Omnifocus Clip-O-Tron and Mail [Mac]

It is a great feeling when you finally implement that last shortcut or rule and your productivity system steps up a notch. 

Like many busy mac users I love using Omnifocus and particularly the quick entry window. Where the system breaks down is adding Mail emails to Omnifocus. 

Although what I'm sharing here isn't new I hope that it is a little more visual than the Omnifocus help page and therefore might be useful to somebody. 

First install the Omnifocus Clip-O-Tron which you can get here.

Now let's setup the shortcut.

Go to Omnifocus > Preferences... 

The general tab should appear. Now select the "Set Shortcut.." button under the Capture heading.

Home straight, make sure to select "Services" in the left pane and the scroll down the list till you see the "Text" and then look for "OmniFocus 2: Send to Inbox" under this heading. 

Keyboard Services shortcut

Cool, so just to the right of that you will ether see "none" or a shortcut command. In my case it is ⌃⌥⌘Space but you can make it whatever you like. 

You can now close this window and go to mail. Once you have a email selected you can use your new shortcut to send it to Omnifocus. 

Happy Clipping!

Easily open CSV files in Microsoft Excel using File Juggler [Windows]

A regular part of a financial role  is downloading bank transaction data. These are normally csv files.

Opening these in Excel requires one to first navigate to the location and also ensure that all files are visible. A whole lot of clicks! Or a little simpler, right click..., Open with..., Excel.

To automate this I have added the following FileJuggler Rule to look for and open these automatically.

As you can see, our banks default name for csv files is TransactionHistory, which is the name I gave for the folder I download these to. 

The first step after File Juggler notices the file is to rename it. This prevents the file from triggering the rule again and again.

The last bit is a run command. There are two parts to this: the program I want to open and the file I want to open. 

I wasn't sure how to do it first but I got some help from Sun W Kim on Super Users.

So in my case the run command ended up being:

"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office\Microsoft Excel 2010.lnk" "G:\TransactionHistory\TransNew.csv"

Basically: "program location" "file location"

Hazel, applescript and email attachments [Mac]

For my day job, I regularly need to send a daily dashboard report  (I call these "Daily Awareness Reports") as an attachment to emails.

Having generated a pdf of the report I use Hazel and AppleScript to attach the pdf to an email and send it. Furthermore, I send myself an email with the report to check that it has been completed correctly and maintain it for my records. 

I previously tried an Automator workflow, but the "Get Selected Finder Items" command would include previously selected files and attach them to the email as well. Needless to say, this could look a little unprofessional....

So here is my workflow. 

I created a Dropbox folder for Daily Awareness Reports, which is where I save these reports when they are completed.

Next, I get Hazel to watch this folder.

The Hazel rule watches for pdf documents AND file names containing "Daily Awareness" (the file name I use but use what works for you).

Once it notices a file that fulfils these conditions it runs two scripts.

The first sends the report to the users.

set theAttachment1 to (POSIX path of theFile)
set subject_ to "Daily Report"
set the_content to "Find attached Daily Report"
tell application "Mail"
set newMessage to make new outgoing message with properties {subject:subject_, content:the_content & return & return}
tell newMessage

set visible to false
set sender to "my1@mac.com"
make new to recipient at end of to recipients with properties {address:"their@mac.com"}
make new attachment with properties {file name:theAttachment1} at after the last paragraph

(* change save to send to send*)
send --<<<<---------------- change save to send to send or send to save to save to drafts
(* change save to send to send*)
end tell
end tell

The second scripts lets me know it is all done. 

set theAttachment1 to (POSIX path of theFile)
set subject_ to "Daily Report"
set the_content to "Daily Report Sent"
tell application "Mail"
set newMessage to make new outgoing message with properties {subject:subject_, content:the_content & return & return}
tell newMessage

set visible to false
set sender to "my1@mac.com"
make new to recipient at end of to recipients with properties {address:"my1@mac.com"}
make new attachment with properties {file name:theAttachment1} at after the last paragraph

(* change save to send to send*)
send --<<<<---------------- change save to send to send or send to save to save to drafts
(* change save to send to send*)
end tell
end tell

The last step in the rule deletes the document. This is very important to ensure that it doesn't keep on sending emails. Needless to say this could also be a little embarrassing....

This code is based on a post on Stackoverflow done by markhunte.

Order Report

I have been building a report to provide information regarding customer orders in our organisation.

The key informational requirements are:

  • Order intake
  • Outstanding orders
  • Breakdown of orders by category

Putting that to one side, here are some data visualization I have come across during this process. 

This information come from the GEA Groups Annual Report for 2010.

 

Australian Federal Budget Data - The Age

The Australian Federal Budget was handed down yesterday.

To inform readers of the content of the budget The Age newspaper used some simple yet effective data visualisation. 

To get the full impact you need to visit: Federal Budget Data

It is interesting to look at the breakdown, which helps to highlight the areas the government targeted . However the visualisation doesn't really give me an idea of the scale of cuts or increases compared to last year.


 

What accounting packages can learn from Info-graphics

In my role at small manufacturing organisation has taught me is that most standard financial reporting is disjointed, boring and not user driven. 

Nicholas Felton,  produces some lovely Personal Annual Reports that beautifully and elegantly highlights the activities of his year. If this is the level of insight an individual can obtain through thoughtful capturing and reporting it is well within the reach of every organisation. It might not be as pretty but hopefully it will be as useful.