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Workflow…. another great iOS automation tool

Workflow…. another great iOS automation tool

If you have been following along, you may have read my blog about IFTTT.  It is a great little automation tool that lets you hook one activity to another (IE, when I change my Facebook profile photo, set my Twitter profile photo to match).  I use it a lot, but I have also found it leaving my wanting a bit.  Sometimes I want to do a few things, I want to trigger a chain of events, etc.  Then I came across Workflow.

Workflow is a neat little app that lets you create workflows or a chain of events you want to run.  You create them, and then you trigger them using a button in the app, using an action extension, a today widget, or even using the companion app on your Apple Watch.  It has a bit of a learning curve, but it allows you to do complex workflows with multiple steps using multiple apps.  My only knock in it is that it can be a bit glitchy and I don’t like how it looks while it is executing a workflow.  I wish you could make the screen a little more user friendly…. run the actions in the background rather than watching it progress.  Having said that, I can overlook those two drawbacks because it is such a powerful little application.

I have written a couple workflows that I use quite often.  The first is my “Send Location” workflow.  When you run this handy little workflow, it starts by asking what kind of location you want want (Navigon, Google Maps, Apple Map, or text Lat,Long).  You then enter a title for the location you are (My Work, Home, Record Store).  It then pops open the camera for you to take a picture.  After taking the photo and confirming, it takes all the information you entered and creates a new txt message with that picture and URL, ready for you to enter a recipient and send.  The person that received the message will get that link to the exact coordinated you are at with a picture of where you are.  I use this often when I want to explain where I am or how to get to me.  The person can just open that link and it will give them directions to where I am and a picture to know what to look for when they arrive.  Powerful stuff right?

Another great one I use is for making a QR code to a web address.  This on is very simple.  When I’m in safari and I want to make a QR code to the address I’m visiting, I run this extension.  It takes the web address, asks for a dimension, and then creates an email with the created QR code as an attachment.  Very handy for making quick QR codes on the fly.

I’m on a few web forums, that use some standard codes for images.  It I want to upload a few pictures to a post, this is a great little utility.  This lets me pick a photo (or photos) from my phone, uploads to a cloud space at a manageable size, and then copies the code for use in the forum to display those pictures in the post.  Super handy.

And lastly, if you have ever shared a photo on Instagram to Twitter you will notice it doesn’t actually share the picture, but a link to your Instagram URL.  That bugs me.  So I made this little utility to take the last photo shared on your Instagram account, and create a twitter post with that picture (and description) from your Instagram feed.  Pretty handy.

So maybe these few workflows will get your creative juices flowing for things you might want to automate.  Or maybe you just want to try the workflows I have created.  I have included them below for you to import if you like.  Give them a try, and let me know if they are useful for you.

All for now -J

Make QR Code

Share Photos On Forum

Instagram to Twitter

Send Location

Wet Shaving…. One Month in

Wet Shaving…. One Month in

First off, Happy Birthday to my lovely wife.  I’m a pretty lucky guy, still not quite sure how I won her over.  She is an amazing mom, wife, friend and person.  She spoils me, puts up with me, encourages my passions and puts up with my sh*t.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think about how lucky I am.

So, I’m a month in to my wet shave journey and I’m really getting in to it.   Since getting my initial kit from Shave Valet I have steadily added to my gear.  Knowing that during my travels I would have the most time to enjoy a wet shave, I wanted to build a travel kit to take with me.  I hopped on Etsy and found FrugalShave.  He does 3D printed wet shave gear.  I picked up a travel tin (about the size of an altoids tin) that holds my razor and a few blades.  I also grabbed a travel brush with case and a blade dryer to keep the sharps away from Cole.  They were great additions, I highly recommend checking him out.

Then I joined a Facebook group called the Canadian Wet-Shavers.  It is a great group of enthusiastic wet shavers across the country.  Quite often people will post a Shave of the Day with the soap/blade/razor/pre-shave/-post-shave.  There are lots of tips and great information to be found.  Members are always posting items for sale and trade.  There I picked up another razor (Rockwell 6c with multi plates for adjustable shave) so I could leave my RazoRock 3 piece open comb in the travel case.  I also have grabbed a few new soaps, which is already becoming a bit of a problem 😛

That is also part of the fun, there are TONNES of artisan shave products available.  Unique scents and product lines that will cover ever taste and mood.  So far some of my favs are Proraso Green (cooling old school cream), RazoRock Emperor (a cool manly scent), RazoRock Classic (sweet almond/marzipan),  Italian Barber Amici (Amber/GrapeFruit) , and Henri et Victoria Cognac and Cuban Cigars (think Poker night with the boys).  The soaps stick with you for the shave and often they have a matching aftershave that will linger a bit longer.

And lastly, to add to my collection, my lovely wife made me a few lather bowls (photos also by my lovely wife at finelite.ca).  These are awesome for working up that lather with your brush.  They also look fantastic.  Check out her fantastic pottery work.  Told you I was a lucky husband 🙂

If this looks interesting to you, check out Shave Valet and ask him about it.  Shahan is fantastic and will tell you everything you need to know to get started.  In fact, tonight he is having another free intro class, a great opportunity to get you started.  And if you live in Saskatoon, he will deliver your purchases right to you.  Talk about customer service!

We are planning a meet up soon to have a beverage, talk shaving, and probably trade some goodies.  Get started today and maybe you could join us!

Happy Shaving – J

 

My fitness playlist #100playlistchallenge

My fitness playlist #100playlistchallenge

If you have been following my social feed, you will have noticed I joined a new gym recently (Anytime Fitness in Warman). I have made of a habit of checking in on Facebook when I hit the gym and post the off selfie when I’m putting in the work. Sorry if that fills up your feed, but for me, it helps keep me motivated.

Previously I was seeing a personal trainer but circumstances changed a bit so I was looking for a different challenge. This has been my first gym membership. I figured I’d give it a go solo for a while until my busy summer schedule is done and then I would decide if I wanted to take up personal training or group training at the gym. So far I’m really enjoying it. The gym is clean, not too busy (depending on the time of day) and the staff is fantastic. It is very affordable and an added perk is that I can go to this gym or any other anytime fitness location 24/7. I have a bit of a routine now where I hit the treadmill for half a session and then either the free weights or the machines for the other half. The staff even gave me a walk through of all the equipment to show me how everything works.

On of the programs they have at the gym to keep you motivated is the 100 workout challenge. Every time you hit the gym you mark in the book and at certain levels you get some prizing. I starting marking that as well, with my goal deadline of spring next year.

The other thing that gets me going in the gym is music. I need to have my headphones on when I’m working out. As I mentioned previously, I’m a Spotify guy, so I am always browsing and trying new playlists to keep my moving in the gym. My music tastes are all over the map, so it gave me an idea. I’m going to build myself a great workout playlist as I go with my 100 workout challenge. Each workout, when I find that one song that got me over the hump, I’m going to add it to my playlist. At the end of my 100 workout challenge, I’m going to have a playlist full of songs that will be a perfect workout soundtrack for me. I’m calling this my #100playlistchallenge.

Rather than posting every time I add a new song, I have made my playlist public. Click the image below or take a picture with your Spotify app and you can follow my progress as I add new tunes. And if you build your own playlist that you want to share, drop me a line and I will add it to my rotation. And if you happen to see me in Anytime Fitness, make sure to say hello.

All for now,
J

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