Basic AF: a (mostly) tech podcast

The Art of Automation and Productivity with Adam Olson

July 24, 2023 Tom Anderson & Jeff Battersby Episode 14
Basic AF: a (mostly) tech podcast
The Art of Automation and Productivity with Adam Olson
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you prepared to conquer the chaos of daily tasks? Today, we're thrilled to be joined by our old friend and tech aficionado, Adam Olson. Adam brings an arsenal of efficiency-boosting tips and tricks, from using iOS features like the double-tap open command to managing complex automation collections. 

Our conversation takes a detour into the world of app integration and preferences, discussing how we can best streamline our daily tasks using apps and automation. With features such as Siri integration, and apps like OmniFocus and Things, we delve into the GTD method and its benefits. We talk Apple's Calendar app and Outlook for watch integration, and even touch on the contentious topic of subscription models.

The final leg of our journey explores the realm of productivity apps and methods. We talk about apps like SwitchResX, TextExpander, Sessions, and HoudahSpot that can simplify those tedious tasks and boost productivity. Then, we turn the spotlight on Keyboard Maestro, a tool that proves indispensable for automating daily tasks. So, listen in and prepare to revolutionize the way you navigate your digital life.

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Intro Music: Psychokinetics - The Chosen

Show transcripts and episode artwork are AI generated and likely contain errors and general silliness.

Jeff Battersby:

It's probably just a stroke.

Tom Anderson:

All right, welcome in. It is another episode of Basic AF. I'm Tom, along with Jeff. Jeff, how we doing.

Jeff Battersby:

I'm Well, tom, when I just want to point out that, even though we sound nice now, we've completely gone off the rails before we even began this evening.

Tom Anderson:

So Well, that's what we usually do.

Jeff Battersby:

It's true.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, and so we're Another show, want to say welcome if you're new, thanks for checking us out and giving us a shot and hope that we earn a spot on your playlist and, if you're coming back for another episode, thank you for your ongoing support of the show. We do very much appreciate it.

Jeff Battersby:

This episode, jeff, we have a guest with us again, tom, you, you just don't want to do things with me alone anymore.

Tom Anderson:

You kind of weird me out, man.

Jeff Battersby:

Adam's already taking us down a path.

Tom Anderson:

Great Thank you, he has so joining us on this episode, former colleague of mine, Adam Olson. Adam, welcome to the show.

Adam Olson:

Thank you, good to be here.

Tom Anderson:

Yep. And so when Adam and I worked together, how long ago did you leave, like how long ago?

Jeff Battersby:

It feels like it's about six years or so, five minutes after you arrived.

Adam Olson:

And I'm glad it feels longer to you, Tom. I appreciate it.

Tom Anderson:

It does. Yeah, it seems like it's been quite a while, but, like we've said on this show before, like the COVID period, I'm still trying to get like time back from that, like it got really weird.

Tom Anderson:

But Adam and I used to get together and hang out I don't know every couple of months, I think and we would nerd out on workflows and automation and productivity hacks and things like that. And Jeff, you had an idea for a show based, you know, on that topic and I thought, oh, I know the perfect guy to bring in for this.

Adam Olson:

I got a nurse.

Jeff Battersby:

Right. And that's when I pulled out my collection of automations and then Adam pulled out his collection of automation. I was like, okay, I'm gonna go home now. I thought I was doing pretty well, but I got nothing, man.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, that's impressive, and we're going to dig into that. So the premise for this show will be automations, workflows. And before we kind of start down the path, I would encourage you, if you're listening in your ear, don't be intimidated by those words automations and workflows. You can have very simple automations that you get benefit from on a daily basis. They don't have to be these complex 100 step things although I think Adam's got some of those but you just don't have to have that, and so we're going to dig into that. So I encourage you, even if it's something, you're thinking how this is going to go way over your head, it won't completely. So you know we may, towards the end of the show, maybe dig into some super nerdy stuff, but we do want to try to make it beneficial for you as well, so that you can maybe take some of these away and apply them in a practical manner.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, and to give you an idea of, like, the simplicity of some automations, one of the ones that I use now regularly is a double pat, double, a double tap on the back of my phone to open up the Halide app. So it's using a feature that's built into iOS that allows you to tap the back of your phone to. You know, typically typically that's an accessibility feature, but I've enabled that so that I can open Halide, which is photo app, because iOS at least presently and probably not in the next version of iOS it doesn't allow you to select a particular camera app. So this gives me the ability to do that, and it was a really simple, really simple script that that I created that I can use with a shortcut app and just opens up Halide and I'm ready to go.

Adam Olson:

So, as Tom says I got screenshots for that same thing. Double tap and a lot of unintended screenshots at that.

Jeff Battersby:

Oh good, great. So just want to point out already Adam's not as smart as you be, because he's taken screenshots with a double tap. I was embarrassed to be on this show. Now I'm feeling like I'm kind of smart.

Tom Anderson:

We're in our element, Jeff.

Jeff Battersby:

Okay, good call. I'm sorry, Adam, I didn't mean to denigrate you within the first five minutes but it's done.

Adam Olson:

We're setting the bar low, so that's good. I have nowhere to go.

Tom Anderson:

No, we've gone this show man. So, adam, if you don't mind, you want to tell us a little bit, like what Apple products are you using these days? I know, like I say, it's been five or six years, so, like in terms of Mac, phone, watch, that kind of stuff, what do you have these days?

Adam Olson:

So the gamut. I don't have my goggles yet, but I've got a watch phone, ipad, fairly new M1 Mac Pro, so I still got the old trash can, so I'm running that as a desktop as well. So, and I just got rid of the 40 Mac minis that I bought off of you, tom.

Jeff Battersby:

So those are the box you sent me. Take sure of those boxes.

Tom Anderson:

No, we used to take our old computers at the office and when they reached the end of life we'd do like a community, if you want to call it that, a CO, for, like the staff and faculty and Adam was always there picking up stuff for who knows what projects- After a while.

Adam Olson:

Why do I have so many of these? So I just gave them out to people in the office. I had probably 10 to 12 of those things. So, oh my gosh. Oh yeah, I'll use that for a server. Yeah, I'll use that for Plex server or like I want anything to do with these.

Tom Anderson:

You're trying to look at these.

Adam Olson:

Exactly so. That's pretty much my gamut, though. So I haven't got the new watch. That does look appealing. I hiked the grand last year and I got about a thousand feet from the top and my watch died on me and I thought if I had the new watch I'd make it day and a half. So I was pretty mad I didn't get my elevation gain on that one. So Right. That's been good.

Jeff Battersby:

Very cool, and it looks like you have a pretty hefty list of applications that you use on the regular too. So why don't you tell us a little bit about, like, who you are, what you do, how you knew, tom, what you were doing at Shenandoah and what you're?

Adam Olson:

doing now? Yeah, so I, uh, I'm a guitar player that ended up messing up my hands and got into the other side of the glass with a recording technology which I actually wanted nothing to do with. I remember early teachers that were talking about pedals and stuff and I didn't want to do anything. Technology and my days are now or about 12 plus hours a day on a computer for the last 25, year, 20 years, something like that. So it's been. It's been a lot.

