Capture notes quickly with Drafts [50 Essential iOS Apps #5]

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writing in Drafts for iPad
Drafts is where writing starts, before moving on to its final destination.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Drafts 5 note taking and writing app While there are dozens of note-taking and writing apps available on iOS, few strike the balance of rich features and simple design the way Drafts does. Whether you’re looking for a quick way to digitally jot down a passing thought, take notes in a meeting, or store an address or phone number, the Drafts app makes it easy to quickly capture text before taking action.

How to automatically import new music into iTunes

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iTunes on Mac
Use an Automator workflow and never manually add media to iTunes again!
Photo: Apple

So, say you have a Dropbox folder that keeps your media files synced across all your machines. Wouldn’t it be super-convenient to have iTunes import music from the Dropbox folder automatically? Also, just double-clicking the media files to import them to iTunes doesn’t sound too much work at first, but, what if your files are scattered all over the disk? For instance, some of you might have organized your media files into different folders by artist name, or by download source.

Let’s see how you can harness the power of automation to automatically import music to iTunes on a Mac.

How to turn your Mac into an internet printer, and print from anywhere

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Epson Expression Home XP-430 multifunction printer
It's surprisingly easy to print a file remotely on a Mac.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Picture this scenario: You’ve multiple computers at your office and only one of them (which is a Mac) is connected to the printer. Every time you need to print a document stored on these “other” computers, you have to manually transfer the file to the Mac and start the printing process from there. Wouldn’t it be super-convenient if you could just send a document wirelessly and instantly initiate the process of printing files remotely?

Today, I’ll show you how to break apart from this hassle and easily print files remotely from any computer using a combination of Dropbox and Automator.

Mastering Alfred 2.0 On Your Mac: Import Workflows For Crazy Custom Commands [OS X Tips]

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Workflow Import

Alfred has a ton of ways to make your Mac life more productive, like launching apps, commanding your OS X system, and even sending quick emails to your contacts. With the £15 Powerpack installed, Alfred lets you create incredibly detailed and complex customized commands using keywords, hotkeys, and actions, all within the app itself.

But if you’re like me, you’re not a huge fan of re-inventing the wheel. There’s a whole community of folks smarter than me who have made their own Workflows with Alfred and have exported these for everyone to download, import, and use with Alfred.

Let’s take a look at how you can grab some of the best of these, and get them working for you on your own Mac.

How-To Fix Your Automator iTunes Workflows

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When we posted on Friday that iTunes 10 had killed off old Automator workflows, it had all the hallmarks of a bug… and as it turns out, a but it is.

As it turns out, the problem is caused because Automator detects iTunes 10 as being a lower version number than iTunes 9, because Automator apparently sorts version numbers alphabetically instead of numerically.

As it turns out, the fix isn’t entirely onerous: simply open up the info.plist inside the packages of your non-functioning workflows and manually change the version number. If you absolutely can’t live without your iTunes Automator workflows until Apple managed to issue a Software Update, here’s your stop gap solution.

iTunes 10 Kills Off Old Automator Workflows

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Apple’s Automator is a fantastic way to manage your iTunes tracks… but with Apple’s iTunes 10 update, many iTunes-specific Automator workflows have simply stopped working.

According to upset users in Apple’s discussion forums, the vast majority of iTunes Automator actions go missing when you install iTunes 10. Try to run a previously created iTunes workflow and you will ironically be prompted to install iTunes 4.6 or higher. Ugh.

The good news here is that none of the functionality has disappeared from AppleScript, so it should be able to replicate the functionality if you change gears. Still, the sudden absence of iTunes functionality in Automator is mysterious: did Apple purposely drop the functionality, or is this a bug? If the former, what was Apple’s rationale?