[Review + Walkthrough] Clockwise – Your Digital Butler

If you are reading this, then there is a pretty good chance that you like to tinker with your Mac, and believe in the motto “Work smart, not hard!”

And if this is true, then Clockwise is just the app to help you do it!
The app is very easy to get started with, and is very much self-explanatory.
You can create many different kinds of events, that combine a range of options, settings and configurations, to run on very specific schedule, to automate your life.
When you want to create a task, a handful of choices need to be made, and you will be on your way.
Here’s how you do it:
First, set when the event will take place.

This can either be at a certain time of a day (ALARM), After a certain amount of time has lapsed (TIMER), or on a keyboard shortcut (SHORTCUT).

Next, set your repetition, if any.

This will be once-off (RUN A SINGLE DAY), run every few days (REPEAT EVERY X DAYS), and you can even have it run every day from now on (RUN FOREVER)
Just before you get to the good stuff and setup your event, big or small, you can choose your post-event choice. You have 2 choices.
Set your Post-Run options.
If you close Clockwise, or your Mac is asleep, when the event should trigger, do you want the event to run once Clockwise comes back online? You can simply choose Yes, or customise it to only run, albeit delayed, if the date is within a certain number of days from the event date. (ENABLE DELAYED TRIGGERING).
And if this is a once-off task, that you never want/need to run again, then choose to have it removed after completion (DELETE WHEN COMPLETED)
Once these simple configurations are set, move on to the actual event configuration, and get down to business.

Finally’ish, create your event/s.
The events that you can set here are almost limitless!
There are 16 native events, that cover a super-wide spectrum. But if that’s not enough, you can always run a custom script, no problem.
The events include:

  1. Alert (Can use Notification Centre of Growl)
  2. Tweet
  3. Change Brightness 
  4. Change Volume 
  5. Flash Screen
  6. Play Sound
  7. Play/Pause iTunes (Just play or pause the current iTunes)
  8. Change iTunes Volume
  9. Play iTunes Music (Play a specific track or playlist)
  10. Open File/Folder/App
  11. Open Internet Address
  12. Run User Script
  13. Send Email
  14. Take Screenshot
  15. Take iSight Photo
  16. Wait for Internet (Simply waits for internet  connection to become available)
  17. Pause (Apply a pause between events)
The events are fairly self-explanatory, and super-easy to set up.
I personally love using the Volume and brightness options, to reset each back to a certain percentage every morning, before I deliver my next class. That way I always know the volume level before playing Keynotes and Videos to a room full of students.
You can set multiple events to take place, and set them to run in a specific order. Very powerful!
Using a combination of alerts, apps, iTunes and files, can easily act as “alarms” or notifications for you, for certain timings, or certain tasks.
If you want iTunes to play, and then pause after 30 minutes, use the Pause event, between the Play iTunes Music and Pause iTunes events.
If you want to send a tweet or an email, be sure to use the Wait for Internet event, or else an error will be issued if internet is not yet available, say after Mac startup. 
Once you have set up your various events, you are DONE!
But if you want granular control as to when exactly, or not, you want the event/s to run, then you have a schedule you can set, as well as calendar exceptions.

Then, set your daily, weekly, monthly schedules.
The schedule is pretty comprehensive.
It allows you to set a start and end date first of all. 
Then you can set which days of the week, as well as choosing the occurrence of a weekday in the month, from the beginning or the end, for it to run on.
Say you want to run the event on the 3rd Monday of every month, between April and June, as well as the last Sunday of every month for the whole year? Yip, you can do it!
Once you have the schedule, you can then start to exempt certain days. 
Now, set your calendar exceptions.
This manual, as you will specify the individual days based on the calendar. You can then have the day run, or not, as you choose.
And finally, really, check the logs for errors.
If an event throws an error, for whatever reason, there a section in the app for error logs, which is really handy to troubleshoot.
All in all, I am very impressed with Clockwise.
The app is easy to use, easy to understand, and really simple to figure out.
Clockwise comes from a development house called ACT Productions, and they host a range of apps to use on your Mac, so check them out!
CW is available on the App Store today, on version 1.3, for a nifty $6.99 (Worth every cent!)
If you want the app, but don’t want to bill, then why not pop into the next Mac Tech SA, and if you are lucky, you might get a complimentary promo code for ClockWise 🙂

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