Tag Archives: Automation

How to: use web based automations

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Evernote Overview

There are several automation web services available that will do your bidding automagically. Here is a list of a few that I have found works well.

Wappwolf

Wappwolf integrates well with Dropbox, box, Google Drive and Facebook and can process them for you in quite a few different ways. For Dropbox, you can convert files to PDF, downscale images, convert audio files, rename files, upload files etc.

Wappwolf is free for 3 active automations and max 100 files/100 MB per day and runs every 15 minutes. There is a premium option available for $5 for one week or $10 for a month of increased processing.

wappwolf automations

Above: Dropbox automations provided by Wappwolf

IFTTT

IFTTT automates quite a few services. It can archive your online presence into Evernote and it can create posts for you based on different events. It has a very easy interface to create custom recipes/automations so that you can create custom actions if none of the available ones fell quite right. Remember to test any recipe, I have found several ones relying on external services that didn’t work as expected.

IFTTT is free at the moment but like everything else will need to figure out a way to make money in the future, either by fees or ads or by being bought and incorporated into a larger offering…

ifttt channels

Above: Channels provided by IFTTT

on{X}

on{X} is something as odd as a Microsoft automation service for Android phones. And it requires Facebook logins instead of LiveID/Microsoft accounts. One might assume that the service will be released and incorporated into the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS.

on{X} uses a growing API of triggers and services for your phone to sense different events and activate functions based on them. It could be as simple as checking the weather the first time you activate your phone in the morning and remind you to bring an umbrella if it is going to rain.

Or it could be more advanced, such as launching the Foursquare app if you’ve been at the same location for more than 20 minutes etc. It has a more advanced programming based User Experience so you can create quite advanced custom events if you feel the available automations/recipes are lacking.

on{X} is free at the moment, but you need to install the app on your phone. Never mind the poor reviews, it is a very misunderstood feature. You also need to log in to the web site with your Facebook account and create your automations there.

onx automations

Above: Sample Automations in on{X}

zapier

zapier has quite a few different integrations and has a more professional approach with different plans for different levels of their service, from free 5 hour checks to 200 integration checks every 5 minutes for $100/month. zapier also supports a broader range of services such as most of Google services including Google Drive and Microsoft services such as SkyDrive. For personal use it would be best suited for automations where none of the other services are available and where you can live with a 5 hour delay. If you need faster service you would need the basic package for $15/month

zapier services

Above: zapier integrations

General note

By using any of these services, you give them access to a lot of your information. If you aren’t comfortable with this you probably shouldn’t use them. But then you might not want to use any of the cloud services they connect with to begin with.

 

by: [googleplusauthor]

Automation: Using Evernote to store your life

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Evernote Overview

I am a big fan of Evernote and Microsoft OneNote. I have been using both for quite some time now and I have been automating several things to Evernote.

For more information on how to choose between Evernote and OneNote see this post.

Evernote have several features for automation built in and you can use it directly with several other applications and web services. Here are a few ones I found noteworthy:

click.to

click.to sends copied information directly to Evernote and more. You can use Evernotes normal global hot key shortcut to paste the clipboard to Evernote (Ctrl+Alt+V) but using click.to and configuring Evernote as a Satellite action makes it a more visual option. Also, click.to can send your clipboard contents to several other applications directly, such as your search engine, Google Translate etc.

click.to sample

Image: Choosing copy brings up the click.to menu.

Auto Import Folder

Evernote has an auto import feature where you can designate folders as a pickup points for your files. You define it under Tools, Import Folders. I have a specific folder for import that also deletes the source file once it has been imported. I have placed the folder in my favorites list in explorer so that I can drag and drop files directly into Evernote without problem. I move the files I don’t want to save to Dropbox and copy files I want to retain at other locations.

Since Evernote doesn’t have a printer driver (OneNote does and it works very well) I can print a .pdf file from any application to this folder and have it in Evernote directly without to much fuss.

import folders

Image: Setting Import Folders in Evernote

auto import folder

Image: Part of explorer with Evernote Auto Import folder in favorites.

