Automate your tasks

January 12th, 2012 | Posted by Robert Curlette in Lifehacking

Automate it

My timesheet is one of the most important things to do every day but the last thing I think of. Last year I discovered the Windows Scheduler program and my timesheet has never been so up to date. I only noticed how effective it was when my password changed and the programs stopped opening automagically every day at the same time.

Scheduler opens the Excel sheet and puts it in front of my face at 4:55 pm every day. It takes me 5 seconds to put the hours in and save. Done.

How to do schedule Excel to open automatically on Windows XP:

1. Open Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks
2. Add Scheduled Task
3. In the Application list select Microsoft Excel. If it is not listed there, you can copy the shortcut from the Start/Programs menu
4. Select when to perform the task
5. Enter password. Note: if your password changes the tasks stop running and do not show you any errors or reminders. It usually takes me a few days before I realize it is not opening. Forgetting about it is specific to my timesheet, for some strange reason.
6. Checkbox for advanced properties. This is where we put the file we want to open.
7. In the run textbox, go to the end of the line, put a space, then add the path to your Excel file like this “C:\RC\Docs\Timesheet_Curlette_2012.xls”
8. Finish, put your password in again, and forget about it. Your computer is now going to do the most difficult part – starting the task!

Scheduling the browser:

I live in Amsterdam and there is a last minute ticket website that sells tickets at 50% off starting at 12:00 noon every day. The ticket office is around the corner from where I work, so if I see something, I can walk over and buy them right away.

1. Follow the steps above, in step 3 choose Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.
2. In step 7, after the link to the app in the run box, type the website address in quotes. My link to firefox looks like this: “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”

Good luck with improving your daily tasks!

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One Response

  • Alvin says:

    Nice tip!. Don’t forget to tag this under “life hacking” or approaches and making us more efficient / effective.

    Might also come in handy around April Fool’s day. 🙂

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