Apple contacts to document? Beginner looking for help


#1

Hi everyone,
I’m rather new to automating and am trying this partially due to a particular work task. I’m really struggling to figure out how to automate this to save me a lot of time.

I work for an orchestra and have to send out contracts for musicians per concert. I have a standard template that I use, and I have to input information straight from my Apple contacts (including name, address, home phone, cell phone, email address, and job title aka instrument). These all go into a word document that I then add the concert information (cut and paste). From there, I simply email it out and am done.

I’ve done this by manually typing the information from my Apple contacts. I’ve also done this by doing a mail merge with my Apple contacts, but this is rather clunky when I just need a single person inputted at a time.

Ultimately, I want to be able to select which contact and have the information placed in the contract. In an ideal world, I would even be able to pick one of five concerts and have the associated information added as well.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can do this or get started?

Thank you all in advance,
Brianna


#2

You could try something like this in Automator but it doesn’t look like it would really work for what you need. I assume you would need to do the “get information” part for each piece of information you wanted, and I’m not sure how much control you would get over formatting (I suspect none…)

The ideal on Mac might be AppleScript, I expect, but I’m certainly not an expert at that!

Have you considered using iOS? If you use Shortcuts the contacts options are pretty good; and the different concert options could be accounted for pretty easily as well. I’m not sure how well it would play with Word (which I don’t have installed—I assume there’s probably no Shortcuts support)—but I wonder whether it would be possible to copy something to the clipboard in rich text format, have Word open, and then paste it manually? (You could even paste to your computer if needed for the rest of your workflow, probably.) It may depend the complexity of your template.


#3

What app is the template in? Word or Pages?
For both the mail-merge options would be my advice.


#4

This sounds to me like a Mail Merge. Word and Excel generally reign champion in this area!


#5

Hi everyone! I had previously used a mail merge, as you recommended, but it didn’t seem to work smoothly when I only needed to create one contract at a time.

However, I figured out how to automate this fairly well! In Siri Shortcuts, I have it request for me to pick a contact, which it then pulls all the proper information (name, address, phone, etc.). From there, it asks me which concert date from a menu.

Shortcuts then sends reminders to OmniFocus for me to send firstName lastName a contract and add them to my roster for the proper concert. It also sends the information to Zapier, which places it into a template in my Google Drive.

I then have another Zap that watches a specific folder for whenever new files appear and downloads them to my Dropbox (which I use for everything).

This gives me a contract that needs minimal changes (a couple spacing things). I do have to adjust the specific information for which concert it is, but I plan on adjusting my workflow to take care of that as well (just haven’t gotten to it yet!).