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Workflow management: How to start automating routine processes now

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9 min read

Time is precious and, with workflow automation technology, there’s no reason for you to spend a large part of your day on repetitive tasks. If you are still manually tracking your time, taking a long time to clear your neglected desktop, or typing the same phrase in your emails over and over again, you need to automate routine workflows.

As you spend most of your working day on a computer, you could become much more productive by using workflow software that will automate routine tasks for you. Let’s take a look at the workflow management tools you can install on your Mac to be more productive without breaking the bank.

Top workflow management software 

It’s hard to keep up with all of the new workflow automation apps on the market. You have to explore app features, understand if they fit your workflow, decide if they are worth the money, and so on. Hopefully, we can make it a bit easier for you. 

Here’s a shortlist of use cases and workflow tools you can leverage to streamline your work. 

Note: all these workflow automation tools are part of Setapp, a one-stop app subscription for macOS and iOS. Every app under Setapp is free to try for 7 days, so you don’t have to worry about the cost. 

workflow automation tools on Setapp

Create recurring backups with Get Backup Pro and Disk Drill

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. 

SD card backup with Get Backup Pro

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.

Byte-to-byte DMG Backup

Auto-sync data between devices with ChronoSync Express

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.

synchronizer task

Clean up your desktop with Spotless

Keeping your desktop organized and efficient might be one of the most prevalent nightmares in our all-digital society today. The good news is some workflow management software tools  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 with Timemator and UctoX

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.

automated time tracking tool

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.

Automate typing with Rocket Typist

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.

Snippet Editor

Stay on top of your meeting schedule with Meeter

Another workflow process management software you’ll love is called Meeter. Probably, you know how frustrating it is when you need to maintain your calendar manually. Copying and pasting meetings from different calendars, emails, and notes can be a natural time killer. 

Meeter solves this issue by collecting meeting appointments from all of your communications and calendars. Once you're all set, you stay in the application to keep conversations going. Meeter supports more than 30 web conferencing and messenger platforms, so you don't have to switch between endless apps.

Meeter

If you work with geographically dispersed teams, freelancers, or simply lots of people, Meeter will come in handy. The app gathers all of your meetings in one place without extra work, helps you keep the most important contacts on a speed dial, and even customize the way you'll get connected to a specific meeting: for example, with audio-only.

Work across time zones with World Clock Pro

As the name suggests, World Clock Pro is a powerful tool to keep track of global time. Like Meeter, this workflow automation software is an irreplaceable tool for managers dealing with two challenges: remote teams and different time zones.

The application won't let you confuse the correct appointment time thanks to these key features:

  • Adding the locations you work with to your app and tracking the local time
  • Visualization of time zones and time gaps between them
  • Time zone converter
  • Local weather
  • TouchBar support for effortless access.

time zones and time gaps

Simplify project workflow management with iMeetingX

iMeetingX is workflow management software that combines best practices of Gettings Things Done (GTD) methodology and workflow management. As a result, you don't need multiple tools to keep up with your tasks, meetings, and appointments.

iMeetingX integrates with multiple third-party apps like Calendar and Contacts to keep a list of meeting participants at hand and quickly invite them or send the minutes of meetings (MoM). By the way, you can use ready-made templates for MoM, meeting agendas, etc.

Out of the box, iMeetingX comes with a built-in task tracker and a neat project management tool to align all of your tasks and communications in one place.

built-in task tracker

Who's the target audience of the iMeetingX tool? Anyone involved with frequent web conferencing, team management, and project management.

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.

Workspaces

Automate bill management with MoneyWiz

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.

budget planner

Get all your news in one place with News Explorer

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 with IM+

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.

IM+

Rename a bunch of files using Renamer

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.

Renamer

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 workflow software mentioned in this article is available on Setapp with a free trial. Install the apps you liked and see your productivity skyrocket.

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