If you use Keyboard Maestro a good tip is to both create a hotkey and a status menu item. Then you can look at the status menu to remember your keystroke.
Yes, if you click through on the above link, you’ll see I’m linking to a footnote. While I set up the “meta key” mentioned in the post a year or so ago,1 it never entered my mind to use the Keyboard Maestro status menu (in the menu bar) as a cheatsheet. This will be especially handy with new macros, before I commit the hotkey to memory.
My hope with Quick Actions is that they are the first step in a ground-up re-imagining of automation on the Mac where Quick Actions become the equivalent of shortcuts on iOS and Automator is replaced by something closer to the Shortcuts app on iOS. Automator has served Mac users well for years, but it doesn’t take long using Automator before you need to resort to scripting inside Automator workflows to get things done. Shortcuts supports scripting too, but I’ve found I can create far more complex automations on iOS without resorting to scripts, which makes it accessible to more people.
Dark Mode is the new feature in macOS Mojave getting all the attention, but I’m most interested in Quick Actions. I agree that seeing a tool like Shortcuts on the Mac would be nice, but the ability to run AppleScript in Automator brings all sorts of possibilities to Quick Actions. For example, I’m no scripter, but I regularly use a very basic AppleScript to launch Keyboard Maestro macros from Automator. Once I upgrade to Mojave, I’ll be seeing if I can get some of my Keyboard Maestro macros working through Quick Actions.1
I need to hold off on updating, since I rely on Mail Act-On, which won’t be ready for Mojave (as part of a new Mail app suite) until October.↩
A simple change in scenery can do wonders for productivity. For me that sometimes means sitting in a recliner in the corner of my office, using my MacBook and my office phone headset to make and receive calls. That’s possible because my firm’s VOIP phone service, Mitel, offers a Mac app that lets me trigger outgoing calls on my office phone. As long as I have my MacBook and telephone headset with me, my actual telephone unit can be across the office.
This process doesn’t work if I want to use my iPad to initiate calls. The Mitel iOS app won’t trigger calls on another device, such as my office phone. Not to be deterred, I put together a workflow to accomplish this. It sounds much more complicated (and much slower) than it really is.
I have set up my firm’s case management system to email me three reports every Sunday evening. These reports arrive as attachments to email. For several months, I’ve been coming in on Monday morning and dragging those reports out of Mail and into Unclutter, which I keep in my Mac menu bar so I have easy access to certain files. I recently decided I would automate this process.
Looking around online, I found several AppleScripts purporting to accomplish this, but I wanted to see if I could accomplish this with Keyboard Maestro. I ended up doing it with Keyboard Maestro and Automator.
My Automator workflow, as depicted below, is pretty simple. It finds any email in my inbox that meets two conditions:
The subject of the email must begin with words that are specific to the report emails; and
The emails must have been sent in the last two days.
If those conditions are met, Automator gets the attachments from those messages and saves those attachments into the same Dropbox folder used by Unclutter to hold files. (I don’t know if I actually need the second step in the workflow).
Then it was simply a matter of setting up a Keyboard Maestro macro that would launch the Automator workflow every Monday before I arrived at the office.
The final step for me was to create a rule in Hazel to monitor Unclutter, and clean out old reports every week.
Caveat: I just set up this system yesterday, and forced it to run out of its normal schedule. It worked fine. I’ll see this Sunday evening whether it runs on the schedule I designated.
Here are links to the Automator workflow and Keyboard Maestro macro:
My monitors must be reproducing. A few years ago, I switched from multiple monitors back to a single monitor, happy to use different Spaces to organize my desktop. Recently, though, I’ve added a second and then a third monitor into the equation (one of which is my MacBook Pro screen). The drawback of this setup is the time it takes to drag the mouse cursor from one monitor to another. Keyboard Maestro fixed this.