Automating Your Workflow

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I have previously mentioned automating some of my workflow using the Keyboard Maestro App from Stairways Software on my iMac. I am not a script writer per se. The way I use the App is to set up my Macros (workflows) using the “Record” command that records all the steps I want in any workflow. Then I assign a keyboard command to the macro to run it anytime. There is a problem with system! I end up having to remember a bunch of keyboard commands. For a while I even had a list printed near my Mac so I could reference it. However, there is a much easier and more efficient way to manage your Macros. Here is how to set that up.

Keyboard Maestro Status Menu

If you are not using an App like Keyboard Maestro I encourage you to do so. I know it may appear a bit daunting at first, but if you use the “Record” command you really need not know a lot about scripting or coding. If you are an intermediate or power Mac user you owe it to yourself to use Apple’s builtin Automator App along with Keyboard Maestro. Automator is free and Keyboard Maestro costs $36 with updates usually running around $18. It is money well spent if you take the time to use these Apps.

I mentioned activating Macros using keyboard combinations. There is an easier way using a setting inside of the Macro window called the Status Menu:

Status Menu

A Macro has to be “Triggered” in some way and using the Status Menu is super easy. So, when you setup a Macro you just click on the “Triggered by” drop down menu and select The status menu item is selected:

Trigger Drop Down

If you are going to use the Status Menu, you need to place your Macros in Groups. Just figure out what is logical, create a “New Macro Group” from the Keyboard Maestro File Menu and drag your Macros into each Group. 

The ultimate goal here is to display the Status Menu Groups on your Desktop like this one that I created for logging into my websites via FTP:

FTP Group

This Status Menu sits on my Desktop. Whenever I want to access one of these websites I just click on it. The Transmit FTP App boots up and logs into that site automatically. It really does save me a lot of clicking around in my System. But, I am getting ahead of myself. 

Before these Macro Groups display on your Desktop you have to activate “Display Status Menu” in the Keyboard Maestro Preferences:

Display Status Menu

If you set that drop down to “Never,” then the Status Menu will not display. I just leave it on Alphabetically. 

I have a few Macro Groups displayed on my Desktop. You saw the one for my FTP logins. I also have one for some of the common everyday processes that I perform. This really saves me time and effort. 

Conclusion

There is no limit to what you can automate using Apple’s Automator App and Keyboard Maestro. If you have the slightest inkling of trying some automation, I strongly encourage you to get Keyboard Maestro. They have a Free Trial so you really have nothing to lose by giving it a test drive.

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