How to Schedule an Automator Workflow
This recipe shows how to run an Automator workflow automatically and to a schedule. A fun, if opaque, sub-title might be "How to Automate Automator". This recipe makes use of a new Schedule Assistant task recently added to Power Manager.
Automator is a great visual automation tool included with Mac OS X. With Automator you can create workflows that perform long sequences of complex tasks; ideal for marrying up with Power Manager’s scheduling capabilities.
We have previously looked at
scheduling Automator workflows with Power Manager. In our previous recipe we used the command line tool
automator to assist us. This works but involves writing a shell script to connect Power Manager and Automator.
In this recipe, we are going to use Power Manager’s new Run an Automator workflow daily task.
Create a Daily Automator Event
Let’s create an event to run an Automator workflow once a day at 3:15pm.
Launch Power Manager.app
Click Add… to create a new event
Click Add to create a new event
Select the Run an Automator workflow daily task in the Schedule Assistant
Select the Run an Automator workflow daily task
Choose or drag and drop your workflow onto Drop an Automator workflow here
Choose the Automator workflow to schedule
Continue to the When step
Adjust the time and days of the week
Adjust the time and weekdays to run the Automator workflow
Continue to the Constraints step; we will skip the constraints for this recipe
Continue through the Constraints settings
Continue to the Why step
Name your new event and provide any notes
Name and add optional notes for your Automator event
Add to create your new Automator workflow event
Confirm the event can be created and scheduled
Your Automator workflow event is ready to go
Your Automator workflow will run using the command line tool
automator and be performed as the active user. Automator is a visual tool and needs a user to be logged in to work.
If you need to perform tasks when no-one is logged in, consider scheduling a shell script.
The event above can be combined into a larger schedule and using Power Manager together with Automator, complex workflows can be expanded far beyond either application’s individual capabilities.
Going further, if you need to pass in variables or files to your workflow, you can do this with our original recipe. Do this by extending the shell script following the
automator manual page.