Have you ever had an important document to work on, but ended up forgetting about it and missing your deadline? Maybe you have a specific routine that you follow each morning, such as checking your email and then reading your RSS feeds, and you want to make the process easier? You might even have a favorite AppleScript that you use everyday and would love to have it execute on its own.
Whether you have a specific file, document, or application that you’d like to open at a specific time of the day or have an AppleScript that you’d like to execute daily, LaunchOnTime can help tremendously.
LaunchOnTime is a free utility app for Mac that lets you open files, folders, documents, applications, and execute AppleScripts at a specific day and time. Even though you can’t set up a repeating schedule for your items, LaunchOnTime is still a great tool that you can use every morning to help increase your productivity for the day.
Let’s take a look at how to set up and use LaunchOnTime.
Step 1: Adding Files
The first step in using LaunchOnTime is to click on the “Browse…” button to select an item (file, folder, document, application, AppleScript) from your computer. You can select one or more items here.
Alternately, you can use the easier method of dragging and dropping files right onto the list window.
Step 2: Scheduling Launch Times
To schedule a date and time for your items you’ll need to select each one and then click on the “Date-Time” button. This will bring up a small window with a calendar (for selecting a date) and clock (for selecting a time).
You can drag the minute and hour hand of the clock as needed to set the desired time.
Step 3: Running the Schedule
Lastly, you’ll need to click on the “Start” button to run your scheduled items. Once you do this, you’ll see the “Location” column disappear from the list window and in its place will be a “Time to Launch” column. In the “Time to Launch” column you’ll see a countdown timer showing you how long you have until each item is launched.
Additionally, you can also have LaunchOnTime send an email to a specific recipient when items are launched. This can be setup within the preferences.
At launch time, “if the file is an AppleScript it will be executed, otherwise the file will be opened in the default application for the type of file”. AppleScript results can also be emailed to a specified recipient.
Waking Up A Sleeping Computer
On its own, LaunchOnTime cannot wake up your computer (if it’s sleeping) to launch an item. So if you want to be able to do this you’ll need to download Chalaut, so that you can run items as a “root user”.
Chalaut is easy to use, just drag the item that you want to launch on top of the Chalaut application icon and you’re all set. Chalaut will launch your item and then quit on its own.
Running in the Background
Once you click the “Start” button to run your schedule, the LaunchOnTime list window cannot be closed; the close button will be disabled. You can minimize the window, but you can’t totally get rid of it.
Would you prefer LaunchOnTime to run in the background? If so you’ll want to install LaunchOnTimeService (direct download), which is identical to LaunchOnTime, except you’ll be able to close the list window so that it can stay out-of-the-way.
Great Uses for LaunchOnTime
Wondering how to use LaunchOnTime for your own personal use? Here are a few examples that might help.
- Open a document or file that you need to work on — never miss another deadline.
- Launch your RSS reader so that you can read the news and/or your favorite blogs — helps make daily routines easier.
- Launch your email program so that you can check your email or send an email — never forget to send an important message again.
- Launch your favorite game so that you’re forced to take a break from whatever you’re working on — great for Internet workers, designers and anyone else who works on their computer for long hours.
As you can see, LaunchOnTime can be used for numerous things and can help make your daily tasks easier and effortless.