Anyone using Workspaces app? Your Assessment?

I’m intrigued by the Workspaces app. Is anyone using it? If so, what are your thoughts?

It’s included in SetApp but I’ve never used it.

I’ve just started using it, and am not sure yet whether I’ll continue.

It’s essentially just automating the process of selecting files/programs which you do manually every time you work on a project.

You group those together and you can open them all at once in a couple of shortcuts rather than several. You do have some fine control over how and when each is opened.

E.g. I run a daybook file in Tinderbox and I usually have a specific finder folder open beside it. And because I can’t work out how to run it via Tinderbox, once a day I manually run an AppleScript to pull down quotes / weather data etc.

The ‘workspace’ for this includes:

  1. Open the file 'Journal 2020.tbx in Tinderbox
  2. Open the folder ‘03 March’ in the Finder
  3. Open ‘Tinderbox Day Note.scpt’ in Script Editor.

1 and 2 always start when I run the Workspace (cmd-r) but I can run the script manual when I need it.

Another example: I have a workspace which opens all the interfaffery websites where I go to stop doing anything productive (basically this and the Scrivener / DT3 / Tinderbox forums, etc). The purple dot says those elements open automatically on cmd-r, the others are manually invoked.

Those are very simple examples, and they’re not really essential, but I can see how if you have a lot of different projects, it could be very useful.

And it’s in SetApp so it’s essentially free for me to play with. Not sure I’d pay for it otherwise.

Does that help?

Bunch by Brett Terpstra does the same kind of thing.

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I haven’t used Workspaces, but I’ve use other apps that do similar. Used for about 2 minutes, that is. My use of computers isn’t so routine from day to day that I need a push-button setup of “workspaces”. I keeping most-commonly-needed apps in Login Items, and the next tier of apps in the Dock.

It feels like it would be useful to someone with a lot of screen real estate to manage who would think in terms of layouts of apps rather than in single apps. If you mono focus and switch windows it makes less sense.

@Bmosbacker, since you’re using Alfred, workflow can be set up to open a list of apps. I use it with Moom so a list of apps open up and Moom aligns them up nicely on external monitor.

But why use this app (which I also own but don’t use…) when Alfred can do the same?

https://www.alfredapp.com/help/workflows/actions/launch-apps-files/

update: I looked at Workspaces again & there’s no upgrade path from v.1 to v.2, and v.2 is paid despite advertising “one time payment” - not sold yet…

I started using Workspaces regularly a few months ago and am finding it very helpful.

For example, I created a workspace for filing my Income Taxes that takes me to the related OmniFocus project and Craft notes when I click “Start”. It also allows me to have other relevant information (e.g. spreadsheets and contacts in Daylite) at my fingertips.

It’s very easy to create and edit Workspaces. And I find that having a quick and easy way to switch contexts and to get to the data/apps that I need encourages focused work.

p.s. If you’re curious about this Workspace, it’s worth watching the videos on the Apptorium website. One covers the basics and another delves into more advanced functionality (e.g. Workspaces’ support for plugins).

For this use-case it looks very similar to how one would use Hook, doesn’t it?

Thanks everyone for the the replies. I did not realize there was an Alfred workflow for this. I like @iApple’s approach of Alfred+Moom. I haven’t tried Moom yet but I think I’l give it a shot.

Thanks again!

I’m a fan of Hook as well. I use both Workspaces and Hook regularly and find them complementary.

Hook is very handy for linking related items together (e.g. linking my client in Daylite to a folder containing client files in Dropbox).

Workspaces works well for switching contexts (e.g. switching from working on my income taxes to working on a content-creation project).

With Workspaces, I can switch contexts within seconds and have convenient access to all of the files, folders, links, emails, project, notes, etc. that I may need while working in that context. When switching contexts Workspaces can also do things like quit apps that may be distracting and play music that encourages focus.

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@timstringer I wonder if you have any further thoughts on Workspaces.

I’m just starting the trial for it. If I remember correctly Bunch will open a group of apps: nice, but not exactly what I’m looking for. It seems Workspaces will both open apps, but also open specific files/projects. I just emailed the developer and he said an updated version will be out within a couple of months with Shortcuts and AppleScript support.

I think what I’m mainly interested in is how intuitive/easy it is to create new workflows. I can imagine creating a new workflow every month or two. That’s not very often … so the tendency would be for me to forget how to use it efficiently. If it’s easy/intuitive enough then the huge bonus for me is the ability to easily and quickly create new workflows as needed every month or two based on projects I’m involved in.

I continue to make good use of Workspaces. One thing that distinguishes Workspaces from other apps in this space is that I can have apps, documents, websites, etc. open when I activate a Workspace in addition to having other resources on standby so they’re easily accessible if/when I need them.

I think what I’m mainly interested in is how intuitive/easy it is to create new workflows.

I find that Workspaces is very easy to learn and use. If you haven’t already, I recommend watching the excellent video tutorials on their website. These two videos are quite short and collectively cover both basic and advanced features.

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@timstringer Thanks so much for your reply. This is all great to hear. Will be purchasing today as it seems perfect for my needs.

… when you said the videos were short I imagined it would be a couple of the typical 1-3 minute intro videos that people do. To my surprise the two videos are 32 min of content! That’s not what I would count as short … but that’s good! Instead they should provide me with the kind of depth I want when exploring a new product.

I’m also glad to see I can purchase directly as opposed to only through the App store. I’d rather give the developer a bit more money through direct sales.

You’re very welcome @Mathew_T_Mitchell. Good to hear this was helpful!

… when you said the videos were short I imagined it would be a couple of the typical 1-3 minute intro videos that people do. To my surprise the two videos are 32 min of content! That’s not what I would count as short … but that’s good! Instead they should provide me with the kind of depth I want when exploring a new product.

It’s all relative, I suppose. :wink: Learning pretty much everything there is to know about an app in 32 minutes is good in my book. You could always watch the first video to get to know the basics and return and watch the second one later.

I’m also glad to see I can purchase directly as opposed to only through the App store. I’d rather give the developer a bit more money through direct sales.

FYI: Workspaces is also included in Setapp.

Tim: Thanks again. I don’t use Setapp. But I’m thrilled to support independent developers when they create truly useful products. So I was happy to purchase directly from the developer.

Your quick responses were very helpful to me. It “seemed” like a perfect product for my needs, but I wanted to double-check with a veteran user. Apparently iCloud support is coming soonish which will help when I’m out traveling and only have my laptop with me.

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I’m always happy to support independent developers as well. As a former software engineer, I know how much work goes into creating and maintaining quality software.

Your quick responses were very helpful to me. It “seemed” like a perfect product for my needs, but I wanted to double-check with a veteran user.

Good to hear my responses were helpful.

Apparently iCloud support is coming soonish which will help when I’m out traveling and only have my laptop with me.

Great to hear. I mainly use Workspaces on my M1 MacBook Pro, but it would be helpful to have an easy way to access my workspaces on my Intel iMac as well.

I’m not sure why I persuaded myself to buy this program as I have never spent much time with it. Currently, I use it to open a group of apps that don’t load when I turn on/restart my computer ( otherwise, my computer takes annoyingly long to load ). I am sure there far better uses for it given the price.

The tutorial/intro videos to Workspaces are very good indeed. Incredibly helpful. If you are only using this app to open a group of apps … well, that’s fine but you’re missing most of its power. I’ll be using Workspaces a ton!

See here:

and here:

I’m just repeating what @timstringer provided above. The developer did a great job with these videos. Otherwise it would have taken me awhile to realize the full potential of this app.

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