According to Harvard Business Review, marketing executives are losing 10-15% of their time due to not automating simple tasks.Task automation should already be saving you huge amounts of time and effort.If it’s not, I can only assume that’s because you’re not using it.
GrepWin is inspired by the grep tool found on Unix systems, which allows you to search entire directories for files based on text content. But grep is a command-line tool, which wouldn’t sit well with Windows users. Fortunately, grepWin is a GUI tool.
You lose a bit of flexibility having to deal with GUI options, but not much. I find it much easier to handle overall and the results are clearer to navigate. Note that grepWin only works on Windows Vista and later.
you will need it when you want to find a particular text file or document containing a specific word or phrase, but just couldn’t locate it? You thought you knew where you put it, but it isn’t there, and you’re positive you didn’t delete it.
Download: grepWin from here.
AutoHotkey is open-source scripting software for Windows. The program has an intuitive scripting language with which you can automate a plethora of tasks, and the software also enables users to remap keyboards and create mouse hotkeys.
AutoHotkey enables you to set up scripts to schedule system scans, fill out form fields, open software or web pages with keystrokes, automatically close programs and much more besides. With the software’s scripting language, users can compile both basic and more complex scripts with custom GUIs into portable EXE files. Note that this software doesn’t have its own text editor, so users will have to compile their scripts in Notepad or other third-party programs. You can select most of AutoHotkey’s options from its system tray icon. The software’s website includes scripting tutorials, but you can also download (or copy and paste) ready-made scripts from this page.
Download: AutoHotkey from here.
A text expander like PhraseExpress can really come handy. Text expansion is simple: you type a few letters, press the key you’ve designated for expansion, and it magically expands into whatever full phrase you’ve configured it as (e.g. lki could expand into I’ll look into it and get back to you!)
PhraseExpress starts with a 30-day trial of the professional version, then turns into the freeware version. Both versions are identical, the only exception being that the freeware version can only be used for non-revenue-generating activities that don’t involve client-server environments.
Download: PhraseExpress from here.
Bulk Rename Utility
Bulk Rename Utility a free-for-personal-use tool that lets you rename files (and folders) in bulk using flexible rules and filters. You can replace and/or increment numbers, insert text and/or timestamps, recursively handle infinite subfolders, and more.
Two features I’d like to highlight include renaming photo files using EXIF data and renaming music files using ID3 tags. You can view a preview before renaming so you always know what you’re going to get before executing.
Download: Bulk Rename Utility from here.
Media conversions can take a long time, especially if you regularly need to convert huge movie files or entire music albums. But with Format Factory, you can bulk convert all kinds of media files, and you don’t have to have three or more different tools installed just to handle different media types.
But a word of warning! Format Factory comes with bundleware, so pay careful attention when installing it. Be sure to uncheck any checkbox that looks like a special offer, and decline any terms that aren’t specifically for Format Factory.
Download: Format Factory from here.
RoboTask Lite is a free automation utility that lets you automate tasks performed on your computer. RoboTask offers a great variety of actions that can automated on your computer. Despite of its ability to perform complex automations, RoboTask has got a clean and a decent interface that is really very easy to operate. RoboTask is available in two versions -Lite and Premium and in this post we may discuss about the free Lite version only.
Once you are done with installing RoboTask, you can start creating your tasks. For an illustration RoboTask comes pre-loaded with 13 tasks which are interesting and useful too.This program provides a series of more complex features such as IF/ELSE statements, loops, and custom variables.
Download: Robotask from here.
Bulk Crap Uninstaller
The best tool I’ve found so far is Bulk Crap Uninstaller. It scans your entire system, finds all installed software, and lets you mark a checkbox next to all the ones you want removed. It also supports “quiet uninstallation,” which handles all of the removals without needing any input from you.
What’s nice about this tool is that it also identifies orphaned installations — apps that were “removed” in the past and no longer show up as installed on Windows 10, but still remain on your system in some form.
Download: Bulk Crap Uninstaller from here
Other Ways to Automate Tasks in Windows
Shoot me a message in the comments about how you’ve automation in your business and what its effects have been.