfred. If the process is automated, then it takes two clicks and 5 seconds to open these applications.

MacBook Retina launches four applications in 5 seconds

You can add an unlimited number of applications to the workflow, register not one, but several links at once, and even specify the browser in which to open them. I have variations of it for tracking finances for different projects, for designing interfaces, for tracking news.

A shortcut or keyword can be used as a trigger to launch a set of applications

As a result, my current shortcuts look like this:

CapsLockBackspace – closes background applications other than the current one
CapsLockH – closes Telegram, Slack, Messages and Mail
CapsLockD – turns on the “Do not disturb” mode
CapsLock – launches a set of applications for the School of Editors
CapsLockW – iA Writer
CapsLockA – Spark
CapsLockT – Telegram
CapsLockB – Safari

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