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2016 Year in Review And Top 10 Posts

This article ends the second year of MacAutomationTips (MAT).  While I didn’t accomplish all my goals for the site this year, I’m happy that the MAT gained over 400 new subscribers and a few thousand Twitter followers.

I appreciate all the subscribers to my site, and I especially get excited when hearing from Mac users who are new to Mac automation. A few of them have written to me about how they’re getting a lot out of using programs like Keyboard Maestro and BetterTouchTool, as well as other programs written about for the site.

The biggest accomplishment this year was getting my BetterTouchTool course off the ground. So far 50 BTT users have signed up for the course. Though BTT is not among the top Mac automation programs favored by users, I still recommend it as one of the top three programs for getting started with Mac automation. I would hate to use any Mac that didn’t have BetterTouchTool installed.

Writing and publishing articles for a blog site takes lots of work. I wanted to publish 60 articles this year, but I was able to get 45 new articles articles posted, including starting, a new column, Ask Mac Automator. I thank those who posted feedback on these articles.

Note: your reader feedback and emails help a lot in what I write about for this site. So please take the time to communicate your needs and interests with Mac automation.

Top 10 Posts

According to the stats, here are the top 10 most visited articles for MacAutomationTips.

1.  Hazel Is Your Personal File Manager

This guest article is great for beginning and intermediate users of the classic folder action program, Hazel. It explains how to automatically save receipts and PDFs in Mail to a designated folder.

2.  TextExpander and Keyboard Maestro: How I Use Both

When TextExpander turned their leading software into a subscription service, I wrote an article about why I still use TextExpander and how it’s different from Keyboard Maestro.

3. Should You Wait to Upgrade to Dragon Dictate 5.0? Yes!

This is my second article about Dragon Dictate, which is now in version 6.0. I still use Dragon Dictate, but it’s not as stable it should be. There are many complaints about in the Dragon forum, but I still rely it on more than Siri for issuing Mac voice commands and dictating text.

4. Guest Post: How I Use Hazel

This article about how one of my long time blog subscribers, Tiffany White, uses Hazel in her daily workflow.

5. Protected: Free Resources Library

Subscribers to Mac Automation Tips get access to my Resource Library, which consists of PDF guides for using various Mac automation programs, including Hazel, Automator, Keyboard Maestro, and BetterTouchTool.

6.  Copy and Paste Multiple Text Items Twice as Fast Using Keyboard Maestro

This article is for anyone who works on his or her Mac throughout the day, and regularly copies and pastes items.

7.  20 Ways You’re Wasting Time on Your Mac

This a useful introduction for Mac users whom have not gotten into Mac automation yet. It explains how mundane, redundant tasks you perform on a daily basis can be better done with Mac automation.

8.  20 Quick String Combinations for Triggering Keyboard Maestro Macros

This article is useful for beginning and intermediate users of Keyboard Maestro. Once you learn how to use string triggers, it will cut down on your dependence on hotkeys and mouse clicking. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with string triggers.

9. 13 Copy and Paste Actions for Mac Power Users

This is another article about copying and pasting hacks and tips that go beyond the default copy and paste feature of macOS.

10.  How I Hack and Automate the Task Manager, Todoist

Todoist is my all time favorite application of the year. I started using about five weeks ago, and I look forward to writing more about it more for this site. I might even do a guide or course about it. I’m becoming quite skilled at using it. Todoist is keeping me more focused and motivated to get daily tasks and projects completed.

Ahead for 2017

In looking ahead for 2017 when I will finally get around to producing a course about Keyboard Maestro, which is in many ways the granddaddy of all Mac automation programs discussed on this site. It’s certainly far better than Apple’s Automator, and it should be used by all Mac power users.

I will also start providing Mac automation coaching and tutoring services, which will provide personalized online instructions for Mac users who want to get automation into their workflow, but who don’t want to spend hours learning the programs.

And finally I’m also considering a membership option for MacAutomationTips. While I know there are many subscription services out there, creating a membership site will help fund the upkeep of MAT and the work I do on the site, and it will also allow me to offer tips and strategies that are more personal to my readers. I would love to get your feedback about doing adding membership site.

Need Your Input

As I write and develop MAT, I want to make sure that I’m addressing many of the needs and challenges of my current and potential readers. So providing your feedback, questions, and ideas is very important.

I definitely understand that each of us is bombarded with lots of content to read throughout the day. But whenever you can spare a minute or two to drop a line in the comment section of a blog post, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you for being a subscriber and reader of my blog this year. I look forward to your feedback and dialogue next year.

What are you challenges are you facing when it comes to automating? How you are currently using Mac automation? What tasks do you wish you could automate?

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2 Comments

  1. Cassady

    Thanks for sharing this Bakari – and all the best for 2017!

    Regarding my wishes for automation – whereas I have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years, and am increasingly using automation courtesy of Hazel, Textexpander, Alfred 3 and Keyboard Maestro (oh – and a particular app that doesn’t get much attention, but is brilliant as the ‘glue’ to connect some of my workflows: Shortcatapp.com) – what I’m increasingly realising is that certain of my key workflows use several of these apps at different stages, requiring individual triggering, in many instances…

    So what I will be aspiring to going forward, would be to start looking at using a central app, most likely KM, to try and tie these together into a single, complete workflow – that requires a single trigger at the top.

    Furthermore, whereas I have had Hazel for several years now, and used it initially to assist me in automating the process of OCR’ing a few thousand PDFs (in paid for itself many times over in those few weeks!) – I’ve since used it less and less. Reason being that most of my filing etc. is handled with the likes of Alfred/KM and Default Folder X, usually during the save process – so I get my files to where I need them in any event. I realise there is much more to Hazel than this, but it’s something I hope to revisit again – I just need to sit and assess where I might be able to use if effectively.

    • Hi Cassady, thanks so much for sharing what you’re doing automation tools. I can see that you’re very experienced with them.

      I tend to use automation applications this way: I want to be able to trigger many of the same actions from either the keyboard (typically using string triggers and Alfred), my trackpad, (using BetterTouchTool), or by voice activation (using Dragon Dictate). Hazel does the folder actions for me, but I’m probably not using it enough. Need to explore what else it can do. For now it keeps my desktop clean and manages some files in my downloads folder and Dropbox.

      Default Folder X is very useful, but this year it seems to have gotten buggy for me. I still rely on it though.

      Please keep in touch about the progress you’re making with automation. I learn a lot from hearing from my readers.

      Happy holidays and New Year.

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