Automating the Mundane

Make your life easier, automate repetitive tasks when possible.

I am a beta tester for Gobbler, as a result I will often send support files to their development team. The process is:

  • Navigate to the appropriate folder
  • Zip the necessary files
  • Upload the zipped file
  • Create an email with all interested parties included
  • Write the email
  • Paste the link to download the zipped support files
  • Drag the file to the trash.

This takes some time, not much but enough that a shortcut was desired.

I used a combination of Alfred, Apple's Automator, Hazel, CloudApp, and TextExpander to make it easier. Below is a walkthrough how this was achieved.

(I'm sure this isn't the smoothest way but I didn't have to learn a lick of code and it works just fine for me.)

 

I press ctrl-space to open Alfred's dialog box, then type "goblog".

This is screenshot represents what is now half of my total efforts, much simpler than before.

 

A behind the scenes look at what Alfred is doing when I type "goblog".

An Alfred workflow launches an Automator app I created.

 

The Automator part is rather straight forward: find the files and zip them.

The Apple Automator app locates the files and creates a zipped archive which is then placed on my Desktop.

 

Once it appears on my desktop Hazel immediately uploads it to CloudApp then moves it to the trash.

CloudApp automatically copies the download url to my clipboard so nothing was needed to add there.

The Hazel rule renames the file before uploading so it includes the current date. This all happens as soon as it appears on my desktop.

 

The TextExpander snippet puts the main email address in the To field then tabs through the remaining fields and completes the information as needed.

Next I open a new email in Postbox and type "em . gobbler" (without the spaces) in the To field.

TextExpander will:

  • Put each email address in the appropriate field
  • Put my Evernote Clip email address in the BCC field to log the email in my Evernote account
  • Populate the subject field
  • Prompt me to write a message
  • Paste the CloudApp download url.

This workflow has saved me much time since its creation so it was well worth the minimal time invested to assemble.

Johnny KnittleComment