Best way to automate opening two apps and arranging ½ screen windows?

In listening to MPU and other Relay shows, I’ve learned that it’s possible to automate workflows in the sense of opening two apps and showing them on my Mac screen in two half-size windows on each side of the screen. When I write, I open Ulysses on the left side and MindNode on the right; I’d like to automate that process.

I know it’s possible, but I don’t know which app will best help me to do this. Keyboard Maestro? Shortcuts? Something else? I’m obviously a beginner at automation, at this point only use Alfred.



If you have an app that already arranges windows, you can use something like Bunch to open the apps and trigger keyboard shortcuts for your window manager.

If you don’t, I’d recommend Rectangle and then also using Bunch with that.

In addition to Bunch, there is also Workspaces 2.
I haven’t used, as the software I use doesn’t play nicely with window-manager-type software.

Moom is ideal for this use case and is what I originally used for the same requirement initially. I then moved to Keyboard Maestro (for other reasons) and moved the function to into KM.

If your automation requirements are likely to expand then maybe opt straight for KM (@MacSparky has a free extract from his KM course showing how to manipulate windows). If not, then Moom would be my suggestion.


All those options pointed out before are up to the task and then some more.

However, if you want just 2 apps side by side on a 50-50 arrangement, Shortcuts will do it without the need for further software.

There’s now a function to will open apps in split that can be used in any workflow. Take a look at this example. As a bonus, that will work on iPadOS as well.


Does Moom automate the opening of apps also? I thought it just arranged windows.

I had heard of Bunch before, but forgot all about it. thanks for the reminder. I’ll check it out later today.

Thanks for the insight about Shortcuts. I really need to just take the time and learn how to use it, and your info about the “open to apps side by side” gives me the motivation I’ve lacked to tackle it.

I usa a combination of Bunch

and Moom to open and arrange 6 apps on my second monitor at boot.

Update: Even for someone with no knowledge of shortcuts, it was fairly easy for me to put together a shortcut that opens Ulysses and MindNode in 1/2 screens and turns on my Writing Focus Mode. I have it in the Mac menu bar so all I have to do is drop down the menu and click. Works great!

Thank you to all who responded. :grinning: