Create New File - Alfred Extension

Introduction

I’ve been writing lately for Mac.AppStorm and one particular article (soon to be published) created a small itch. In fact, this is the type of itch I didn’t even realise I had. Often enough there is some sort of entropy in your workflow that is so small it’s barely noticeable on a daily basis, but over time, it builds up to plenty of wasted hours. Both in Windows and Linux, you can easily right click in the respective “Finder” and choose to create and empty new file, something that strangely is amiss from Mac OS X.

The Backscratcher

Alfred is in many cases my backscratcher. It’s the perfect tool to sracth even the smallest of itches, so obviously it was the tool I turned too once again. In order to get this to work you will of course need to have the indespensible Power Pack (think of it as the fingers that actually do the scratching, without it Alfred is just the handle).

To assemble this backscratcher is rather easy.

  1. Download and install this small extension;
  2. Customise it to your needs, namely:
    1. Define a default location for your files. If you have a finder window open the extension will create the new file there otherwise it will default to the “Default Location”
    2. Set the file extension you desire, for example “.txt”, “.md” (This doesn’t work with .rtf but does work with .doc. I’ve tested with the formats I need so if you come across something that doesn’t work let me know)
  3. Customise your keyword and you’re good to go;
  4. You can optionally create as many diferent extensions for each various file types you desire (I prefer it this way since it saves me from having to type the extension each time and hey… Alfred extensions are cheap…)

OPML Workaround

I currently use Scribe for my outlining needs on the Mac and for some odd reason it doesn’t open empty opml files. Therefore I’ve come up with a small workaround for this particular case. Before using this however do test the above method. I know for a fact that Tree and Mindnode open empty .opml files just fine so your results may vary. If however you use Scribe or your app has a problem with empty opml files then install this extension

The End Result

With this simple extension (well two actually) I’ve managed to speedup my workflow in a way I wasn’t aware of until recently. Now I can just quickly summon Alfred, type in a file name and start writing without a second thought. Hopefuly this will prove useful to you too.

As always, this and other extensions are available on GitHub so any bugs or requests please file them there. You cam also reach me on Twitter of App.Net