Automations on my Mac

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

I write my blog posts on Obsidian before publishing them. It’s a way to safely store them on my computer before sending them out to the outer world. I love the Obsidian full-screen editor and its Zen mode. It lets me focus on my writing without distractions. It is fast and effective. Since I do not spend more than five to ten minutes writing my posts, this is a plus I can’t live without.

When it’s about time to publish the post, I head to to find a suitable hero image.

I open my blog page, LinkedIn, and Medium to publish my writing.

I add the image and the credits. I cut and paste the content from Obsidian on every single page I have opened.

I am now ready to push the publish button on three platforms.

It is always the same thing. It never changes.

This final operation requires four to six minutes, depending on the number of links I have to fix on the post. I could automate it.

The tools I need are available and free of charge for most of them.

– Apple AppleScript: AppleScript is a geek tool that is not user-friendly. Nevertheless, it is mighty when you master it. It comes with macOS, but most people do not even know it exists.

– Shortcuts: Shortcuts is a recent addition to the Apple arsenal. It is a user-friendly version of AppleScript, even if it is less powerful.

– Alfred Workflows: Alfred is not free, but it is extremely powerful. I use it to replace the standard Spotlight functionality on my computer. Workflows will let you do wonders.

Combining these three tools allows you to automate everything, even the most complex tasks.

Here is an example. I can automatically grab my Google Calendar events and place them on my Harvest timesheet. I can launch all of the Sketchin business dashboards with a couple of keystrokes. I can talk with my home automation system without opening the web front end.

Unfortunately, these features are not easy to master. You need to be a sort of geek to put things together in the right way.

It’s a pity. Being able to let the end user take advantage of available technology to save time should be a must.

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