Adam Olson:

Um, like I mentioned earlier, I had a lot of keynotes and very invested in Apple. I finally just left Windows, for the most part about three years ago. So, um, I was in Pyramix and some other audio applications that just from companies that I was working in that were on Windows. But, um, quicken was my last stretch of just keeping me on Windows and I finally just bagged that on Windows. Don't do any more VM boots into that.

Adam Olson:

There's a. There's a rare handful of times that I'll have to go into some Windows for different things, but I I've been an app junkie probably for about 15 years, so hence Tom and I's conversation. So I've I've all those deals that they they throw out on a zillion different sites. I generally tend to buy them. If they're five, ten bucks, I'll I'll throw money that their way and see if they're useful, and I've got probably thousands of apps that I've just left to be archived and never to use again. So, um, but it was tricky when you guys asked me, like what, what are some of the main apps? But, um, I trimmed it down to these are. These are the apps that I do use regularly. We can, we can get into OmniFocus. I mean, there's a handful of apps that I use all the time.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, so why don't you tell us what those are and in the why behind, why you use them?

Adam Olson:

Sure, um, just, I guess, fly, fly through these. So OmniFocus, it's a GTD method of getting things done and it's, um, it's the the best one that I've found. Tom, are you still using things you had mentioned? You were on one of your shows. Did you bag that?

Tom Anderson:

I've been doing an experiment with reminders.

Adam Olson:

Okay.

Tom Anderson:

Um, but, and part of it's just because of the. It's got like the position one for Siri stuff, which I do a lot of stuff with the watch in particular um, with Siri to say, hey, remind me blah, blah, blah, blah, or in the car with car playing stuff, and you can set up that kind of link between things and reminders and stuff. But I thought, well, let me give reminders a shot because it has the benefit of being the Apple app. But I gotta tell you I opened things yesterday and I was like, oh, how pretty it is.

Tom Anderson:

And it was like and I hadn't looked at it in a while, uh so on the edge of going back yeah, I'm thinking maybe I'll go back or at least try that uh again, try that uh uh. Integration between the two, where you can set up like a designated reminders list and reminders that things will just pick it up from and drop it in your things list.

Adam Olson:

So I do that. Yeah, I wish there was something that was a little bit better integrated. So so there's been a lot of amens as I've been listening to your show on different things. You're talking about Siri and how, how things integrate. You're that's one that drives me nuts. I wish I could just do a hey Siri easily and and have things jump into the, into OmniFocus. Well, but it seems so hit and miss, even though they've added those features. So, um, anyway, so that's OmniFocus. That's what I use for that. I absolutely love the GTD method. Um, won't go into that too much, but um I I think that it's fantastic that it's super simple. Or you can make it really complicated based on areas that you're at and projects and everything else, but both of those are basically similar apps. Um I I just gravitated towards OmniFocus because it seemed a little bit more powerful and I use Apple Scripts all the time on it and it seemed a lot better to use Apple Scripts with it than than things. So that's why I went that route.

Adam Olson:

Um, pro Tools, cubase, new Window I'm an audio engineer, so I do. I'm in and out of Pro Tools all day long, so that's uh app. I live and die by Logic's been great. I'm a um, certified Logic, um advanced instructor, but I I don't find myself in Logic as much as I, um, as much as these other two apps. So there's just things that bother me a little bit with Logic and the way they edit and it. It does certain things, but fantastic app as well, um, uh, you, I want me to just keep flowing. Yeah, tell us, tell us what you're using and why. Yep, yep. So, um, as far as just straight up, apple, a, a given is calendar, so I use that.

Adam Olson:

Um with the app sessions, we can get into that with some um, some flow workflow things with Keyword, maestro and some other stuff, but basically, um, the, the thing that I really like with that is again the integration with some Apple scripting things. That, um that I throw basically keeps track of what I'm doing for my day. I used my calendar more to track histories than I do of upcoming events for Apple calendar. And, um, tom, you had mentioned in the in an earlier show, just, I, you know, I I used my calendar more to track things that I throw. That basically keeps track of what I'm doing for my day. I use my calendar more to track histories than I do of upcoming events for Apple Calendar. And, tom, you had mentioned in an earlier show just trying to find a nice integration with the watch and everything. And man, I went through so many apps for the calendar like dozens of apps I downloaded and paid probably hundreds of dollars trying to find something that integrated really well.

Adam Olson:

I use Fantastic Cal forever and I'm not a fan anymore. I love the groups in Fantastic Cal. There's things that it does well, but there's just too many issues and subscription and everything else. So the thing that I actually surprisingly settled on was for the watch at least integration between everything to keep track of what's up is Outlook. Outlook actually syncs fairly fast and it syncs between Apple Calendar, which I throw out on Apple Calendar, and then it goes to the watch app really well and shows me what I'm doing and what's coming up next. We can talk about Pomodoro in a second, but when I'm doing a Pomodoro or whatever task I'm in, it tells me when I'm done really well, and it has a nice integration there. So that's what I settled on, which was kind of surprising, since I don't know if it's Microsoft.

Tom Anderson:

Check that out. Yeah, I'll go back and look. Jeff, you use Outlook on iOS, right? Do you still do that?

Jeff Battersby:

More very specific things. I use it for some of the people I consult with because their calendars are in Microsoft Office. I use FantasticOwl that's my go-to but it sounds like the things that I'm using it for, which is really just to keep track of what's coming up, as opposed to historical information. So that may be why Everybody has a subscription I mean even Apple now with their iPad apps for final cut. And what was the other one? Logic, Logic, yeah.

Jeff Battersby:

Logic yeah, so a little annoyed. That annoyance goes a long ways, by the way, for every single. If you're using the sub stack or something like that anybody that you're reading on sub stack in order to see the details, you have to subscribe. It's like damn it. I just want to. You know Where's a magazine where I can subscribe once and read 50 articles, as opposed to subscribe to 50 people and read it one time. But you know it's a. You know I'm a little subscribed out and I probably, when I get a few minutes, want to think about that. But I do love Fantastic Hell, so Fantastic Hell for me integrates really well with that look.

Adam Olson:

So I haven't found anything else. Maybe you guys have. That actually does the grouping like Fantastic Hell does, cause I have so many different calendars for things that just be able to click and turn all of a certain group off at once. That was, and there's key commands you can assign, so that I loved about Fantastic Hell for sure, so it's really good for that, not that I use that but and they raised that subscription too- last year.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, they did Right and it was fairly considerable amount, and I was on the fence but I've kind of, you know, I've hit the crack and so I'm stuck with it. So, so, so. I'll just automate these check boxes with keyboard by stress over there, right, yeah, so I mean, it's probably honestly, it's probably at its limit for what I'm like if they were to say, next year, bump it again.

Jeff Battersby:

I'd probably be like hmm, I think I'm good. Yeah, I might be the same, but we'll see. So anyway, all right Adam Cool.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, so Pathfinder is a huge one. And this, again, this is one of those things that I have looked everywhere. I worked with this company for a while, about probably five years ago I have not found anything in the Finder that actually allows you to drag and drop and just merge the folders really well. I mean, I know there's a zillion little tiny apps that you can do and, but just something that's smooth like that. Windows has been doing that since at least Windows 98 and that will tell you this one's newer, which one do you want to keep? So, yeah, again, tons of little utility apps, but they do not do it as well as Pathfinder.

