Automation 1 – Pictures to Facebook from Dropbox without killing my dropbox account

I have been playing with automation software to backup my computer, move files around, do some data entry, and organize my life. All of my automations so far.

Software/Accounts required for this automation:

  • Dropbox
  • Dropbox automator
  • Automator.app – found on your apple laptop/desktop
  • Time Machine – get an external hard drive, turn this on.
  • Skitch – how I took my screenshots, saves to Evernote automagically

I wanted to put my pup’s pictures on Facebook, so that people could write me messages about how lame it is.  Go ahead. The real reason I originally did it was because I wanted a Facebook Page for my Empire Avenue account. Then, I realized that my family members kind of liked looking at the pics, because they love Cricket. Whenever we go home and don’t bring the dog, our family asks us where she is…seriously.

Pictures to Facebook Page from Dropbox

Dropbox Automator Script

Whenever I put a picture of my dog Cricket into my dropbox folder called “Cricket”, Dropbox Automator will pick it up and send it to my Cricket The Dog Facebook Page. Then, because Dropbox Automator is awesome, it puts the file into a subfolder called “processed”. This keeps them from re-processing the same image repeatedly.

I wanted to go through my photo collections and find all my pictures of Cricket and add them to the Facebook page, but I didn’t want dropbox to fill up.  So, I found a way to fix this:

Automator Script

Dropbox files to another directory on my computer

Whenever Dropbox automator moves a file into the “processed” folder, my Automator.app script (see below) will automagically register the action of the move and then put the file in a non-dropbox folder for me!

To set this up, I just opened Automator.app, chose “Folder action”. Then I selected the folder to listen to and added a “Move Finder Items” action underneath it. I saved the automation. Note: It will only work on files moved into the folder once the automation is setup. It will NOT take care of files already in the folder. You have select all + drag + drop for that. It’s one time, deal with it.

Now, I have this set up with a couple folders and I can save all my images to Facebook and have them in more places than just my computer and my time machine backup.

Dropbox spins when I do this, because the files are moved around so much, but it’s pretty quick and I think they can handle it alright.

UPDATE: I was out of my office (i.e. off the power cord) and realized my battery was draining SUPER fast and my fan was running all the time. I went to Activity Monitor and found that my “folder monitor” automations had a process running that was using a ton of the CPU.  I killed the process and immediately my computer was back to normal.  So, unless you are moving files all the time and you are constantly on a power-tether, I don’t suggest using Automator to watch your directories for you!!  Btw, the files were in “user folder”/Library/Workflows/Folder Actions.  I deleted all of these that related to my Automator scripts before my next reboot.




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