Meklet Blog:

Workflow Optimisation

Robert J. Tomsons, Thu, 21. Nov 2022

Why Workflow Optimisation?

In the first changelog release here on the blog, I talked about the future of the Meklet project. Since I'm working on different Apple systems right now, I'll be incorporating Meklet into different workflows to make it easier to work with my site. On Apple, there are a few options, including shortcuts, workflows, and apps. Later I will also use older scripting languages to stay backwards compatible, including AppleScript for example. Integrating Meklet with Apple has several advantages, for example, experienced users can adopt, modify, upgrade or completely redesign my ideas. For end users, it will simplify and speed up routines and workflows, because I don't like people having to wait inside my software and apps.

Meklet Shortcut (iOS)

Shortcuts is a visual scripting app from Apple that lets you create macros. These then do small tasks. When I started the Meklet project, I bookmarked the website in the Safari browser. But this is tiring and cumbersome after a while (on the iPhone). When I opened the web page, I had to do several small steps first. Open the browser, pick out the bookmark and click on the bookmark icon. That's tedious. So I created the Meklet Shortcut app, which you can download here. You best install this on your homescreen or in the quick launch bar. Now when you want to do some research, you can just click the icon and you'll be taken right to the Meklet search. and Meklet.workflow (macOS)

Something similar to shortcuts is also available on macOS. You build small workflows and apps with the Automator app. So I created a small workflow, which is installed as a service and to which you can assign a keyboard shortcut. But this doesn't do anything yet, because I still need the which I copy into the Applications folder. If I now use a certain keyboard combination (e.g. Shift-Command-0) I can start the app via the service and it opens the Meklet website in the browser.

You can request both files by email by clicking on this MekletApp mail link. The subject must not be changed. Since this happens wit my processing, they will be sent to you as soon as possible. If a mail gets lost on the way, please send a message to the mail address you can find in the source code of this HTML page. Since I don't have access to WLAN or a public hot-spot every day, this can sometimes take a few days. I am currently working on changing this in the future. If you download the files, it's legal to share workflow and app with your friends.

Please put the workflow file on your desktop and double click on the file. This file will be installed. Move the file to your Applications folder. Set the keyboard shortcut in the System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. You will find the service under the name Meklet under General. The web page will open in the Safari browser. I'm using this for a few days now as a test and it works quite well. All in all you only save a few seconds, but in the total sum you notice how much you wasted before in unnecessary time and clicks.

MekletRSS (iOS)

I actually come from the Linux community and have always done everything myself. If I wanted software that dind't exist, I just programmed it myself. That's great when you train as an IT specialist. This saves me money that I would otherwise have to pay other programmers.

I build an RSS feed for the Meklet Projekt. Nothing special, but people love RSS. I love RSS. RSS is simple, uncomplicated and you can quickly fill a channel with content. At this point, the normal way would have been to install an RSS reader app from the Apple Store, but I din't want that.

Instead, I buit myself a shortcut app, which can be downloaded here. MekletRSS reads and displays the last 10 articles of my RSS feed. Without text formatting or other unnecessary features. Simply a very easy-to-read text on amonochrome background. There you can then check once a month (or more often) to see if I have posted something new without haveing to open the Safari browser. Overall, this was quite simple even if I had to find out more informations about my XML file.

Of course, this is not an epic feed reader app now, but I didn't want to build something like that either. I don't think you have to build a big app for that. It's KISS my friend.

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