Adam Olson:

That's the main reason I've been using it. I've been in it for hours and hours at a time At this point just merging a bunch of old junk and things that needed to be put together that I didn't want to go all the way down to the sub level or if they had shared names. So that app has been fantastic. I loved it. So, pathfinder, I'm still using Quicksilver, if you remember that app from way back in the day.

Jeff Battersby:

So Quicksilver, I remember the name, I can't even remember what it.

Adam Olson:

It's basically Alfred, so it's like it's a launcher. Yeah, as far as I know, I think it was probably one of the first ones that were ever there. I mean, it'd be Taskbar, and now what's the one I just spent time with? I can't even think of what's called. It's with the queue.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, I had that on my Mac for a while too. I think I know what one you're talking about, which is it's kind of a freeware app or was yeah, yeah, yeah, can't remember what it is, but I know exactly what you're talking about. Great little app. I liked it. Yeah, so the one that we can't give a name to. It's Raycast, so Raycast, there we go.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, it's not a queue. So that's Quicksilver. So Raycast, that one's good. There was just multiple limitations on how it managed screens and different things I did and it wasn't enough to jump over. If it was going to combine a few other apps that I used, then I would have stuck with it. But, tom, you guys gripe about window management on Mac. That was actually one that got me into starting the program in the first place, because I had spent 100 plus hours trying to find apps to be able to manage windows. I now use size up.

Adam Olson:

I actually wrote my own app back 10 years ago that I integrated with Quicksilver SP Resize, because I was constantly moving windows around and grabbing the sides. It was a nightmare and still it's a horrendous mess managing windows, especially if you have things vertically stacked. No windows, any app that I've ever seen, ever remembers that. Even within apps that manage windows, they don't ever remember the right locations. They don't pull them down lengthwise. It seems to do OK sideways, but we've got anyway where I work. I've got things vertically stacked and then off to the side and it's just a mess. I can't stand it. Windows has had that figured out forever now, so that one I love. There's certain things that Apple does, so two apps that I use for that again is size up.

Adam Olson:

And then the other app that is definitely worth mentioning is Switch Res X, and that's allowed me if you mess with that, that's allowed me to be able to turn off certain monitors. So I have four monitors that I work with. There's times where I need to just turn off one of them and you can just use a key command. I use that at work all the time. Tom, when I was with you In the studio, all four of us that were in there constantly we had vertically stacked, which I hate.

Adam Olson:

I hate the vertical stacked, the way it works. So I would always lay the, even though they're vertically, I'd lay them out sideways, and the guys other guys would hate that. Switch Res X handled all that stuff. So it's just, everybody had their own key command assigned. It also allowed me to throw Apple scripts in, so it would change the desktop background and resize the screen as well, and so as soon as they came up, they would see oh, it's not my desktop, I can see we're on Adams or somebody else, as they would run a key command and then it would move all the monitors.

Tom Anderson:

So fantastic app for that. Yeah, that's nice.

Adam Olson:

And it still works great. So in Ventura we're using it. I've been using that, I don't know, for at least eight years, so that one's been great. So you guys had TextExpander. I use TextExpander still. I still don't do the subscription. I stopped when I went to subscription and it still works. Thankfully I've got so many TextExpansions and that that I've attempted to switch over into other apps, but it would be too long and cumbersome to do that, so maybe something Keyboard, nice and Maestro needs an import feature.

Adam Olson:

I know, and I've actually tried to do Keyboard Maestro for all that, and I felt like that's worthy enough to keep separate. I do have several of them that's in Keyboard Maestro, but it's just been easier to manage those separately. So I probably would, though if they did have a nice quick import. So anyway, there's a ton of apps. So Sessions, superduper Sessions is an app that I use. I do Pomodoro, so I'll talk about that real quick.

Adam Olson:

Pomodoro is basically for me, a complete lifesaver I found about 15 years ago, which basically says do 25 minutes of something and then you get a five minute break. So you're totally on, game on as hard as you can for 25 minutes and then you can veg out, watch YouTube, go for a walk, whatever you want to do, and then back on again, and then every four times you do that, you take a 20 minute break. If you're being true to Pomodoro, as it comes from, I guess, an Italian timer some guy came up with, I think in the 80s. Are you guys familiar with that? Have you used that at all? Yeah, very much. Yeah, ok, so that with GTD, which those two don't even overlap with each other, it's just so good, at least for me, for keeping my brain on track.

Adam Olson:

So, sessions, I use an old app called Pomodoro. It would go out and it would set a thing for Twitter for me. It would actually Golder would probably laugh be listened to this. But I set up an app for him that would run on his computer. That would let him know when I was done with my Pomodoro. So he came to my hand.

Tom Anderson:

Sorry, Golder, bless you.

Jeff Battersby:

Stay out of my office.

Tom Anderson:

Pretty much.

Adam Olson:

I'm a butt, I know, but staying focused is so hard at work, especially in the summers when you're trying to do stuff Anyway. So I set that up and that app there was no app that I could find that really did that well. And the guy that's been working Sessions, he phenomenal. He's taken all of those features. It throws it into Outlook and tells me what tasks I've done. It throws it into Calendar. Anyway, it does a ton of things. So we could nerd out for a long time and that one. But that's basically the idea behind that app and I have not seen any app that's even close to as good as what Sessions does. They're working on a watch app, but right now my integration for that is what I already mentioned with Outlook, so it throws it into my Apple Calendar and then Outlook actually syncs it and it shows on my watch what I do, what I'm working on. So that's been helpful. Who to Spot? I don't know how I missed this app. I've heard that. Have you guys used who to Spot at all?

Jeff Battersby:

Heard of it, never used it.

Adam Olson:

So I heard of that for years and finally I just bit the bullet and really dived into it. It basically is built on Spotlight, but it is a thousand times better than Spotlight. It's so much faster. It uses Spotlight's database, so Spotlight gets messed up. It won't work so you have to rebuild things. But it finds everything. It saves your last search. You can save your own searches, the filters rather than trying to click that silly little plus icon and then save them off to the side and the finder for your Spotlight searches.

Adam Olson:

Just all of that, so many features, and it shows you all the different things, ways here that you can actually find Like I needed to find 64 bit applications that weren't 64 bit and the developer spends super helpful. Just it's showing me exactly this is what you look for. This is what will tell you all that information. I come back to that all the time. It's so much faster than Spotlight at finding a bunch of things. So who to spot? Well worth the money. I think it's like 20 bucks and it's not a subscription for whatever that's worth, hey.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, I'm just thinking about that.

Adam Olson:

Shout out for that. So anyway, those are. There's a zillion others, but those are probably some good starters. Bar Tender is one that I use for menu lets, so just menu items. I have a zillion items in my menu bar, so that one has been fantastic for just being able to shrink things down and show what I need to up in the menu bar, so it's probably a good start.

Jeff Battersby:

Great, nice list of apps, a bunch of these that I've definitely used, and it's interesting, I don't use the Pomodoro method directly, but I use a personal derivative of it, which is basically set a timer and shut everything else off. You know, I haven't. I've used Vitaminar, which is a really good app.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, I did time Really really like that.

