The best way to get started with Mac automation is to identify Mac tasks you regularly perform on your Mac, and then figure out which ones can be automated.

Though computers are supposed to save us time and help us be more productive, many computer users perform redundant tasks without knowing that many actions can be automated or triggered with one or more less steps.

To help you become familiar with tasks you perform regularly, the following poll is a list of tasks that Mac users regularly perform on their computer.

Take Mac Tasks Survey

  1. Vote up a task if you perform it nearly every time you work at your computer
  2. Vote down a task if you don’t perform that task very often.

Note: at the end of this poll, I share examples of how common Mac tasks can be automated using relatively easy to learn automation applications.

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Sample Automated Mac Tasks

If you want to get started with Mac automation, there’s about a dozen relatively applications (including Keyboard Maestro, BetterTouchTool, Hazel, SuperTab, Speech Commands, TextExpander, PopClip, smart folders, and iClip) that help you automate tasks on your Mac.

The title for each example includes a link to an article that will explain more about the particular automation.

Use PopClip to Automations

Use PopClip to perform dozens of Mac tasks
PopClips includes hundreds of automations that can you perform tasks with reduce the use of mouse or trackpad clicks and keyboard shortcuts.

Automatically Hide and Quit Apps

Use SuperTab to automatically hide or quit applications after they have been idle in the background for a specified period of time.

Download SuperTab using my affiliate link. 60% Off.

Expand Snippets of Text

Use TextExpander to perform Mac tasks
Use TextExpander, TypeIt4Me or some other text expansion program to automatically paste pre-set words, phrases or other snippets of text.

Download trial version of TextExpander.

Use Hazel to Automatically Move and Copy Files

Use Hazel rules to automatically perform Mac tasks
Use Hazel to automatically move or copy files from one location to the next. Hazel manage folders and files based on rules you set.

Use Automator to Automatically Resize Image Files

Automator workflows can perform Mac tasks
Create a workflow in Apple’s Automator to automatically resize images on your desktop.

Use BetterTouchTool to Trigger Keyboard Shortcuts

Use BetterTouchTool to trigger Mac tasks

Use SnappyApp to Take Screenshots

Snappy app
Use SnappyApp to have screenshots automatically open in preview on your desktop.

Keyboard Maestro Time and Day Triggers

Use Keyboard Maestro to time trigger Mac tasks

Get a discount on Keyboard Maestro using my affiliate link.

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The above examples are just a few of the type of automation hacks you can have triggered on your Mac. Depending on what you do, there are endless workflows that you can create that save you time and clicking using automation programs.

I invite you to subscribe to the MacAutomationTips newsletter to get updated about new articles, and to browse the site for more detail ideas about getting started with Mac automation.

Also, feel free to share the type of tasks you perform on your Mac that are not listed in the survey. I’m always interested in knowing about the automation needs of my readers.

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