Automator: An Introduction

When it comes to Mac OS X, there are some pretty incredible apps baked right into the Operating System (no installation necessary). I'm not just talking about great apps like iWork or iLife, but apps like iTunes, Calendar, Disk Utility, Time Machine, Mail, FaceTime and many, many more. Among that list of great apps is my friend "Automator".

Automator truly is an app that I use on a frequent basis. It's free, it's easy to use (as you will see) and it's extremely powerful/extensible. Anyone can (and should) use Automator (from those who are new to Mac OS X to those who have been using it their entire life). If you use a Mac and you haven't been exposed to Automator, prepare to be blown away.

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So what exactly is Automator and why is it so amazing?

"Automator is your personal automation assistant, making it easy for you to do more, and with less hassle. With Automator, you use a simple drag-and-drop process to create and run β€œautomation recipes” that perform simple or complex tasks for you, when and where you need them."

We all have frequent and routine tasks that we perform on a computer (after all, that's why we use computers), and a lot of these tasks can be pretty mundane. With Automator, we can automate a lot of these processes, and even schedule them so that they run completely on their own... with little or no interaction from us!

So who should use Automator?

Here's the simple answer... everyone! That is, everyone who uses a Mac and performs routine and mundane tasks that can be automated. Yup, that's pretty much everyone!

Over the course of the next week, I will be posting more information on just how to put Automator to work for you so that you can begin automating your work- (and life-) flows. We'll start with some fairly basic Automator workflows, then work our way to some more advanced workflows... each post will give you insight into how you can reclaim some of the many hours of wasted time manually running through these mundane tasks.

Fasten your seat belts... you're in for a great ride!

[UPDATE]

Here is a direct link to each of the posts related to Automator:

Posted on January 20, 2014 and filed under Opinion, Mac.