Adding Automator Alarms As Calendar Events (#1125)


Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today’s
episode let’s look at how to add Automator actions as calendar alarms. So before Yosemite you used to be able to
create calendar events that then had Automator tasks or AppleScript as the alarm. For instance,
I would be able to create an event, say Test, and I can set an alert and choose Custom.
One of the options here would be to have an Automator script run. But you no longer have
that. There is a couple reasons for that but there is also ways to get it back. Mainly the reason is that because now we all
use iCloud calendars which is great because they sync across all your devices including
iOS. It doesn’t make sense to have Automator or Applescript events there because in iOS,
of course, there is no Automator or AppleScript. You want events that will actually occur across
your devices. So one way to get an Automator script to run
with the Calendar on your Mac in Yosemite is to start with Automator. Now when I run Automator I am asked to choose
the type of document. I’m going to create a new document here. I want to choose Calendar
Alarm which is new for Yosemite and it is in El Capitan as well. I will choose that
and then I get a blank document here. We’ll add something to it. Let’s add a simple AppleScript.
Run AppleScript and then I’ll just put in a little alert. Great. So now I’ll test it. You see it displays a
little test message there. Now I’ll save it. It is going to ask to Save the alarm. I’ll
give it a name like Test Alarm. What it is going to do here is it is then
going to run Calendar and it’s going to do a few things. First it will run the script
there and I’ll see it there and I’ll see it appear as a Notification. It also created
a special calendar that is on my Mac. So this is not shared with any of my other devices.
It is just on this Mac and it is called Automator Calendar. It’s put that Test Alarm, it put
a sample there. Basically it is set for right now. That’s why the alarm went off immediately. This special Automator Calendar here is now
where any Automator task that I create as a calendar alarm will appear. It will appear
under this. So this is a special calendar just for running these kinds of Automator
tasks. So let’s take a look at this event here. You
can see it looks like an open file alert at time of event but it is not. If you try to
change that it doesn’t really come up. It comes up there in that menu and then you hit
Custom and it doesn’t even show that here. So you don’t want to mess with the type of
alert or most of the stuff here for these special events. What you can mess with is the timing of them.
So, for instance, I can change it to a different time and I can even set it to repeat everyday.
You can see that it appears everyday and it will go off at that time. So you can mess
with that and it will work and go off at the same time everyday now. I can go back in and
mess with it again. So the timing is what you want to change but not necessarily what
some of those other features are. If you want to change what the alert does
you go back into Automator here. I’m still editing this script here. I can change it
say so I change what text appears. I can just Command S for save. So you can do that. You can also get to these scripts, by the
way, by clicking in the Finder. If I look here at the top I can see I’m going to use
the Command and click here at the top and you can see that it is saving it in my User
Library folder under Workflows, Applications, Calendar, and then there is the app that is
saved. So I can get access to these later even if it disappears from my Recent menu
here in Automator. Now there is an alternative and I hinted at
this before. The problem is that you can’t have Automator tasks running in iCloud calendars
but you can have them running On My Mac calendars. So you can create a new On My Mac Calendar
if you go to File, New Calendar, you can create one On My Mac. That only appears if you already
have an On My Mac calendar. If you only have iCloud calendars that won’t appear. But you
usually do have other calendars. I find that if you Control click underneath
Other you can create a New Calendar and it will appear as an On My Mac calendar. So if
you need to create your first one, that is the trick to do it. So with this calendar here I can select it
and I can Create a New Event and under this event I can add an alert that is Open File
and I can then choose Other for Open File. Now I’ll go to the desktop and let’s say I
want to have an Automator task here. So I’m going to create a new Automator task that
is an application and then I’m going to run AppleScript inside of that
and Save it to the desktop like that. Now when I go back into Calendar I can see
it appear there and I can actually add it Open file and put that app there at time of
event and now I can play with this in the same way I can do the Automator calendar.
As a matter of fact they are kind of the same thing it’s just that this one will automatically,
you can create things in Automator inside calendar that will automatically will put
them in here. Whereas for this On My Mac calendar I’m actually adding them manually. So if you have been looking for a way to add
Automator or AppleScript tasks to calendars on your Mac this is the way to do it in Yosemite
and beyond. It actually really hasn’t changed much. It’s just that now with iCloud being
the predominate calendar which doesn’t allow those because of the limitations and other
security issues and things like that you just have to know that you have to go with the
On My Mac calendar or use Automator’s automatic calendar to add these types of alarms.

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