Jeff Battersby:

And actually the writing app that I use, which I've mentioned about a billion times on the show. But Highland Pro has a built-in writing timer that I use constantly just to kind of make myself actually write for 20 minutes. Often find myself banging it out to an hour or something like that once I kind of get into it. But that method if you do nothing else, setting a timer and paying no attention to anything else at the same time is an excellent way of being able to kind of get stuff taken care of.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, I mean, I don't know about you guys, but like if I get so easily distracted, like Tom, there's a dog. Where.

Adam Olson:

Just saw a shirt today that said ADHD.

Jeff Battersby:

It was ACDC logo.

Adam Olson:

Hey, there's a squirrel.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah right, exactly that's good.

Jeff Battersby:

Group.

Tom Anderson:

So, like I've done, like Jeff mentioned in the time, I'll do it on the watch. Like I'll do 20 minutes on the watch and turn on. You know I'll turn on Do Not Disturb or Focus Mode or something like that. But I think the benefit of the apps, though and, Adam, if you want to talk a little bit about this is that with the apps, you can set it up to like, restrict access to certain things, block out certain websites, certain apps, and kind of chain all of those things together, so you kind of set up your ideal distraction-free work environment, right.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, yeah. So that app for me, because I'm a nerd, just like it's inspiring to me to look back and see OK, this is what I did. So what I love with that app is that it's got different levels of categories and I've Apple scripted all of those so, depending on the category, you can have certain, like you just said, certain things shut off. I actually forgot that I had it shutting off messages and I kept thinking that messages was crashing on me, I was not being faithful.

Adam Olson:

I'm like start my Pomodoro and they're like, oh crap, I got to send a message. Why did it just crash? But it was the app doing what it's supposed to do. And there's dozens I'm sure you guys have seen dozens of apps like that that are specifically shut stuff off and focused. But if you can put all those things into one app that's why I was trying Raycast for a while it does all of those things. The developer is phenomenally so good with feedback and that's half the time what breaks apps of me wanting to use them. If there's not really supporting them, they're not doing things.

Adam Olson:

So it is a subscription and it's probably one of my more expensive subscriptions I think it's like $40 a year. But there's a smaller version that doesn't give you all the features but for what I needed, with the notifications and everything else, the app is amazing and it syncs with your phone really well. So if you're in the middle of something you walk somewhere else, it will tell you on the phone. You can make different screens that actually have one button pressed on the phone and you can go straight into a specific thing. So I have stuff I do every day. Like I'll program every day. I'll do keyboard shortcuts every day and I'll do learning of a new software application or a software application. So I just have those on my phone. I press a button, it automatically runs all that stuff. So it's super, super nice.

Tom Anderson:

And one thing I noticed in the session that I did last night was that you get that input at the end of the session, like there's a little feedback box there, like what were? You working on how to go. There's a. I think there are emojis there. You can say how would you rate that session, and so I kind of like that part of it. I'm assuming once you build that up it does something with it, because I saw there's like some there's like a dashboard analytic type thing in there somewhere too, which is right up Nerd Alley for me, I know oh good.

Adam Olson:

I actually lost to SU when I was there Because they cut my email off right away and I had I didn't transfer this over, I had thousands of Pomodoro's that actually did that in Google through, because you guys are using the Gmail suite, right? I had that all in the back end and it would go to a spreadsheet. It was a Google form. It would auto fill things out at the end and I would say was I inflow? Did I get distracted? Did Goldor not listen? Sorry, I was just kidding, totally kidding, but did something happen in that? And then I put notes. So I had just tons of notes to try to help me know when the best times are for things. And yeah, that app has it all built in. So I don't use that a ton, surprisingly, but it's nice to have there for sure.

Jeff Battersby:

I think we're going to have to get this Goldor guy in here to defend himself.

Adam Olson:

I did want to mention you had talked about for writing. I don't know why I didn't mention this up front, but Scrivener has been amazing. I use that every day, all the time. Do you mess with that? I?

Jeff Battersby:

have Scrivener. It's for my purposes little too much. I know a lot of people. There are a bunch of people I write with. I don't write with them, but that are friends of mine who write and we kind of all encourage each other and a whole slew of them have Scrivener and use it to do every single thing, and I had it for a long time, set up novels in it or things of that nature. But for me and the way my brain works, it just didn't work. When I started using Highland, it was originally Highland app and then became Highland Pro For my purposes, which is occasionally writing scripts, writing for once we're magazines, they're now online outlets and then writing, working on novels and things of that nature, short stories, that kind of stuff.

Jeff Battersby:

It is exactly what I need Not a lot of buttons, not a lot of stuff to worry about, set goals on particular pages and be done with it. And then the organization is all finder-based organization, so you put your chapters in folders in somewhere in the finder or wherever it is now in iCloud for most of this stuff. You can just drag that in and it will not only let you see what all the different pieces are that you're working with, but it'll compile all those together simply by having stuff in the finder. So that has become my go-to. But I do. I did like Scrivener. It was just the same thing happened with Word. Word is too much junk, even pages too much stuff to keep track of.

Adam Olson:

I can change my font.

Jeff Battersby:

I can let me. No, I'm gonna up it to 12. Nah, 13 looks better. You know you end up screwing around with crap.

Adam Olson:

13.5,. What are you talking about?

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, you know you end up screwing around with stuff and I, you know I that's just too much for me, you know, so I just get in it's straight text. It's a. It's a markdown based text application. It responds to command. So you know, command B for bulk, command I for italicize. It puts the markdown in there and is.

Tom Anderson:

Does it hide the markdown or do you see it in line?

Jeff Battersby:

It hides the markdown.

Tom Anderson:

All right good.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, but in the actual text is text, and that's the other beautiful thing as well. I went away from Scrivener and had a children's book I was working on in there and it disappeared on me because you couldn't use text anymore and that was not a, not a good thing. So the beauty of of of Highland Pro is that it is a Just goes to text files. It's it's in a package file, but you can go into the package file, pull them out, straight up text.

Adam Olson:

That was my, my thing too, and I was searching. I didn't want to be in some app, but I think I've been since the start, probably less than a year after they, they, they started and it was, it was all text files. If I, if I couldn't pull it out of the package and it was all gone, that would be devastating. So yeah, Absolutely true.

Jeff Battersby:

Well, I mean you look at for script editing software. Final draft was King of the Hills, you know, and and you had to pay and it was proprietary file format you can actually save to in Highland Pro. You can save the final cut, final draft, final cut.

Tom Anderson:

Close enough.

Adam Olson:

Final something I looked up that app you were talking about. I don't see why you would write things.

Jeff Battersby:

It's really weird, but it does really. It has pictures.

Adam Olson:

that means it says it's worth a thousand words. So many.

Jeff Battersby:

So I I plug it in and hope that a thousand words get generated by the AI. Is that how it works?

Tom Anderson:

So so, adam, I have a question for you. You're doing comedy bit, tom, come on. Well, you know, we got a, we got other more important comedy to get to in a minute, but the.

Adam Olson:

Hey, he calls my name. I appreciate that.

Tom Anderson:

We go way back old and it's okay. Have you messed around at all with the obsidian?

Adam Olson:

No, okay.

Tom Anderson:

I haven't either, like I hear all the Apple nerds talk about it and I've looked at it. I just can't.

