I've lost track of how many times I've watched the movie Cars, but today's tech-letter recommends you go rewatch it.
We live in an era where there are 20+ different apps for every activity. Email, cloud storage, messaging apps, social media, calendars; I'm positive that some of you use apps you love that I've never even heard of (P.S. send them my way). And because there are so many apps for everything, speed becomes essential.
We want need to access our documents, files, images, emails, calendar events, and data in general: fast(er).
Your current routine involves opening up individual apps and websites and looking for the required information, which isn't a bad method. But it could always be better.
P.S. last week I wrote about a free video-editing tool that lets you edit videos by editing... text.
For those who've used any Apple-made computer before, I'm sure you're familiar with Spotlight:Apple's built-in "search bar" that pops up on your screen and lets you look for information on your device.
In the image above, I typed in "the tech-letter" and found related files— a folder (on my laptop), a few images (on my laptop), and a few browser history/bookmarks.
The problem with Spotlight is that it's very limited in its ability to search for content off your laptop, or on third-party apps. I can only look for information saved on my device, Apple specific apps ("Mail", "Safari"), or direct Google searches. But that's it.
However, in the words of the 21st century pioneer Lightning McQueen, "Speed. I am Speed."
So, introducing: Command E.
The term "Productivity" doesn't mean doing more things or constantly staying busy. It's finding ways to get things done more efficiently. Work-arounds. Hacks. Improving your workflow. Getting things done faster, better (which happens to be The Tech-Letter's slogan, so I really thought this one through).
Today's tech-tool is one that promises "a blazing-fast search experience", in everything cloud.
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Available for Mac and PC (Hallelujah), Command E is a free, downloadable application that lets you integrate multiple apps and simply navigate through them, faster.
Here's what it looks like when you open this up for the first time.
Command E lets you connect over 20 apps, most of them falling under the 'productivity' category-- Trello, Evernote, all Google products, Figma, multiple 'Clouds', and even.... Spotify (which is odd, but I'll take it).
Once you go through the set up process and log in to each app through Command E, that's where the fun starts; and like with my favourite things throughout tech-letters, there's a shortcut.
You guessed it— Command + E (... or control + e if you're on Windows).
Search as you normally would, but better: file/folder names, specific email subjects, and more.
In the example above, I typed in "Masterclass", which is a topic I've dealt with @ work quite often in the past month. Results for my search included files in Google Drive, emails with "Masterclass" in the subject line, and even Slack users.
You can navigate through results in specific apps too; i.e. if I was searching for "Masterclass" but specifically on my Calendar, I can choose to view only the Calendar tab, and not see Google Drive or emails.
There are shortcuts too— "tw" lets you search for content on Twitter itself, "li" on LinkedIn, and you can even use Command E to control your Spotify music (again, super odd. But handy).
BTW: I mostly use Safari for my browsing, but for those who use Chrome or Brave, there's more you can do. If you integrate it with Command E, you can even track websites, bookmarks, open tabs, and more. Here's a user guide.
With this search tool you can join Zoom calls directly from the Calendar tab, create new Google documents, and drastically improve your time management.
Command E is a free to use Mac / Windows app that supercharges your workflow. You can integrate over 20 apps, including cloud services, email, and more; and use one search bar to swift through them all, making it easier to navigate through your busy days.
Everything you do on this search bar stays on your machine. Your data is never stored on Command E's servers.
Though I'm a search-bar power user and use multiple search-related apps on my laptop, (this, Spotlight, and "Alfred") Command E has made it so much simpler to access every-day items in my Google Drive or Gmail account without having to hunt for them, because Apple's Spotlight just doesn't cut it.