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Automator help wanted

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I can't quite figure this one out. Any automator wizards out there that can help?

 

Currently, I use Pages to create monthly invoices for my clients. About 1/4 of them now elect to receive it via email. Here's what I would like to happen.

 

Print as PDF to folder (just to organize) -> Rename PDF (prompt) -> Send new mail, attach renamed PDF

 

Currently the issue lies in renaming the file. Using either 'files & folders' or 'PDFs' the various actions don't quite do what I need it to do. I would like a prompt to rename each page with the last name and month. Any thoughts how to make this happen? Thanks in advance.

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I keep thinking I should learn Automator and/or Apple Script but just never seem to find the time and concentration. So, I usually use Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes whenever I can. This one Doug's AppleScript - PDF Adder doesn't do exactly what you want but I'll bet could be adapted. If nothing else, it might give you some clues on how to get what you want. There are also some basic tips on the site.

 

If you find something helpful be sure to drop Doug a line and say 'Thanks' or even donate.

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it's really easy to get trapped by automation.

 

I recently had a task that had a few dozen steps needed to be done 85 times. I thought about it, said AppleScript, and FOUR hours later I was still tweaking, making, coding and I wasn't close to making it work. so I stopped trying to make a robot and did the task myself. I was finished in about an hour and half.

 

see the problem? I spent a whole day trying to automate something that took under half the time doing it manually.

 

it might be worth automating something if it was 80% of your clients. but 20%? that's like 3 out of 10. unless you can make it work in about an hour you are losing money.

 

story two:

 

I tried to be helpful writing an AppleScript for somebody on a forum once. and that was a mistake. every little thing came back as my problem. can you just add, we'd like to do, maybe just one more tweak. I didn't get paid, didn't get thank you, and it was my fault that it didn't work on their Mac. if you want to ask for AppleScript help the best thing to do is to ask very specific questions. "how do I rename a file with today's date?" "how do I attach that file to a new email using Mail?","is there good example code for dealing with ???" that kind of thing will get your better answers.

 

but how do you I my job? nope. not answering that. not ever again.

Edited by johnfoster

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Indeed, it seems I would need an AppleScript in combination with Automator to make something work. I just thought I'd shoot it out there to see if I was missing something, or if there is a very easy fix. It seems simple enough, right.

 

I totally get what you're saying, John. I have for years, constantly analyzed if something I'm trying to save time by doing is actually costing me more. The way I've worked my 1 man business has evolved over the years as the tools became available (thank you Pages, and a decent printer), and I'm very happy with my current workflow. I only have to invoice clients once a month, and the workflow is geared towards the printed invoices. Only recently did I decide to try to cut the stuffing envelopes time down and offer e-voices, which has received a positive response, each month a few more request the invoice via email. The numbers though are more like 11/44. Emailing each page via "mail as PDF" option has worked great, except I'm getting really picky with what I send out and want to tweak the file name that is sent out. Even if there is no easy solution, it's still better than printing and stuffing.

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another way to ask this question is, "what's new in invoicing programs?" there are about 15 invoicing programs that I can find. these run as an app on your Mac. plus there are literally hundreds of other tools out there for Window or run as a web based service. it's kind of maddening to sort through them. however, your request to be able to "send as email" makes quick work of a survey.

 

most of these apps have a trial so you could spend the time you get sucked out of you trying to automate and put that to trying out some new tools. there's promise of something working here. I'm sure you have some workflow that collects hours or you have a formatting requirement that will make one or all of these tools not work for you. but you can't know if you don't try them out.

 

billings

http://marketcircle.com/billings/

 

invoice - free

http://www.nchsoftware.com/invoice/index.html

 

On the Job

http://stuntsoftware.com/onthejob/

 

involer

http://involer.com/

 

Profit Train

http://clickablebliss.com/profittrain/

 

 

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