Squeeze the Most Out of Your Mac with Automator Workflows

One of the cool things I enjoy about developing on a Mac is the amount of usefulness I can eek out of my machine. And, with Automator, I can do just that. The name alone indicates its purpose so all one has to do is figure out what it is he/she would like to automate.

The interface is dead simple. You basically have a split view. On the left is your library, filled with a variety of different actions that can be performed. On the right, is your workflow designer. You drag your desired actions from left to right to add them to your workflow. Drag/drop allows you to reorganize them in whatever order you choose. You can test the workflow via automator or you can compile an executable application.

Here’s the workflow I use to backup my the content from my trusty friend, Journler. Journler is a great application and although it’s no longer in production, the latest version is still downloadable and will continue to be supported.

If you want to customize the icon of your compiled application, do the following:
1. Right-click the application in Finder and choose Show Package Contents
2. Navigate to Content/Resources in the Finder window that pops up
3. If you don’t already have a *.icns version of your icon, use a free service like iConvert to create one.
4. Rename your desired icon to AutomatorApplet.icns
5. Replace the AutomatorApplet.icns in Content/Resources with your custom version

NOTE: If you ever need to make changes to your workflow, you’ll have to repeat the icon replacement process since your custom icon will be overwritten.

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