Jeff Battersby:

I don't know. Obsidian, yeah, what is it? So it's a, it's a writing app.

Tom Anderson:

The name I don't know, you're old. But no, it's one of those, that was my thought too, writing apps, but more for notes and thinking, and it links the stuff together Like they've got extensions you can put into it, but it's all markdown files too, so it's all in text I actually have.

Adam Olson:

I have messed with that just just briefly. That came out way later than than where I was. That was yeah, exactly. And, like I mentioned at the beginning, I'm always down for if something's actually gonna work better, like I've switched. I just switched over my journal to to Scrivener after all these years, just this year, and I'd been in Word forever. I'm like why was I not in that? And then I switched over to to day one for. And now Apple's got their journal app. That's coming out that you guys have talked about.

Jeff Battersby:

But only on iOS.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, yeah, exactly so. So I didn't see enough compelling reason to to switch over the stuff. That, for me, that I've loved with Scrivener is that I can save all my searches. I have thousands of notes in in in it that I've automated a ton of things. I love the focus writing mode that you can be in that you can get rid of all the extra stuff.

Adam Olson:

It's just the, the searches and being able to set up on the side, and I use this all the time. I'm sure 99% of people probably never use this, but I set up on each page Depending on what I'm in. I'll have rankings for for how important certain things are, and so I can go back and my my searches will say, okay, this is something I need to study again. Or for my journal, this is how. This is an audio related thing or this. It's basically like tags, but you can do that as well. You can tag inside of it as well. So it's a little a little confusing to explain verbally rather than something that you probably want to see on a screen, but there's multiple levels of tagging would probably be the easiest way to to say, to search for stuff so that so you could combine all those and search just within a page or show the whole folder or show a whole group of folders and that stuff I've, I've loved and it's it's hard to find those, anything that really matches that kind of.

Jeff Battersby:

Those are really interesting uses for Scrivener. Though that's you're saying, you're doing that in Scrivener.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, oh, yeah, yeah.

Jeff Battersby:

Those are that. That that feels feels to me like you're taking it well beyond what the you know what normies like me might use an application for. Yeah yeah. So that's pretty, that's pretty thoughtful usage of that particular application. But I could see the benefit of that.

Adam Olson:

And that when I, when I first started it that was actually I just laid out all my criteria of what what it was that I needed and I went $200 subscriptions was. I can't even remember some of these apps, tom, you're in academia, you probably use some of them, but, um, it's been. It's probably it's probably been eight years since I've used some of them. But basically it would pull in, they'd be their own finder and they would go out and pull out certain different databases and things, and I Looked at a ton of different things that were out there and used them, paid for them, and in the end it was really Scrivener just was simple enough and it and it did all those filter searches of what I needed. It's not something that you really need to have a ton of images in. I use images in it, but those other apps just got way too bloated for that kind of stuff that I did.

Tom Anderson:

List of stuff you tried.

Adam Olson:

Yes, devon think, thank you, yes, devon, thing Okay, yeah, I remember that. Yeah, I use that for a while too that has like pillar column, pillars, it's for academia stuff, that searches all all your notes and pull stuff from all. Anyway, there's there's several that are out there, but Scrivener just Crushed those for for what I needed, for that that type of stuff. And I'm not, I'm, I don't, I'm not really a heavy writer, I just take tons of notes for things and and it's nice to have those all broken out.

Jeff Battersby:

So yeah, that's really interesting, really interesting use case for that application yeah that is.

Adam Olson:

I'm curious for Highlander Does that? Does that sync super well with the phone? Do you? Does that?

Jeff Battersby:

Is that same for so Highland Pro, both iOS and iPad OS. They have beta versions of the application that I'm testing. It feels a little bit like they're Not paying tons of attention to. They keep on renewing the beta without adding any features. I'm a little. The nice thing about it is is it does sync in iCloud, so all of those sync across iCloud and they're they're both.

Jeff Battersby:

Both the iPad OS and the iOS applications are decent, but I will say that I, in a moment of stupidity, instead of using notes, a couple weeks back, you know you know how. You're standing in line at the grocery store and you go, oh, this is genius. And you know you whip out your phone and I start started typing, typing some text into it, and and then I open up my Mac and was editing something else and go, oh, where's that? Where's the stuff that I put in there? And then I opened the app again on my phone and it did sync and overwrote all the edits that I just. Yeah, that was not a happy moment. So you know, stupid me for using a beta. You know, to play with real work.

Adam Olson:

Miss with that for Scrivener. I mean they lock it out and they'll tell you that it's open somewhere else. So that's kind of their way of doing it. If it didn't, if you didn't close it, they didn't get rid of that locked file then. But I've tried so hard and there's so many Up, what do you? What do you call them Apologists I'm spacing the word that Apologize for Scrivener of like oh, they're doing the best they can and you're asking for too much. Like okay, I mean, there's other apps that just sync really well, day one being one of them. I think it has been awesome. So it's not, it's not great for that. So I pretty much, after giving it another go at it over the years, like I heavily put time into it this this last month and it just For me, it's not, it's not worth it. So I need to just basically stay on my computer and not try it on the phone. Yeah, that's.

Jeff Battersby:

And that's I mean. Ipad would be a place that I would write my phone. It's only if I have, you know, flashes of brilliance, which are fewer every day, by the way.

Adam Olson:

Standing in the grocery line.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah right, that's the place, you know, that's the place where, where the genius comes shower.

Tom Anderson:

Keep nibbling on those kale chips while you're in line.

Jeff Battersby:

It's peanut M&Ms, but yeah.

Adam Olson:

Mommy, I want this. I've become, having a stroke of genius.

Jeff Battersby:

It's probably just a stroke. I typically now all that stuff just goes into into the notes app and then I you know that's the easiest, the easiest way to go.

Tom Anderson:

So in terms of like workflows and automations, kind of Go back back to that like what the show?

Jeff Battersby:

Nothing.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, the Seinfeld podcast, they, they. If someone was new Then and wanted, like you know, they've listened to the cool stuff Adam's doing. They've heard some of the things that we've done, jeff, like your double tap to open the app and stuff like that. Like for someone it's just looking maybe to jump into this stuff new, where would, where would you guys recommend they start?

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, and I would say and I'll point this to you, adam, we can. We can definitely have me say something, but I would say what are some basic starting points or basic value adds to doing some automation?

Adam Olson:

sure what. What angle do you want to take?

Jeff Battersby:

so, no, you're not supposed to ask that question. You're supposed to be really smart about it and give me an answer.

Adam Olson:

Because there's a million different directions obviously with this. So it Apple has tried to bring this to the lay person for a long time. I mean, initially Apple scripts was there Wow, this is really readable. And then it ended up being like this actually really stinks, because Everybody's got their own Syndication and even though you can read it, it's completely confusing and it's not not intuitive, even though it was trying to be. And then we got automator and automator was drag-and-drop. But how many people ever used automator like that was, I mean, south, so going and I thought you say his name Fantastic, I think the dude's genius and Love, love his work and the things that he's that he's come up with. But it didn't quite make it. And then now we've got shortcuts Right so that that made its way finally to the Mac and the short little starting stint on the IO, on iOS.

