⌘ Alfred or Keyboard Maestro? Productivity at it’s finest.

Since they overlap, which tool should you get, Alfred or Keyboard Maestro? Yes to both.

Even though they share some features, they provide enough different and complimentary functionality that you won’t regret using both.

Use Alfred to quickly launch apps, find files, and perform focused searches. Use the Workflows feature to unlock snippets, clipboard history, quick calculations, access to handy system functions, and customized autocomplete. Those features are built in and ready to use.

If you want a bit more power, download application workflows or spend a little time with Shell, Javascript, or AppleScript, and write your own. This is a bit more complex, but can yield some incredible results. Even with a small bit of AppleScript, you can accomplish a lot.

Just as easily, call out to Java, Groovy or Python for more complex tasks.

Next, use Keyboard Maestro to build custom workflows and application macros. Add batch processing to applications that don’t natively support it. Use the building blocks to put together workflows and “environments” of applications. Position windows across multiple monitors exactly the way you want them. Process files, such as renaming, organizing, or deleting. Chain shell scripts together to completely replace an application or build a custom one.

Go the same route with Keyboard Maestro and build solutions using Java, Groovy, Python or Swift. If the Mac supports it, Keyboard Maestro and Alfred can hook into it.

I find “scripting” in Keyboard Maestro to be slightly easier, but from all the Alfred Workflows, clearly there is a ton of power if you put in the time and effort.

So, it’s not a matter of which one, it’s worth getting both. With the power and productivity they unlock, the small investment will pay dividends many times over.

Alfred and Keyboard Maestro are two of the best Mac applications you can buy. From the stats, I call up Alfred about 30 times a day. Keyboard Maestro says it’s saved me 3 months worth of time. Considering it ran unattended for a couple hours processing images, I would say that’s accurate.

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