At the center of Mac automation is increased productivity (though sometimes it’s also just fun creating workflows and watching them run.) I first started using Mac automation when I was a professional photography. I used Photoshop actions to process hundreds of photos, and Automator workflows to process other files. Now I use Mac automation programs to write and edit content, manage files, plan tasks and goals, produce websites, and much more.
I personally think Apple could do a lot more with helping users learn how to use Mac automation, but that’s a subject for another article. In the meantime, we can take advantage of the existing automation and productivity programs out there that can help reduce redundant tasks, clicking, typing, and mouse movements.
My Automation and Productivity Stats
The other night I was thinking about how some automation programs include stat usage to remind users how much they are getting out of the program. So I thought it might be interesting to gather as much data as I can and present it in an infographic. I hope this information inspires you to share data from the apps you’re using.
Now of course, some of these stats are at best generalizations. For example, Keyboard Maestro reports saving me 6 months of time because of all the automations and workflows I trigger. Well, it’s difficult to prove that I’ve actually saved six months of time, because there’s no criteria for what the report is actually measuring and how that time is measured. But I do know that my Keyboard Maestro workflows, as well as other automation programs I use, actually reduce repetitive and redundant tasks, which saves me time each each day.
How Automation Helps Productivity
- I use TextExpander to quickly type hundreds of words, URLs, and snippets of texts that I need to type on a regular basis.
- I use BetterTouchTool finger gestures to trigger hundreds of actions instead of having to remember and use keyboard shortcuts.
- I use Alfred and iClip to quickly retrieve text I’ve previously copied saving me typing time.
- I use Hazel to automatically manage files in my Downloads, Desktop and Dropbox folders. Hazel moves and archives those files so that I don’t have to.
- I use ClickUp task manager to plan out projects and keep up with recurring tasks. It’s my digital assistant that remembers things for me.
- And I use Timing to not only provide time sheets for two of my clients, but to also keep track of how I’m using my time at my computer. Timing works in the background so that I don’t have to create and start and stop timers as I work.
Share Your Stats
I hope revealing my automation and productivity stats will inspire you to share your own in the comment section below. You should be able to find stats in the preferences of some of the applications you use. I hope these stats will inspire you to use one or more of the applications I share in the presentation, and those I write about for this site.
Let me know what applications you’re interested in the comment section below.
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Bakari – I was really looking forward to the infographic when I saw it mentioned on Twitter, but became equally disappointed in certain aspects. For example, to see that Clickup (not one I use) has a figure rated from Feb 2020 to July 2020 is helpful. CleanMyMac’s work done in the past week may also be helpful, but is that just for one week or every week? TextExpander – 104 hours saved since when? What is the monthly saving, or 5-monthly saving like ClickUp? My own TextExpander saving is 3.7 hours this past month. Not as huge as your figure, and maybe not as impressive, so it won’t instantly win as many people. But it’s honest, and at least I know it’s at pivotal points of repetition. (Interesting that it was just rated the top app on the Dottotech AppWednesday podcast too). Keyboard Maestro – 6 months saved, but again, since what starting point? When it’s not truly comparable, the figures become more promotional than a factual resource. I love helping others see the value in automation, but showing them this infographic is not a way that I can really use.
Hey Phil, thanks for your feedback. As I state in the article, the stats are simply generalizations, because you’re correct there’s other information I would need to show what the data actually means and how it improves my productivity.
But I do think the stats depict how automation is useful to productivity. It might be useful to focus on particular application for 3 to 6 months to show how useful it is. The infographic was just for the purposes of showing readers the possibilities.
Again, thanks for your feedback.