Adam Olson:

I use those a lot, I like the simple button presses, but there's still there's so many things that Don't, for me, don't seem to work super well or break. Like share this with somebody, like I'll share an app that Says when I'll be at somebody's place works great on my phone and they go through all the steps and I'm walking through the steps with them and it doesn't work, like, why does it not share properly? There's just stuff that's supposed to be nice and easy that just I don't. I don't know what's missing. Everything's entered exactly the way it should be, but then it just doesn't work and you sit there. So, as far as simple goes, I don't know that there really is a simple for anything. Automation it's just a matter of is do you do anything over and over every day? And would you like that to be a little simpler? And and the question I get all the time from people, gold would ask me this. I Think was fun, I guess. What's that for shout-outs? The golden now? Yeah right.

Tom Anderson:

He'll be famous before you.

Adam Olson:

Who is this golden?

Jeff Battersby:

This is now his show.

Adam Olson:

But he would ask me that I was like dude, how long did that take to program that I could automate uploading my grades and things for stuff I'm I don't know two, three hours, like how long, without of taking you to do five minutes. But for me it was the difference between doing it or not doing it At the end of the day, like it's all there, I can press a button and I've tested it a zillion times, I know it works. So. So that's the part that I think is important, like is there anything that you do over and over that you just like to simplify? So Keyboard, maestro, I think, is a fantastic place to start and just add it's basic signal. It can go totally deep. But at just Simulating keystrokes, I think we could talk about Pretty quickly and fairly straightforward for people some things that would just speed up workflows instantly that they could do so. Anyway, that was a long, long answer.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, and well, let's let's speak a little more to that. In keyboard, my store, keyboard maestro is pretty much my go-to for for any kind of automations, and I use it. For example, I when I do consulting. I'm often working for a multitude of companies, you know, it can be several companies that have several different signatures every day, and so I have a Probably Half a dozen keyboard maestro signatures where I put in a particular signature for a particular event, whether it's theater that I'm doing work for, whether it's, you know, the Court system software that that I had been working with for for a while.

Jeff Battersby:

Each one of these has a different logo, has a different piece of Information, a specific way in some cases, that they want those signatures Formatted, and I could do all of that with a simple keystroke. Those were really simple things for me to be able to do. I want to point out too We'll just make this aside the, the Command tab switcher that's in keyboard maestro beats the living daylights out of the one that's built into the Mac and that's, you know, a Free built-in, and that's as far as I'm concerned. That was the original reason that I got keyboard maestro way, way back in the day, when that's all, it was. Okay, it was, it was so.

Adam Olson:

That'll tell you how long I've been around, and then did you start out with version one, where you were you?

Jeff Battersby:

that was pretty early. I couldn't say version one, but it was, it was. I didn't. You know a on the Mac OS it's command tab, command shift, to have to go backward. You know, like it it works. It's goofy, I don't know why they they do it that way, but keyboard maestro has that built in really simple, really simple feature.

Adam Olson:

Another one those windows thing that took forever to finally come to Mac, and we got it.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, yeah, no, I agree with keyboard maestro's organization. Your ability to resize it, make it work the way you want to is is definitely Definitely much better. But those kind of kinds of repetitive tasks when you're typing something similar but not exactly the same in every single time, that's a perfect reason to To use something like keyboard my, my stroke, keyboard, my sir, is very complicated. You can kick off Apple scripts with it. You can do a whole bunch of things, but Just as a matter of basics, being able to do something like that, for me it's, it's Kind of a killer. I want to point something out, though. You know Tom asked me Before we we, you know started recording this actually a couple days ago. It's how many? How many keyboard maestro Shortcuts do you have? And I went in and checked and I got like 75. Why don't you, why don't you tell us, as of 7, 15, 2023? It's a couple days. Beyond that, you might have more. How many key keyboard maestro workflows do you have?

Adam Olson:

It says 1435, so I don't. I haven't one prolific.

Jeff Battersby:

How do you even keep track of those? It just knocked my microphone you're welcome.

Adam Olson:

That's a good question actually, so that that is another one of those I I reveal nerdiness. I I have dedicated hundreds of hours to like how to keep track of these when I used Q-Base. Same thing when I assigned key commands. So I've got spreadsheets that will help me keep track of that stuff. I was in Quick Keys. Are you familiar with that? These are you guys use Quick Keys.

Jeff Battersby:

Absolutely. I used it for a while.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, so that's actually what made me jump ship. I had probably a thousand plus Quick Keys shortcuts, and they kept saying, oh, we're gonna develop, we're gonna develop, and then anything in the forum that would mention Keyboard Maestro, they would delete it. They never, never updated it. And so I finally just jumped ship from that, and I'm so glad I did, just because Keyboard Maestro, at its foundation, it feels a little bit more like you can add tricks to your bag. So, as you, there's something more that you wanna do, you can go deeper with it. Where Quick Keys rather did not wasn't so much that, it was just basically pre-baked things that were not anywhere near as manipulatable. So as far as how I got that many again, I spend at least a Pomodoro a day, for it's been decade plus in Keyboard Maestro now doing that. So it adds up, I guess. So, and keeping track of it. The key sorry, I got a little off, that's okay.

Adam Olson:

I loved. What I love that's easier to track in Keyboard Maestro is the conflict palette. It sounds like it's some bad thing, but in Keyboard Maestro if you assign 15 key commands to the same shortcut, you don't have to go and throw this in a palette like you did in Quick Keys. It just pops it all up and says here's the list, and if you wanna alphabetize it you can alphabetize it, or you can put secret numbers behind the scenes to it. There's just tons of little tricks in there, that is. I don't really need to worry much about that, even though I do have a spreadsheet and I've got it very methodical to keep track of that stuff.

Jeff Battersby:

So do I use all?

Adam Olson:

4,000? Of course not.

Jeff Battersby:

Okay, that's good to know.

Adam Olson:

That's what you wanted.

Jeff Battersby:

That's more the question. I mean I have to go back in with 75. I have a lot of theater-related ones that I use for when I stage manage that allow me to send out production reports and rehearsal reports to the cast and to the crew and everybody that's a part of a show. I have a lot of things that help me automate those kinds of things where it makes things easier for me to do something that honestly, if I sit down and do it every night, it takes me an hour every night to do a rehearsal report or something like that, to have notes and those kinds of things. But I mean 4,435, what are you like?

Jeff Battersby:

What is one of the things you make it sound like you're going in and doing or making it as part of your daily? You're just creating shortcuts or that's part of what your deal is. But what's something that you've created and you can go super deep if you want to tell us something that's really complicated that you've done. But what is something that you're doing with this Sure that this automation has justified creating a particular keyboard maestro workflow with it?

Adam Olson:

Yeah, and maybe we can just back up briefly. So, keyboard maestro, maybe you want to talk a little bit about what it does, so some of the features that you do, and then we can kind of dive into how these integrate. Because we mentioned so far, it does shortcuts. So if we were to start off, that's what I would say. If somebody just wants something simple, like Tom's original question, I would say if there's a series of keyboard shortcuts that can do a task that you may want to do, like putting an email signature, like you said, you may always start out a certain way. You can automate that with keyboard shortcuts. The other stuff that you can add, maybe you can talk to that a little bit, jeff, stuff that you're doing, and then I can go into something longer.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah. So I think the things that I do, like I said, are signatures. I will use it to read text from a file that has all the email addresses for, say, the cast of a particular show. Put that information into the BCC field because I don't want everybody to know what the actor's email addresses are. So it puts it into the BCC field, puts production information in the top of it, dates the production report, puts the date in for the production report in the subject line and will say what production report or what rehearsal report it is.

