Working Hard at Being Lazy with Automator

We just got a few new beautiful MacBook Pros in our office. I hated to see their desktops get all junked up like the old computers were- some people cover every inch of desktop until files overlap. So to amuse myself and to play around with Automator I decided I’d make something that

  1. makes a folder for the current date in your Documents folder
  2. takes all the crap off your desktop and puts it there
  3. then deletes all the stuff on your desktop

Automator Action

It took about 30 minutes to do, mainly because I couldn’t get the contents of the Finder to get refreshed before it selected what to delete 1. So I’d watch it copy to the right folder but then it’d erase the desktop and the contents of the Documents folder. It was strange but I eventually just broke the action into two parts 2.

It’s my first time using Automator so constructive criticism is welcome. I’m running 10.5.6 so I’ll say it works on that if both the app files are in the Applications folder and assuming your Documents folder is in the normal location. I put it in my Dock with a soap icon from Fight Club. You could also have iCal activate it automatically through the open file option under alarms.

iCal Alarm

If you’re interested in seeing how it works it’s all yours. I’ve included the App versions and the workflow versions of the files3

1 It’d have been faster to do in AppleScript despite my serious deficiencies there as well.

2 I’d be interested to hear smarter solutions

3 Just use the App versions by clicking on them. You can edit either one in Automator but the workflows will open there automatically.

Comments on this post

  1. Ben said on January 30, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Nothing like being lazy 🙂

    Nice work for your first effort.

  2. Bea Cantor said on February 3, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’ll see if I can talk some of my “wall-to-wall desktop files” people into using something similar.