Making Computers Personal

Jack Wellborn

Personal automation doesn’t need to involve expensive third party hardware, or require scripting. It can be something as as simple as customizing keyboard shortcuts or defining text replacement macros. Apple’s Shortcuts app is completely drag-and-drop, and makes building personal automation easy enough for even basic users. On top of the many automation apps and features included with Apple’s platforms, there are also a slew of great third party apps that unlock even more possibilities.

Personal computers have become easier and more accessible, to the point where they and their apps are necessarily built for everyone. That’s truly great, but being easy and more accessible doesn’t make them personal. It makes them general purpose. Personal automation gives individuals the power to make their general purpose computer that was built for everyone actually personal.

Using apps such as Drafts, Raycast, Keyboard Maestro, PopClip, and Hazel, I have customized my Mac with a significant amount of automation. As a result, using another person’s Mac feels unfamiliar to me. That’s how feel when my wife asks me to help her out with something on her Mac.

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