Jeff Battersby:

So it's looking at counters and a number of other things, so relatively complicated things, where it's keeping track in the background of what yesterday's rehearsal or production report was, what today's rehearsal report should be, stores those in variables and then spits that information out.

Jeff Battersby:

So for me it's doing things that manually typing would take time to do, and I've built a number of automations that I use and in a lot of cases actually, I use, rather than keyboard shortcuts to kick those things off, I am using a palette to enter the BCC information and so on and so forth. So it lets me, for example, if we get a new cast member or we lose a cast member, all I have to do is go, update that text file, make that change to one text file and then going forward, it's making the adjustment. Plus, I don't have to put all of those email addresses in my contacts app, so I don't have to put you know, create a group for the show, put all those actors' email addresses in that group and then use that. I don't have to cock up my contacts app in order to do it.

Jeff Battersby:

So those are the kinds of things that I'm using. What's that?

Tom Anderson:

Technical terms for basic AF I like it yeah, cock up, yeah, cock up, cock up.

Adam Olson:

So you mentioned a palette. So a palette's just a thing that shows up on the screen that you can click buttons. Basically Correct, You're pushing icons that you probably threw in there and then it's doing whatever you need. So that way you don't have to remember. Okay, what is this keyboard shortcut for XYZ? So yeah.

Adam Olson:

For me some of the things that and how I got so many is. We talked about sessions already. I've got, just for sessions alone, I've probably got 100, 100 different shortcuts that I actually only launch with one. So I go in and I'll names for all these things. So Ultra Claw, which would be Command Option, Control Shift, that goes out to an old Pro Tools instructor, and I've got shortcuts that all use, that are dedicated. So all the keys on the keyboard those are dedicated to keyboard maestro shortcuts, and that's in an Excel spreadsheet as well, just so I keep track of them. Right, and for sessions I don't have to remember 50 or 100 different shortcuts. I just hit Ultra Claw and then Return and it pops up this, what they call a conflict palette, a whole list of these 100 shortcuts. And then the next thing I do is, if I'm gonna automate, I next hit A and it gives me a list of automation. It gives me that narrowed down task of automation and then I say, am I gonna do it at home, some other place, or am I gonna do it at work? Cause I'm a nerd and I like to keep track of that stuff, and so I'll just, I'll hit H or I'll hit one, because that's the first one I can choose either or it's alphabetical or numerical, and then it runs a series of scripts that run in the background and go down a little bit of a rabbit hole.

Adam Olson:

One of the things that I absolutely love love with with Keyword Meistro is that it references other scripts super well. So I originally was kind of messing things up. I learned this the hard way really fast that I would find an image or I'd run a certain code and I would put it in every single script like this. And so if I have a hundred that do basic variations of the same thing, then I'd have to go back and I'd have to update all of those. Or if a software would update and they would change something, I'd have to change it every single one of those. So I no longer do that. I'm super methodical on how I keep track of it. I write in every single shortcut or macro that I make I write, I type RM and I use TextExpander RM in any time that Keyword Meistro is in the front types out reference macro on a bracket and then I can just update that one thing and all those scripts are rolling again. So that's how I can get.

Adam Olson:

I got up to so many thousands because there's just a ton of little things like that that reference that are broken apart for other macros. So if I'm using Pro Tools tab to trans and I may be editing out a beat and I wanna find the first beat, I wanna find the second beat, third beat, fourth beat and I wanna find eighth notes, I'll have 20 shortcuts for that specific thing and they're all built specifically when I'm in Pro Tools. So another thing that's fantastic is I have all of these broken out into specific apps. So I have a group for all my apps. I have a group that's specific to Pro Tools and dozens of apps. So when I'm in Pro Tools I have tons of overlapping keyboard shortcuts for different apps that don't conflict with each other, because keyboard maestro is aware of what's in the front. So that stair step, command option, shift and number pad one will be something specific to Pro Tools and something specific to NUENDO or notes or a zillion other apps.

Adam Olson:

So that goes out up super quick and as far as I'm not just looking to make shortcuts, I'm looking at okay, what am I doing every day and is there something that I can refine? That could be a little smoother. I send an email every day. Is there to a certain person, or I send something out constantly. Is there a way? When I was sending emails to my ex-wife for finances, I had a shortcut when I was an Apple mail that would basically put finance in the subject line automatically and then it would do a three-day follow-up. There's another automation thing that it would three-day and then it would check up like this was important. Did that get followed through on? So those kind of key commands again, they just add up super fast, but that's how I've gotten so many of them are fairly easy to remember, just because I use them all the time.

Jeff Battersby:

Interesting. So what you just said that you do with Pro Tools, that's the kind of stuff that I think is what makes automation kind of amazing. I mean, that's a very, very specific thing that you've set up keyboard maestro to do, which is to locate information, sound, essentially in your Pro Tools setup and be able to pick those things out and allow you to do whatever it is that you need to do within Pro Tools to get rid of them or do whatever it is. So that, to me, is pretty slick, and the beauty of, as you said, of keyboard maestro is you can create a bunch of little bits that are able to be pulled together and essentially be pulled in by keyboard maestro with one key click or one keyboard command to be able to kick off a number of other items, which is pretty cool.

Jeff Battersby:

Have you spent much time using Apple shortcuts? I know you said it's kind of a hassle. I've only used it for a couple of things, and one of the things I'll tell you that annoys me is I'd love to be able to edit the things that I do on my phone or my iPad on my Mac. But, for example, one of the things that I do, I play soccer, and in actual games you're not allowed to wear Apple Watch, so you can't wear jewelry while you're playing. So I want to be able to say I played in you know, 50 minutes, 60 minutes of that game. I want to be able to put that in as a workout. So put in the calories, put in all that kind of stuff. There's no way to edit that thing on the Mac, to play with it and goof it around with it on the phone to set it up. I end up creating seven workouts in one day. I troubleshooting. It was a great workout day, though.

Jeff Battersby:

I played soccer for six and a half straight hours. It was amazing Wow.

Adam Olson:

I've had someone that screw up that same thing. I'm still trying to figure out how to delete eight hour workout that I got Like, come on, let's throw in my stats off.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, and those are kind of hassles that are built in and helped out, that hopefully get fixed. But those are the kinds of things I mean it's a relatively simple task, but I'd like to be able to have it do math rather than me, you know, putting in. I want to put in 45 minutes burning you know 13 calories a minute or whatever it is that you're doing when you're playing soccer, and have that, you know, kick into it. Apple does have, if you really just want to start out and play with this a little bit, for shortcuts, apple does have a pretty decent library of, you know, pre done shortcuts that you can use. For example, you want to walk to coffee. It shows you a couple of coffee stores that are near you to have the one that you want. It'll open up maps and give you walking directions to whatever the coffee place is. I mean, there are a number of items like that that work.

Jeff Battersby:

What's this guy's name? Alexander Alessio is that? No, what's his name? Shoot V. Last name is V. We're doing letters here and getting them all wrong. Gary Vitter, gary, gary.

