Automators 1: Automating Calendar Events

episode

#1

#2

Excellent first episode! Off to play with the workflows, now. I am just starting a job teaching Career and Technology Studies (Foods) at a junior/senior high school. All of the students will be on different pathways, so there will be need for a whack of automation in my life (due dates, assessment interviews, marks reporting, etc. for each student). The calendar automation tools you provided will be of great help. Thank you!


Automators 0: Introduction
#3

Great first show and arrived just as I was leaving for work, so perfect timing.

Downloaded the Workflows - now just need to finish work so I can have a play with them!


#4

Very cool! I might play around with this weekly summary of events idea. Any clue as to next fortnight’s topic?


#5

Great first episode! I really like how you approach it, with the podcast -simple show notes - detailed blogpost trifecta, so everybody gets something out of it regardless to their prior knowledge of automation.

I was particularly intrigued by the use of Numbers to enter multiple events in Fantastical. Do you think Apple Script can be used to make it work with the stock Calendar app? I guess data from each column would have to be passed individually as variables. I had to do a similar thing with FileMaker Pro, but only for one event at a time. It finally works, but I cannot claim that I know why :slightly_smiling_face:.


#6

It definitely could be done! But scripting the calendar app is rather tricky. Now if you could manipulate the natural language parser or Calendar somehow then that would be very easy - you’d lose support for choosing your calendar and probably have to modify the vocabulary, but it would work. Keyboard Maestro has a click at image option which might help there!


#7

It’s awesome! And something else we likely all use every day :nerd_face:


#8

Amazing first episode and very useful workflows! Thank you very much.
I would like to point out to Calendar Paste 3, a small iOS app to schedule irregular events. I discovered it through Katie Floyd in MPU. It is a good addition to your workflows to automate calendar events.


#9

Definitely a good one! I even have it :slight_smile:


#10

That’s great Kathryn. I work for CTE in North Carolina as Coordinator and using automation could definitely be helpful for a classroom teacher, especially in lesson planning. I would love to hear how you end up using it to share with our teachers. Good luck! Teaching is a very difficult but rewarding experience.


#11

Really good first episode. Lots of little gems to investigate further over the weekend :+1:


#12

Great first episode! Excited to learn and finally get on the automation train. I’ve always wanted to and have dabbled, but never committed the time. Now I have no excuse. :slight_smile: Looking forward to more! Thanks!


#13

Congratulations on E1! I’m looking forward to many more in the future!


#14

Nice start!

One kind of calendar automation not mentioned in this episode: delegating the work (one of the 4 D’s in GTD;) by subscribing to other calendars and letting the owners of those calendars do the work…

For example I use the calendars of Week Calendar to capture the games of my favorite sports team (soccer, but they offer many other sports and events as well), with these benefits:

  1. When the schedule is posted they will create it for me
  2. When a match is rescheduled they will update it for me
  3. When a match is finished they will add the score for me

These calendars are not free, but very affordable (recurring) In-App purchases. At the end of the year there usually is a package deal which allows you to use all the calendars (instead of paying for individual ones) for 1 year for just €2,99.

Technically they are subscriptions on iOS level, so you can use them in other calendar Apps as well, which I do (as I prefer Fantastical on all platforms). In fact you can even use their URL to subscribe to them in FastMail Calendars (or Google Calendar etc.) to have them on all your platforms (via the web or CalDAV).


#15

Nice! That works if what you’re looking for is popular enough that it ends up there, if it’s a tiny school’s football (American: soccer) team then it might not make it!


#16

Are you planning to use it with teachers or students? Curious how or why you would have to keep track of different student deadlines depending on the student. Would this be because of various student classes or groups?


#17

Students. They sign up for the course (foods 10, 20, 30) but they do different modules based on what they want to accomplish. In a given semester, they can complete between 5 and 7, 1 credit modules that count toward graduation. The individual modules have their own assignments, tests, practical assessments, and benchmarks that must be completed before moving on to the next module. It is student-driven as to what they take (with guidance) so they will mostly all be on different timelines. Still haven’t figured out how to do it, but I have another month or so. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#18

Awesome first show. Already have the first workflows up and running. I’ve had workflow installed since it was mentioned on MPU, and have played around with functions, but have had trouble really thinking about how it could be put to use. Looking forward to getting more ideas from this show.


#19

Such a great episode! The additional screencasts really help!


#20

We suspected they would be!