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Workflow Management: How to Start Automating Routine Processes Now

7 min read

Time is precious and, with automation technology, there’s no reason for you to spend a large part of your day on repetitive tasks. If you are still manually keeping track of your hours in a notebook, taking a long time to clear your neglected desktop, or typing the same phrase in your emails over and over again, you could quickly find more time to focus on high-level tasks that require your full attention if you automate routine workflows.

As you spend most of your working day on a computer, you could become much more productive by using smart apps that will automate routine workflows for you. You just need to choose a few well-functioning tools that will help you stop wasting time on annoying repetitive tasks and make work experience better.

Workflow Automation

Do you have a tight budget that you need to keep track of on a daily basis? Do you find yourself checking the same folders for updates time and time again? All these activities take up your mental capacity and resources when you can be using that time for something else. If you think about it, there are hundreds of tasks, small and large, that you could automate on a daily or weekly basis. For example, you can easily use certain apps to set up tasks for tracking your spending, typing out phrases automatically, or keeping your data safe.

Yes, it can be hard to keep up with all of the new apps on the market, so here is a shortlist which you can leverage to help streamline your work. How to start to automate your workflow, daily tasks, and processes? 

Create recurring backups

You should really save your computer data automatically with regular backups, as you never know when the system might malfunction — and someday it will. While using the built-in macOS Time Machine tool to back up your data is a good idea, it lacks some robust functionality presented by more powerful backup tools, such as Get Backup Pro and Disk Drill, with which you can choose from different types of backups, only sync certain files, recover hard drives, and more.

To set up a recurring backup with Get Backup Pro, go to Settings, check the “On schedule” box, and set the time and the days of the week when you want the backup to occur. If you set the app to stealth mode, the app will close on its own once the backup process is finished. Disk Drill, on the other hand, can help you create bootable backups, backups for external or network drives, and provide you with diagnostic feedback on the state of your data.

Get Backup Pro

Auto-sync data between your devices

If you have more than one machine at the office, be it Macs, iPads, or even iPhones, you could benefit greatly from having certain folders being in sync at all times, for example, latest design mockups or marketing collateral.

That’s exactly what ChronoSync Express can help you do. Just select “Create a new synchronizer task” upon launch, choose the volumes on the same network between which you’d like the sync to work, and click Synchronize.

ChronoSync Express

Another useful tool that works automatically in the background and monitors changes in any given folder, whether on your Mac or your server, is Simon. This application is an absolute necessity when doing any web development or design work, as it automatically notifies you when important files on the network get updated.

Clean up your desktop

Keeping your desktop organized and efficient might be one of the most prevalent nightmares in our all-digital society today. The good news is automation can help you tidy up your files, images, and documents in no time.

If you use an automatic organizer app, such as Spotless, you won’t have to worry about manually clearing out your desktop ever again. Spotless can organize any folder on your Mac — just drop messy files onto its menu bar icon. Create rules to stash files to folders by type, file name, creation date, file size, and more.

Spotless app

Track time and send invoices

Use Timemator to track the time you spend working on a project, then compile, print, and manage your invoices in UctoX.

Timemator is an automated time tracking tool to log the time you spend working on tasks. Create projects and folders for your activities, set timers, and review and export your workflow with the help of reports. Add billable hours for each project.

Timemator log tasks

UctoX will help you create seamless invoices for your clients. You can use the app not only to write up and customize invoices, but do accounting and order management as well, including tracking journey logs and bank statements. UctoX requires your account password each time you open it to maintain the security of your transactions. What’s more, you can sync your data across devices through iCloud.

create invoices for your clients

Auto-paste frequent text snippets

We all may find ourselves typing the same phrases or sentences over and over again — especially when sending emails or writing reports at work. What if you could eliminate the boring task of writing the same thing?

Good news is you can! Just use the auto-paste feature in the Rocket Typist app. Rocket Typist allows you to keep your commonly used phrases in its database, so that when you type an abbreviation one of those phrases will automatically paste in. Best of all, you can save any type of text inside the app: think about including all the email templates that you type multiple times a day, spending hours of what could be truly productive time.

Rocket Typist app

Organize custom workspaces

You can avoid sorting through dozens of open windows to get to your desired task when you’re at work. Workspaces is the perfect app to help you create custom workspaces so you can multitask efficiently. With it, you can add any resource imaginable to your specific workspace such as emails, webpages, and online media.

Never forget about upcoming bills

With bill reminder apps, you can schedule automatic reminders so you never miss a payment or get taken aback when you suddenly need to pay hefty web hosting fees. You can also automatically monitor your spending against your preset budgets.

Try a budget planner such as MoneyWiz, with which you wouldn’t have to dig through your bills to sort your spendings into the right budget categories — the app do all of that automatically for you.


Get all your news in one place

Scanning through different news sites every morning or scrolling through Twitter feeds to get to the important news of the day takes up precious time that could be spent being productive.

To save time but still be informed on the latest happenings, use News Explorer. In the app, you can easily gather all your favorite news in one place. To add a new feed, go File > Search New Feeds… and type in keywords which you are interested in. Then choose “Add selected feeds” for the ones you like.

News Explorer

Keep all communication in one place

These days, between our business and personal lives, we all have multiple messaging apps that waste a lot of time. Remembering who sent us where can easily turn into a nightmare.

The solution is to combine all your WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, and LinkedIn accounts under one app, such as IM+. Now you can clearly see where new messages come from and even use hotkeys to jump between your accounts.

Rename files using a script

What do you do when you have a bunch of files that you want to rename? If you’re a photographer, you probably find yourself manually organizing your photos by date, project, or client name. You may need to systemize all files to adhere to a specific format.

Renaming thousands of files would be a tedious task taking up multiple days out of your life, but with the Renamer app it’s all a breeze, as you can change and organize the titles for any number of files in an instant, either choosing out of preset workflows or adding your own.

Renaming thousands of files

So there are lots of ways you can save hours every day and become more organized, insured, and accomplished at the same time. Best of all, the apps mentioned in this article are available on Setapp with a free trial. Download the ones you liked today and see your productivity skyrocket.

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