9 Apps That Can Automate Almost Everything on Your MacReading Time: 4 minutes
Automating your computer is the smarter way to run repetitive tasks.
Sometimes, the best way to use your Mac is to not use it at all. Your Mac is capable of powerful automations that can run mundane or repetitive tasks for you, and these nine apps can help free you of that micromanaging so you can get back to whatever you really want to do.
Use Hazel to automate your file organization
If you have a desktop filled with junk, it might be time to automate file organization on your Mac. And for that, there’s Hazel, which can monitor multiple folders and automatically move, rename, tag, and sort all the files based on your preferences. For example, you can ask Hazel to keep an eye on your desktop and automatically send PDFs to a different location on your Mac, rename movies to match the naming format you prefer, and even tag and label various file types. It also has the ability to automatically delete files from the Trash, and, when you delete an app, clean up files related to the app for you. Hazel costs $42 but comes with a free trial.
Or at least automatically clean up your Trash
Hazel’s great, but you don’t need to pay for an app to automatically clean up the Trash on your Mac, since the computer ships with that feature. Open Finder on your Mac, then click Finder in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Go to Settings. (You can also open this by using the Command + , keyboard shortcut.) Click the Advanced tab and select Remove items from the Trash after 30 days.
Let AlDente manage your MacBook’s battery
AlDente can take care of managing battery health on your Mac. Your Mac might, by default, come with an option called Optimized Battery Charging, which slows down the charging speed once the battery hits 80%. AlDente, on the other hand, stops charging at a custom percentage or temperature and can even switch to battery power even when the Mac is plugged in. AlDente’s free version is good enough if you just want a charge limiter, but the Pro version adds lots of additional features for power users for $29.
Use Choosy or Velja to open different links in different browsers
If you prefer to watch Netflix on Google Chrome but check your socials on Firefox, try Choosy. Every time you click a link in any app, it’ll open that link in the browser and profile of your choice. For example, you can ask Choosy to automatically open all links from your email in a private window in Microsoft Edge, or send all Slack links to your work profile in Chrome.
Choosy has a 45-day free trial. If you like what you see, you can buy the app for $10. Alternatively, you can give Velja a try, which offers similar features to Choosy for free.
Use Amphetamine to keep your Mac from going to sleep
Amphetamine is a free app that prevents your Mac from going to sleep. Better yet, you can use the app’s triggers to automate this process. For example, Amphetamine can stop your Mac from going to sleep if a download is in progress, when your home wifi is connected, or even if a particular Bluetooth accessory is paired.
Use Keysmith to speed up your workflow
If you find yourself using the same keyboard actions over and over again, you can use Keysmith to create custom keyboard shortcuts for anything. You can set your own keyboard shortcuts to open Chrome, highlight active text, react with a thumbs up, or use your mic. The app also lets you record common actions on websites like Gmail and lets you map keys to run the action you frequently use. Each such action is called a macro, and Keysmith lets you use up to five of these for free. If you want to use more macros, you can buy the app for $54.
Use Shortcat to control everything from your keyboard
Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, maybe you’d like to control your entire Mac with just your keyboard. For that, you can try Shortcat. This free app lets you get things done without using your mouse at all, allowing you to find and click practically anything on the screen with just your keyboard. For instance, you can type ‘Add’ to locate the + button on screen, or type ‘OK’ to select the confirm button. Pressing the return key will select that button.
Use Stecker to uun actions based on device triggers
Stecker is a useful, free app for Mac owners who use a bunch of accessories. With it, you can automate tasks based on which accessory is connected to the computer, such as disabling the built-in keyboard on your MacBook the moment you connect your favorite ergonomic external keyboard. Similarly, you can set up many automations based on the hard drive, mouse, headphone, or any other accessory connected to your Mac.
Use Hyperduck to automatically run shortcuts
We’ve previously covered Hyperduck, which is better than AirDrop for sending links from your iPhone to your Mac. The fine folks at MacStories discovered another great use case for this free app, though: running shortcuts. Many Mac apps allow deep-linking, which means that you can use a URL to directly open a page or execute an action inside another Mac app. Apple’s Shortcuts is among these apps, and you can use Hyperduck to send these URLs to your Mac. When you do it, the moment you open your Mac, it will run the shortcut you’ve sent. You can also use this trick to run certain actions in other Mac apps. You can head to MacStories to learn more.
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