Automators 30: Some Favorite Automations

The latest episode of Automators is now available for download. In it, Rose and I share some of our most beloved recently created automations. 

Rosemary has an automation to help to deal with her garbage email address, and I have an email-related automation dealing with Basecamp. Rosemary built a magic album player using Shortcuts, and I used Shortcuts to help deal with meetings. Finally, Rose got a new Mac mini, and she's adding all sorts of automation to it.

This is a great episode with lots of exciting ideas. We've got several blog posts and sample videos linked to explain what we've done and there something in there for everyone. If you haven't subscribed to Automators yet, you should.

This episode of Automators was sponsored by Creative Next: The new podcast future-proofing creatives.

Guesting on the Lawyerist Podcast

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I joined Sam Glover at the Lawyerist podcast to talk about getting more from your iPhone. The Lawyerist is one of the few lawyer-focused websites that is not dreadful. Indeed it is quite the opposite. On this show, we talked about the iPhone Field Guide and how to be productive with that computer in your pocket.


All Podcasts. All the Time.

If you've been missing my dulcet tones, I've got several new podcasts:

The Productivity Podcast with Paul Minors

Paul Minors has a great productivity minded podcast. On it I talked about some of my own personal workflows and my thoughts on "productivity" in general.

MPU 343: Workflows with Serenity Caldwell

iMore writer and artist Serenity Caldwell joins the Mac Power Users to talk about the iPad, Mac, the new iPhone, and artist workflows.

MPU 344: Hello, Computer

The "Live" show has been renamed MPU+. We discuss what to do with Macs that Sierra has left behind, the problem with "free" software, Network vs. Direct Attached storage, listeners share their feedback on Amazon and tips for using Ulysses and Scrivener. We also learn how to print to PDF from Apple Mail and much more.

My Dulcet Tones

This week I showed up in not one, but two podcasts:

MPU 168

We often collect topics that aren't worth getting their own show but at the same time bigger than a few minutes of feedback. We did this in episode 168 with a variety of topics including iPad styli, cable cutting, offsite backup, and home sound systems. I also spent ten minutes explaining how I brew tea. Katie's disdain for this topic was both palpable and delightful all at once.

Coaching For Leaders 119

Dave Stachowiak was kind enough to let me guest on his show where I talked about email and productivity in general. It was a lot of fun and Dave produces a great show.


Back to Instacast

There are two podcatchers which seem to command a lot of loyalty, Instacast and Downcast. I started out with Instacast and then migrated to Downcast about a year ago. A few months ago, Instacast released a Mac client that brought me back into the fold. I decided to wait awhile before writing about it to first make sure that the switch would stick. It did.


The Instacast user interface has improved since the last time I used it. A lot. The interface on both the Mac and iOS clients gives you a list of podcasts you’ve subscribed to and episodes available for download. The settings let you determine exactly what to do with each podcast you subscribe to. Some may only download the latest episode and others may download all unplayed podcasts. It’s up to you. (You can even download episodes over a cell network, which is really handy about 10 minutes before boarding a plane.)

In addition to the standard view, you can also create lists and smart lists. I use several smart lists including Partially Played (to help me finish shows I paused) and Most Recent.

The big reason for my switch was the release of the Mac app and the ability sync podcasts. I spend a lot of time behind a Mac. The Mac, iPad, and iPhone sync flawlessly. I can now listen to a show while at my Mac and pick up later in my car from my iPhone exactly where I left off on my Mac. Instacast doesn’t just sync listening position. If you delete an episode entirely, that also syncs between the devices. I like to clear out my feeds as much as possible and I particularly appreciate this feature.

With the switch back to Instacast, I didn’t find many WTF moments. Every thing works as I’d expect it to and I’m happy with the switch. There are rumblings that Downcast will get it’s own Mac app and I’ll probably be checking it out. Honestly though, I have all the features I need from a podcatcher and I don’t see a big reason for moving again.