Search Pinboard with Alfred

I like Alfred and Pinboard.

Alfred is a powerful, extensible launcher and Spotlight-replacement for OS X. Pinboard is an excellent, no-nonsense online bookmarking system.

Through the use of some simple workflows, Alfred can be used to search Pinboard quickly. While this does require Alfred’s Powerpack, you probably should already be using it, as it’s awesome.

While there are some excellent workflows out there for Alfred and Pinboard out there, I really just want the ability to search the site from anywhere on OS X.

Pinboard offers several search parameters:

Below is how to set up a workflow for each one, with options to just download what I’ve already built. Of course, as these are just firing off URLs, the workflows can be easily adapted for use with other applications.

“Search Mine”

This workflow allows you to search just your bookmarks on Pinboard. To search your private bookmarks, be sure that you are logged in to the Pinboard website.

Open Alfred’s Preferences and add a new workflow. Mine is named “Search my Pinboard,” with a very exciting description of “Search my Pinboard bookmarks.”

(I’m using this image as my icon for all three workflows.)

This workflow is set with a keyword. I set mine to “Pin.” The keyword triggers the “Open URL” action.

Here’s the URL:{query}

You’ll need to replace INSERT-YOUR-USER-NAME with your Pinboard username and make sure both “Encode query using UTF8” and “Encode spaces as +” are both checked.

Download this workflow here »

“Search All”

This option allows Pinboard users to search all public bookmarks across the site. It’s a great research tool, and one that I use often while writing.

This workflow works the same as the one above. I named mine “Search all of Pinboard” with the keyword set to “pinall.” The URL needed for the action is:{query}&all=Search+All

“Encode query using UTF8” and “Encode spaces as +” should both be checked.

Download this workflow here »

“Search Full Text”

Pinboard offers a premium service around archiving. The $25/year membership gives users the ability to view and search archived versions of sites linked to in the user’s bookmarks, ensuring that if the content that the user bookmarks is always available, regardless of what happens on the actual, original website.

The “Search full text” tool is only available for archival members, and is the best way to find content locked away on archived pages.

However, this is a conditional — it can be applied to either “Search Mine” or “Search All.” Thankfully, Pinboard’s URL structure makes it really easy — adding &fulltext=on to the end of the search query will toggle it on. So, here are the URLs for this:

Search Mine:{query}&fulltext=on

Search All:{query}&all=Search+All&fulltext=on

To make Alfred workflows out of these, I simply copied the ones above, added “text” to the end of the keywords, edited the URLs and was off to the races.

Download the “Search my Pinboard Archives” workflow here »

Download the “Search all Pinboard Archives” workflow here »