Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts

As a followup to my earlier post about how to create a macOS Service (or a Text Expander snippet) to quickly append a text file using Hazel, Automator and Shell Scripts, here’s a way to instead prepend text to a text file using the same tools.

prepend text automator screenshot

Why would you want to do this?

My core interest in setting this up is for plain-text journaling. In a way, I am cobbling together the functionality I find extraordinarily useful in the iOS app Drafts for use on macOS.

I like to capture ideas, thoughts, errands, links, apps, articles, tasks and todos quickly, and I use a plain-text document system I’ve put together over the years. These automation setups remove friction in doing so, which make it more likely I will maintain the behavior.

With this setup and the companion append text automation setup, I can hit a keyboard combo, have a small window pop up where I type what I want to capture, hit OK and the automation goes and appends it to the right .txt file, in the right location, behind the scenes.

I will be writing about my plain-text journaling system in a future post. For now, read on to learn how to set this journaling automation up for yourself.

Continue reading “Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts”

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Run a Photoshop Action from Applescript

Handy info for running Photoshop actions via Applescript on your Mac. I used this so I can send an image to Photoshop via the Acquire iPhone app (my “scanner”), and then have Drafts save a text file in Dropbox that Hazel picks up and tells Photoshop to run my default scanned sketch Photoshop Action on the artwork image.

Call a Photoshop Action from Applescript

Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts

I love the Drafts app for the iPhone, and I love automating stuff. The downside to using Drafts is that the workflows I’ve set up aren’t possible with any software on the Mac. I cobbled together some methods to achieve at least the one most common task I have, appending info to a master plain-text log file on Dropbox. Here’s how I did it.

[UPDATE 2017-12-30: here’s the companion article on prepending text files]

Continue reading “Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts”

Automatically Create a Specific Folder Structure with Automator & Hazel

Here’s a method using Automator and Hazel to automatically create a specific folder structure within a folder. I use this for client projects, since they are always the same. With this setup, I just add a new folder to my “Clients” folder, and all the standard sub-folders I need added are auto-created by Hazel, via Automator.  Continue reading “Automatically Create a Specific Folder Structure with Automator & Hazel”

Advanced Tips for Drafts App

Often advanced features in my favorite apps are tough to explain because they are so open to customization. Examples usually help. Here are some handy Drafts tips I’ve either discovered or created that might give you some idea on how to take advantage of Dropbox actions, URL Actions, and email actions.

– Use date stamps to create a scratchpad text dump file

– Log your tweets

– Log your Google searches

– Log everything!

– Use IFTTT and email action to subscribe in Google Reader

– Use date stamps for an auto-created monthly journal text file

– Use bookmarklets to log webpages or send to Reminders Continue reading “Advanced Tips for Drafts App”