TUAW Post > AppleScripting Notification Center > Scheduling Do Not Disturb

nc_scriptMountain Lion's Notification Center is great for keeping you in the loop, but it can be a huge distraction when you need to get stuff done. Sometimes, a little peace and quiet is all you need to stay productive.

As you may know, iOS 6 includes a handy Do Not Disturb feature, which can be turned on to disable notifications. It can even be set to automatically enable/disable itself at scheduled intervals. Mountain Lion also lets you disable Notification Center. Just open Notification Center and drag down to access a Show Alerts and Banners toggle switch. Note that this is a temporary setting, and disabled notifications automatically re-enable at midnight.

Unlike iOS 6, though, Mountain Lion doesn't give you an option for enabling/disabling notifications on a schedule. At least, it doesn't provide a built-in option for this. With a little customized help from AppleScript, Automator, and the Calendar app, it is possible.

In this post, you'll create two Calendar Alarm Automator workflows, which can be configured to run at scheduled times to enable or disable Notification Center alerts and banners.

[Read more on TUAW...]

My Productivity Session Schedule for Macworld/iWorld/MacIT 2013

168796_10151283456801624_803934990_nAttending Macworld / iWorld / MacIT Conference in San Francisco next week?  I'm doing a number of presentations on productivity.  I hope you can make some of them.  Here is my schedule of sessions:

MacIT Conference

Friday, February 1st, 2013 - 3:50pm - 4:35pm - Automation and Security in Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion introduces a number of security measures designed to make your users more efficient. Some of these measures, however, can impact AppleScripts and other automation tools. In this session, we'll discuss the automation-related security changes in Mountain Lion. You'll learn how these changes will impact your existing scripts and workflows, and what you need to do to ensure compatibility and minimize support issues. Any user or Mac IT admin who utilizes automation in their daily routines won't want to miss this important session.

MacWorld / iWorld

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM - Mac User Productivity Tips

It's an all-too-common scenario. You're working on an important document when you hear that familiar sound. A new email has arrived! It might be something important, so you switch to Mail, where you find the latest edition of the Star Wars newsletter. The next thing you know, it's two hours later and you're on Wookieepedia again, the Star Wars wiki, researching the metaphysical properties of lightsaber crystals. What were you supposed to be doing again? Let's face it, it's becoming harder and harder to remain focused on the task at hand. Your inbox is full. Your Desktop is cluttered. You can't find that PDF file you need. You're late for an appointment. How can you possibly manage to get everything done without going insane? In this session, we'll explore some general Mac productivity tips that can help you take control of your data. You'll learn how to organize your files, prioritize your todos, and deal with email overload, so you can get back to focusing on the task at hand. Any Mac user who's feeling overwhelmed and is interested in improving productivity will want to attend this informative session.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM - RapidFire - Killer Tips for Email Productivity

Let's face it, email is like like the Terminator. It's out there.  It can't be bargained or reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, remorse, or fear, and it will never, ever stop, until you are dead. In this 5 minute RapidFire session, you'll learn some quick and dirty tips and techniques that can help you combat our shared enemy, the inbox.  Learn how to gain focus and clarity, while reducing stress, as you strive for true victory - an empty inbox.

See you there!

-Ben

TUAW Post > AppleScripting OmniFocus > Send Due Tasks to iTunes

ofocus_scriptOmniFocus is a great tool for keeping us organized. But, let's face it. We're busy people. That's why we need a task management app in the first place. How can you take your productivity to the next level? How about having your daily OmniFocus tasks read to you as you drive to work? With a little help from AppleScript and Automator, you can make that happen.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > Preparing High-Res Icon Files with Automator

automatorThis week's post is for all those Mac app developers out there. If you're not an app developer yet, it's a New Year, and I'm sure becoming an app developer is at at the top of your resolution list. In any case, if you plan to develop apps, then you need to prepare icons for those apps.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > Where Automator Actions and Workflows Live

Automator's great for streamlining some of the repetitive things you do each day on your Mac. With Automator, you can create your own custom plugins for the Services menu, Folder Action workflows that run when files are placed into a folder, add-ons for the print window's PDF menu, and more. In most cases, when you save a workflow, Automator puts it where it needs to go automatically. But, where do your workflows actually live? If you want to remove or edit one, you'll need to know. In this post, we'll take a look at the various places workflows are found on your Mac.

[Read more on TUAW...]

FileMaker Pro Automator Actions Released in the Mac App Store

I'm pleased to announce that my FMP Automator Action Pack, which includes 18 actions for interacting with FileMaker Pro in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, has been released in the Mac App Store. It can be found here.

Information about my other Lion and Mountain Lion action packs can be found here.

-Ben

TUAW Post > Preparing Blog Images with Automator

Automator's the perfect tool for streamlining some of the repetitive things you do on a daily basis. One thing it's great at is doing basic manipulation to lots of image files. Need to resize a bunch of images or convert them from one format to another? No problem, Automator is ready to help. In this post, you'll build an Automator workflow that prepares images for your blog by renaming them sequentially and then scaling them down in size. Don't have a blog? Well, this workflow could also be used for preparing images for insertion into a Word document, or to send in an email. Feel free to adjust to your specific needs.

[Read more on TUAW...]

Macworld > Ask the Script Doctor: Working with Text

Ask the Script Doctor is a regular column in which we solve real-world Mac problems using AppleScript and Automator. If you have a problem you’d like us to solve, send an email to the Script Doctor for consideration.

Whether we’re writing novels or email, we all use text all the time. AppleScript is a great tool for making text-focused work easier and more efficient. For that reason, I get a lot of questions about how to simplify common text tasks. Here are a few of those questions and my answers.

[Read more at Macworld.com, subscribe to the print edition, or get Macworld on your iPad...]

Do you have a scripting problem or a question for the Script Doctor? Send it to scriptdoctor@macworld.com.

TUAW Post > Build a Photo Calendar with Automator

I'm very happy to announce that I am now writing automation and productivity tips for The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).

My first post is an Automator how-to.  It shows you how to create a Print Plugin that shows up in the PDF menu when you print a document. This specific plugin lets you print a photo calendar right out of the Calendar app.  It's fun, and it shows off some of the cool stuff you can do with Automator.

[Read more on TUAW...]

Save 35% on Peachpit Mac Automation Made Simple Videos

My 8 chapter Mac Automation Made Simple video series is 35% off through the end of the year if you use coupon code VIDEO12.

[Learn more here or visit the Peachpit website]