We may now be firmly planted in 2014, but many of us can’t leave 2013 behind just yet. Taxes (and their accompanying records) are due in a few months, and it can be helpful for many of us to have records of how and where we spent our time. Automator can help us do that.
With this Automator workflow and the click of a single button, you can create an Excel worksheet containing a record of every 2013 event in the calendar(s) of your choosing. For this to work you must have Microsoft Office 2008 or 2011 Home & Business edition. (The Home & Student edition doesn’t include the Automator actions you need.)
Launch Automator and, in the chooser window that appears, select Workflow and click Choose. In the Library pane select the Calendar section and from it drag these three actions into the workflow area to the far right: Get Specified Calendar Items, Filter Calendar Items and Event Summary. Next, click on the Utilities section and drag the Copy to Clipboard action to the bottom of the workflow. Finally, enter
Excel in the Search field near the top of the window and drag the Create New Excel Workbook and Paste Clipboard Contents into Excel Workbooks actions into the workflow.
Now go back to that first action — Get Specified Calendar Items — and click the Add button and in the sheet that appears, select the calendars you want to pull events from. Configure the second action (which is now called Filter Calendar Events) so that it reads All of the following are true and has two date conditions. The first will read Date starting is after 12/31/2012 and the second Date ending is before 1/1/2014. The rest of the workflow is fine as it is.
You’re welcome to save the workflow if you like, but there’s a good chance you’ll run it just once, so there’s no need. To run it, click on the Run button in the top-right corner of the workflow window.
When you do, Excel will launch, create a new workbook, and all the events within the chosen calendars will appear in a list, each one separated from the next by an empty row. You’ll see a count of the event (as Event X of Y), plus summary, status, date, and time fields, and location and notes when appropriate.
And that’s all there is to it. In the five minutes it takes to assemble this workflow you may save your future self hours of tediously combing through your calendars.
by Christopher Breen, Macworld