Tom Anderson:

V. He's coming back. Okay, the only thing is no.

Jeff Battersby:

Vitici, vitici, oh Federico.

Tom Anderson:

Federico Vitici yes.

Jeff Battersby:

He has scabs.

Tom Anderson:

Gary was close.

Adam Olson:

Gary was right there.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, he has tons of those things that you can and we can put links to him, to his stuff, in the notes, but he has a number of workflows that he's using no one of my favorite shortcuts that he has is called Apple Frames.

Tom Anderson:

Have you played with that one? No, what is it? You take a screenshot on your Mac or your iPad or your phone or your watch. It goes to your photos library, I think in the Mac you can choose to put it in the photos. I don't do it on the Mac a whole lot, but so you take a screenshot and then you go into shortcuts, you open Apple Frames. It says select the picture that you want to use and then it drops it into like a frame of the Apple device. So if it's like an iPhone screenshot, it'll put it onto an iPhone, so you get a nice image. That's the iPhone there, with the screenshot.

Tom Anderson:

Oh, that's cool, that's really slick. I use that all the time and he updates it every time some new devices come out. So, yeah, that was pretty good, and I would say too, take a look in the shortcuts app. Jeff mentioned the gallery that they have, but if you've got any home kit stuff, you can set up automations around that. I don't do a ton of that. I don't have a lot of home kit stuff because I'm kind of waiting for that.

Adam Olson:

I've been doing so much of my life on home automation, yeah, and I'm like letting the dust set him on that Right, because it sucks. Still unsettled, but yeah.

Tom Anderson:

My crowning achievement with that was I bought one of those little WiIMO smart plugs and I set it up near the Christmas tree, so I have the lights plugged into it, you know, and I set up a shortcut so then when you invoke Siri, it would turn the lights on and start playing like a Christmas playlist, and so my kids could come in and be like you know, hey, bubble lights, Christmas time or something, and it would like kick the lights on and turn on all this music and they thought it was the coolest thing.

Adam Olson:

They're too old to be impressed by that now Most of the time yeah. Okay, yeah, I was surprised too. But I've bought dozens of different brands of lights and like, hey, siri, make the lights purple. Or I've tried different hubs of try. I've tried to do it through Alexa and one light would come on purple and one would be bright orange and the other would be white. I'm like, oh, my goodness, you're the same big brand. I've set these scenes up a thousand times. I'm done, I'm not doing this, yeah.

Tom Anderson:

And in terms of other fairly simple automations that are in the shortcuts app, they have some stuff for the watch so you can set up location based watch faces, so like if you've got, a particular work face that you like during the day it's. You know you can set it up so that when you arrive at work that face kicks in.

Jeff Battersby:

I could see your work face right now, that's my stopwatch.

Tom Anderson:

I know I'm looking at the one.

Jeff Battersby:

I'm looking at the one that I've seen on the camera.

Adam Olson:

So I'm less than this. When did you get that watch? I was noticing that, tom.

Tom Anderson:

When did it come? I didn't get it right when it came out, so it was probably month or two after that. And then I sweet talk, jeff, and he got one too.

Jeff Battersby:

That's my recording watch face, not that anybody can see it. Speaking of watch faces, we frigging burned through another hour plus. Yeah, we can probably go for two more, but shouldn't.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah.

Adam Olson:

Well, I noticed in the first I'm looking at the gallery, by the way the first one is Start Pomodoro, so there you go there you go.

Tom Anderson:

See you're a podcast pro. You brought it tight at right in at the close, beautiful, excellent.

Jeff Battersby:

Looped back, tied it up.

Adam Olson:

Basic AF.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, well, that's us.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, yeah, basic, and you can choose what it is.

Tom Anderson:

You know what would make it better, adam is, if your last initial was F, basic, adam something, what's your middle?

Adam Olson:

initial. Well, I grew up in American Fork so I thought it was a shout out to my hometown. So thank you.

Jeff Battersby:

Yeah, it's your show, exactly, alrighty, we have.

Adam Olson:

We burned another hour as we do, and more.

Jeff Battersby:

It has been Adam. Thanks so much for coming on, and really appreciate it. It's nice to meet you in person-ish.

Adam Olson:

Face to face.

Jeff Battersby:

And I still say I'm impressed 4,435. Yeah, keyboard Maestro, I just hit.

Tom Anderson:

Command D.

Adam Olson:

Command D Duplicate Duplicate.

Jeff Battersby:

All the same thing Just sounds good. Look at that, so as a reminder.

Tom Anderson:

I'm sorry, go ahead. No, just because of Adam, I feel like we should probably throw some kind of like a quarterly zoom together or something just to do like the old days and just keep in touch.

Adam Olson:

It's been a lot of fun.

Tom Anderson:

Yeah, I missed these discussions.

Adam Olson:

A little bit deeper. So for sure, yeah, I think we're always good time.

Tom Anderson:

So, like Jeff said, thanks for coming on with us and Know it's a Friday Night and we are party animals.

Adam Olson:

We are, we are.

Tom Anderson:

It's been a party.

Adam Olson:

It's been great, and if you stuck around to this one.

Tom Anderson:

be sure to email us at feedback at Basic AF show and we'll we'll send you two stickers for that, yeah.

Jeff Battersby:

Right, they'll look the same, but you'll have two, you guys actually send us the gift after peaceful we don't have friends. That's why we're here on a Friday evening.

Tom Anderson:

Yep, If you don't mind, if somebody, if somebody.

Adam Olson:

Yeah, if you listened and If somebody listens to this podcast. If you're on a deserted island.

Tom Anderson:

If you want to hang out with us wild guys on a Friday night, just let us know. No one was going to say if, if you don't mind going into Apple podcast and giving us a rating and or review, that would be very much appreciated. Please and thank you. Help surface. Yes, please and thank you. It would help maybe get us a little bump there. We do have 12 ratings, so we are grateful for those 14 shoes. Yeah, not bad. And Jeff, what else? We got Almost 1000 downloads.

Jeff Battersby:

Please show art by our good friend Randall Martin at Randall Martin Design, really, really again pleased with that. So I want to encourage you all if you need any kind of artwork done that's a guided check out for sure. Show music by Celsius seven and Psychokinetics. That's our lead in and lead out music. Again. Celsius seven is new album out. If you want to check them out Good stuff you can find him on iTunes and other places.

Tom Anderson:

All right, that's it, man.

Jeff Battersby:

Email us at feedback at basicafshowcom. All right.

Tom Anderson:

Again, adam. Thank you, sir, it's been a pleasure.

Adam Olson:

Yes thank you. Thank you, I appreciate it. All right, take care.

Tom Anderson:

All right, hang on there for us too, so that silly upload will finish before we disconnect.

Jeff Battersby:

But yeah, don't, don't, yeah we did that before. Don't quit on us, don't quit on us, don't quit now.

Tom Anderson:

But thank you for listening, for being here for this episode. Enjoy the rest of your day, rest of your night and we will talk to you next time. See ya, Bye.

Intro
Meet Adam Olson
Adam’s Hardware
Adam’s Software Toolset
Getting Started with Automation
Keyboard Maestro Usage
Shortcuts Automations
Close