Your phone is always on. Always connected. And it's always with you. That makes a perfect automation server to automate most things in your life.
There are a couple of great apps out there that let you do crazy automation with your phone. One of them is Automagic. I love it because it lets me automate most mindfulness and mundane tasks of my life.
It's a paid tool but given the kick ass extendibility and the stuff that you can do with it - it's worth the couple of bucks the developers make you shell out. The price as of this writing is less than a cup of coffee as a decent safe.
(Full disclosure: I don't know or work with anyone from automagic and neither am I getting paid for this post, I'm just a fan of the app because it kicks some serious a$s!)
The other day, for example, I felt that time was slipping by, so I thought I'd make my own mindfulness bell that rings every twenty minutes. If you don't know yet, mindfulness bells are a thing.
There are lots of apps out there, but why buy or install a dedicated app and give it tons of permission when you can make it yourself with automagic?
Building a Mindfulness Bell with Automagic:
Automagic works on the idea of triggers and actions.
Triggers are events that happen in your phone and actions are things you want to do when a trigger happens.
So, for example, if you receive a call and your phone rings, that's an event or a trigger.
Actions are things you want to do when triggers happen. So when your phone rings (event / trigger) check if the call is from a specific number and if it is, hang up without picking the phone; that's an action.
With automagic you drag and drop triggers, logic and actions to create workflows which get fired when you have programmed them to get fired right inside your phone.
For example my workflow for a mindfulness bell looks like this:
In the above workflow we use an event / trigger called the periodic timer which fires at a configurable time interval i.e. ever X seconds/ minutes / hours. That's the first step of the workflow. I click the edit icon on it, and I pick the configuration of that trigger where I specify an interval of 20 minutes (20m):
In the above picture I use a period timer event which fires at a configurable interval. I'm telling it to start firing at 8:00 AM every morning, continue till 9:30 PM and fire every 20 minutes (20m). What happens when this trigger is fired will be an action that I add to the trigger. I now drag and drop a sound action and connect it to the timer event using drag and drop features of automagic IDE. Here is what my sound action looks like:
I just pick one of the pre-existing chime sounds from the (notification_004) and then I start the workflow. This literally takes me less than 5 minutes to design and start running on my phone and just like that, I've introduced a mindfulness bell in my life.
Notice in the overall workflow picture how I've added another vibrate action as well. That ensures that apart from hearing the sound I also get a vibration every twenty minutes.
The Power of Something Like Automagic
Since I started using Automagic I've built a lot of workflows for myself. I am blown away by the volume of triggers and actions is provides. Literally every tiny thing that can happen on your phone shows up as an event. Literally everything you can do with your phone is an action. This is literally like writing scripts for your phone - and that too graphically.
More and more I find myself spending time to design small workflows more and more for things I need to automate and downloading less and less of small tiny apps that do trivial things.
I genuinely think you should give automagic a try. There are a bunch of other such apps that do the same thing. I liked automagic the most because I personally think it's much more powerful than anything out there in terms of collection of events and actions. You might like a different tool, too and that's cool.
Any tool is fine, but the sooner you pick one such app and start automating workflows . It's fun, it's set-and-forget and it lets you focus on things that really matter to you.
This series of posts is going to focus on automating multiple aspects of your life with this single automagic instance always running on my phone. You can keep looking here for most posts on automating the mundane stuff in your life here. Or just subscribe to the entire blog.