Ludovic Frank - Freelance developer

Manage lots of prompts for ChatGPT with Alfred on macOS

ionicons-v5-k Ludovic Frank May 8, 2023
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Salutation voyageur? (what? what plagia?),

On this blog, there hasn't yet been an article on chatGPT, why? Quite simply, because if it's to tell you the same thing you've already seen elsewhere, there's no point.

So I've been waiting for something interesting and useful to tell you, and it looks like I've got one.
If you're using ChatGPT, you must have accumulated quite a few prompts for communicating with it, and then after a while you realize that "copy/paste" isn't the most practical thing.
In fact, what we need to do is press a shortcut key, type in a few letters and our prompt template will appear on its own - but is that possible?

Yes, and that's what we're going to do.

The importance of prompts in ChatGPT

You can make ChatGPT do very interesting things, but to avoid mediocre results, you need to guide it well. For example, you can tell it to "behave like a chartered accountant", to make it deal with accounting subjects, but you can go even further...
For example, you can have him read the documentation for another AI, Midjourney, so that he learns how to use it and lets you write prompts for Midjourney (who said anything about an AI section??).

This is precisely what the coding brother does in his latest video.

So, to get the most out of this tool, you'll need to start working on your prompts... And once you've accumulated them, you'll need to make them easy to access.

Alfred, on macOS

Alfred is a really nice guy...
I've already told you about him in my article on Powertoys.
On macOS, by default, there's "Spotlight", a search engine, accessible via a keyboard shortcut, which lets you search the Internet, files... etc. via a search bar.
Well, Alfred is the same thing, but much better. It has all the functions of Spotlight, but in a much faster way, as well as things such as: a clipboard manager, workflow scripts that multiply Alfred's possibilities tenfold...

Among all Alfred's features, there's one we're particularly interested in today: snippets.

Easily record your ChatGPT prompts in Alfred

Snippets are very simple: they're a list of "texts" that you save in Alfred, and you can access them easily... at any time.

Alfred preferences

To get started, you'll need to go to Alfred's preferences. You can do this either by directly using Alfred's launch shortcut, then typing "Preferences", or via your application folder, then "Alfred".

Alfred preferences under macOS

Alfred Preferences

Create a collection of snippets

Once in the preferences, go to "features", then "snippets".

Collection of snippets in Alfred

Alfred snippets collection

Simply click on the little "+", choose a name for your collection and click on "save".

Creating snippets

Now that you've got your collection, select it by clicking on it, then in the right-hand part of the window, use the little "+".

Add snippets with Alfred

Add a snippet with Alfred

On this window, choose a name (use something explicit), choose "keywords" as a mnemonic and, most importantly, enter the prompt in the "Snippet" field.

Congratulations, you've just saved your prompt in Alfred.

Using prompts

Go to ChatGPT, click on the fields to enter text, then use your keyboard shortcuts to launch Alfred (Alt + Space by default), type "snip" then "space".
You're now in your list of Snippets, select the one you want, then press "enter"...

Tadaaa, your prompt is in ChatGPT's field and it took you 2 seconds?

Bonus: QuickGPT on the Mac

QuickGPT is an Open Source macOS application that lets you quickly access ChatGPT from anywhere on your Mac.
Whether it's from the top bar via an icon, or with a keyboard shortcut, it's pretty handy.

Conclusion

You're now ready to have lots of ChatGPT prompts, and you can put them all in Alfred for easy retrieval.
Now all you have to do is work on your prompts...