Building a Simple Workflow With Keyboard Maestro

Building a Keyboard Maestro workflow is a great way to save time and make a consistent work environment. I trigger several workflows for writing, SQL, and automation development. This creates consistency by having all my tools laid out in front of me before I begin. Let’s use my Journal workflow as an example. Before I begin writing, several things need to happen. I need to open and mount the DMG file that contains my .scriv file. I need to start Scrivener and load that file. I start Wordweb so I have a dictionary and thesaurus at the ready. I also start TextSoap for text cleaning. They are simple steps, but when you pick each apart, there are multiple actions taking place. Here is the breakdown: – Open Finder, navigate to the Dropbox folder, open the Scrivener folder, then load the DMG. – Once the DMG is open, select the .scriv file inside and load it. – Open Launchpad, find Wordweb […]

Creating an Automated Job to Empty the Trash in Keyboard Maestro

Each Friday, I like to tidy up my machine before turning it off for the weekend. This includes several maintenances tasks including emptying the Trash. Like a real trashcan, why leave it sit? With Keyboard Maestro, this becomes an automated task. With one code block, the trash can be emptied on a schedule. There is no need for me to remember. No need to switch apps. No need to accept a confirmation prompt. As you can see from the screenshot, the Trigger is set to At Time. Since this is for my home machine, I have this set for 7:45PM each Friday. The one at work is set for 3:00PM. As long as the machine is turned on and I’m logged in, the macro will run. And come on, who isn’t logged into their at 7:45 on a Friday night? The next block of the macro is the small piece of AppleScript it takes to empty the Trash. It’s job […]

Getting Started With Keyboard Maestro

Before getting on board with a tool like Keyboard Maestro, it's common to say, "I don't have anything to automate." Actually, working on automation is the old chicken and egg scenario. You don't have an automation tool because you aren't working on automation. However, you aren't working on automation because you don't have an automation tool. You need to look at it from a different angle. I'm sure you've had this experience, you only notice how many blue cars are on the road right after you buy one. The same is true for automation. Once you have the right tool, you see all the ways it can be used. You notice the repetitive tasks. You see this is the third time you've done this job. Each week you clean out the Download folder the same way. There are multiple tasks to be automated. Automation macros don't have to be grand programs. They can be simple, one hit wonders. In fact, […]

Software to buy for 2021

Along with a host of adjectives, 2021 will be a big year for productivity and efficiency. From creating templates, to better note taking, to better organization, to increased use of macros and shortcuts. I've did a lot of this for 2020, and it worked out well. I will continue the trend, especially since we will continue to be 100% remote through 2021. Perhaps permanently remote. I have no issue with that, it only means improving my process and workflow. I have an excellent toolset, now I want to focus on my usage to get the most out of them. First step in organization and productivity? Get a Mac. There are simply better software choices available. There isn't one calendaring app, ToDo app, note taking, word processor, or document manager. Each offering comes with different features to suit different kinds of users with different kinds of workflows. There is no one size fits all solution, so there shouldn't be a single […]

How I Use Mini Note

Mini Note is a simple, yet effective note taking tool from Fiplab, I have installed on multiple machines, including my iPads. I use it on a daily basis for quick notes, to save a link, store a Zoom meeting ID, or jot down some test data. Whatever it is becomes available everywhere. I regularly paste SQL queries from Jira tickets, send them over to my iMac which uses our secure VPN connection. A second later, that query is available where I need it. No need to save a file to Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud. As another example, I repeatedly copy links into Mini Note for review on my home machine. Sure, it's right behind me, but it's not on until the end of the day. With this, those links are available as soon as the machine wakes up. It's usually for a YouTube tutorial, a piece of software to test, an article to read after dinner, or a series […]