Day of Automation

I thought I’d record the automations that I’ve written that I use in a normal workday… I started a thread on automators.fm for this, hopefully someone else will take this up and I’ll learn some neat things from y'all!

My alarm wakes me up… depends on the day there’s different alarms (that’s an automation, right?)

I step on my (formerly “smart” but now broken!) scale and use a shortcut to log weight to Apple Health. It then uses Charty to display a custom graph showing me how far I have to go til my goal weight.

Today was a run day… so I grabbed my running gear and drove out to the route I run.

I have a master “headspace” shortcut for all the things on my phone… I choose “Workout” and it runs the workout I have scheduled for that day.

After my run, it’s time to have my quiet time: I run my Quiet Time headspace on my phone, it launches Dark Noise to a sound I only play during quiet time, and opens the app that controls the camera in my daughter’s room so I can see when she’s stirring and swoop her up before she wakes my wife.

rituals

I have several recurring to-dos and lists to help me to plan my day, write the Monday blog post for work, etc.

Once at my desk, I use Hyper to open a few apps and clean out a few emails.

Then I used Headspace to enter meeting mode for standup.

Each Monday, I presently write a mini-blog post at work in our wiki.

  • I use Alfred’s text expansion feature to generate the post title (,,puweekly becomes UXWEEKLY (2020.43).
  • I build the post by pulling the links from a “workspace” in Drafts using the links I’d saved to drafts using the Hammerspoon snip tool I built.

Today happens to have lots of meetings…

  • A quick script I wrote in Hammerspoon tied to my Hyper key allows me to focus the tab with the google meet. I use it constantly to help me unmute.
  • I have Autolayout rules that put the window with the meeting tab on the monitor that has the camera.
  • Headspace is tracking the time spent in meetings to Toggl Track.
  • Headspace is also blocking distracting applications like Reeder, so that I can stay focused.
  • Hyper is letting me log little notes into Drafts.
  • I do have some Drafts automations for tying to a meeting note… so that it get’s saved into my Zettelkasten in the right format, but I don’t use that too often.
  • Hyper is letting me push to-dos to Things inbox.
  • I open a design file, and my QMK custom layout tricks let me use my keyboard as a macropad, changing tabs, zooming, etc.

Meetings are over! Time to go to lunch… I run shutdown headspace that stops tracking, clears the blocked apps, and closes all apps so that I have a fresh chance at being focused when I get back.

More of the same as before lunch… I do take a break, running my “Rest/Play” Headspace so that Reeder and some other distractions are unblocked. I can now set a timer in my headspace by prefixing integers with :, so I use that to for 15 minutes. play :15.

My energy is really low… so I run the “Shallow” time headspace to unblock some distractions, but it also loads up all the work to-dos tagged $Low. Sure enough, I find some good ankle-biter tasks to work on. I’m encouraged and energized by the momentum to get into some better, deeper work.

At the end of the day, I run through my review checklist to review and plan the next day.

I open my Headspace scheduling automation to put to-dos on the calendar for tomorrow.

The day done, I run Shutdown again to stop timer and close apps for a fresh focused start tomorrow.


This was a fun exercise… it was both super interesting to see just how much of my tooling is totally custom to me, and way more satisfying to see that I’ve already written about and documented a lot of it. In the days since I recorded this, I’ve realized even more automations that I haven’t covered… more iOS stuff, lots of dotfiles automations to keep my computers synced and current… a lot more to share!


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