Send from Snagit

Snagit from TechSmith is a great way to make screen captures. I highly recommend it if you need to make any form of screen capturing on a more regular basis.

Once you have made your capture you can use the Share Tab in Snagit Editor to send your screen capture directly to quite a few applications, including Evernote and OneNote (and Facebook, Twitter, Word, PowerPoint, FogBugz etc…).

Automation from Dropbox with Wappwolf

Wappwolf is a Dropbox automator. It can do loads of stuff to your files in Dropbox such as convert your recently purchased e-book to Amazon format and send it to your Kindle for reading. Or you can use it to store information from Dropbox to Evernote.

You can choose to give Wappwolf access to your whole Dropbox system or you can choose to limit it to an application specific folder in your Apps folder.

Once you have given Wappwolf access, create an automation you need. In this case we want to upload the file to Evernote so we will choose the Any file area and specify “upload it to Evernote” and since we only want to store our file in Evernote we will also choose “Delete the original file” under Advanced.

wappwolf

This works very well for applications that aren’t on my desktop but that can save to Dropbox, such as my Android phone applications (if for some reason the share to Evernote feature doesn’t work) or other web services that can connect and deliver to to Dropbox but not to Evernote.

Side note:

For Swedish e-book readers with a Kindle the convert and send to Kindle is very useful. You can buy/download a Swedish e-book (unless its DRM/copy protected – then you would have to first remove the encryption since the normally used Adobe Digital Edition DRM format isn’t compatible with Kindle) and automatically transfer it to your Kindle.

Using IFTTT to archive your online stuff

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a very nice automation tool that can deliver directly to your Evernote notebooks.

You connect other services to Evernote and specify what should be saved and where.

ifttt sample recipe

I use IFTTT for several automations and a few of them are for Evernote:

I use it to:

  • Archive copies of my blog posts in Evernote (and also as .pdf files on Dropbox)
  • Save copies of all my Facebook updates in a notebook
  • Save copies of all my Tweets in a notebook
  • Save copies of all my LinkedIn updates in a notebook
  • Save copies of all my Foursquare check-ins in a notebook
  • Save logs of specific emails (from Google mail) automatically in a notebook (invoices, license information etc.)
  • Save all starred articles from Google Reader to Evernote

There are quite a few other useful applications of IFTTT but these are my current Evernote related ones.

Skipping mail in Sweden

The Swedish postal service manages mail for a lot of customers. The corporation will send the information it needs to send you to the postal service electronically and the postal service will print it and carry it to your mail box.

epostboxen

Since I will scan it anyway and put it into Evernote, I signed up for their e-mail postbox (ePostBoxen) (a SharePoint implementation btw =) ) where I can sign in and pick up the electronic copies of the mail instead. From there I can save it to Evernote directly. Someone should write an automation channel for IFTTT of Wappwolf etc for this service so that I can get it to where it should be without intervention.

Standard features not to forget

While I’m writing, here are some plain old standard features I like.

Send email to Evernote.

Your Evernote notebooks have an email address that you can use to send information directly to. Its very easy to use when sending mail, just add the evernote address as a BCC and it will be automatically stored. If you send a mail directly to Evernote, you can also specify notebooks, tags etc in the message header. Don’t use this when BCC’ing, it will be very confusing for your recipient).

You find you Evernote email address alongside your account information.

Using Google search to search your notebooks.

You can let Google/Bing search search your notebooks at the same time as you search the web in Chrome. Very easy to find already compiled information while searching as usual.

You find this information in the Evernote Web Clipper add on.

google search in evernote

Image: sample (in Swedish) of Evernote search integration in Chrome Google search

Scan directly to Evernote

I also use Evernote to store all my incoming papers. All normal scanners have the possibility to send the scanned result directly to an application and this works well with Evernote. I just put my papers in the scanner and press one button to get them into a notebook. If you want to get a scanner, make sure it has a proper paper feeder and can scan both sides of your document in one go.