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Wednesday
Aug312016

Count Your Workflows

I spend quite a bit of time experimenting with the Workflow App by the folks over at DeskConnect. It's an iOS application that brings Mac automator-style automation into the palm of your hand. As a result of my experimentations I've built up quite a library of workflows and whilst I wait for some sort of structure for the workflows I've come up with a few little tricks, notations and workflows to help me keep things organised. I'm going to share one of those with you today.

One thing I get asked on occasion is how many workflows do I actually have. It would be quite simple to do a quick total, but I have different types of workflows.

First of all I have the workflows that I created to actually use. Things that fulfil some sort of automation function I have required at some point. It may be something I use regularly like my workflow to batch add things to the family shared shopping list, but it could equally be something I use rarely such as my clipboard URL decoder workflow. most of these are my own, but I also have some I've picked up from various talented Workflow users I've come across.

In addition to the ones I "use" I have also created a number of workflows to illustrate how to do various useful things with workflow. Like a library of programming routines rather than things that will necessarily be practical and solve a problem on their own (though some admittedly do). These workflows have come from a variety of places. From me working out how to do things I want to do. From requests I pick up and sometimes receive directly on Twitter (where I'm @sylumer). Some are even just from things that I think others might ask me about one day; and I've been right quite a few times on that one.

After you've finished reading this post why not check out the (partial) list of example workflows on this site? I posted another dozen just yesterday.

When I start out with examples they actually begin as test workflows. I always have a number in progress as sometimes Workflow doesn't yet support exactly what I'm trying to do or if it actually shows a bug; as well as my under development examples and general use workflows.

Finally like all frequent workflow builders I might have a few untitled workflows hanging about. These may be ones I took to use as a screen shots of a particular action or just tentative tests that I haven't even put into my test workflows yet.

As well as using some colour coding I also try to use some naming conventions to help organise my workflows. Untitled workflows are named by the Workflow app itself and so I don't need to do much there. The test workflows I always start with "Test - " and the example workflows with "Example - ". That then just leaves my practical workflows.

Using the "Get My Workflows" action it is straight forward enough to get the names of all of the workflows. After that it's just a bit of pattern matching and maths to total up the numbers of each type of workflow. At the end I get a summary on screen and the option to copy the results to the clipboard.

You can download and customise my workflow to meet your own needs or get some inspiration to build your own from scratch from the listing below.

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