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How to use Custom Scheduling in Uncanny Automator Pro

Uncanny Automator Pro lets you set up actions to run automatically at specific times. You can define when actions run based on descriptions you provide in plain English. This guide will help you understand what you can say to schedule your tasks and what to expect.

How to Communicate Time to Automator Pro

You can schedule tasks in many ways, like saying a specific day, a number of days from now, or even a certain time of the day. Here are some examples to help you get started:

Specific Times:

  • Enter “next Friday at 1 pm” and Automator Pro will schedule it for the Friday the week after the recipe triggers are completed. If the recipe were to run now, this text would schedule the action to run at “2024-04-19 13:00:00” (this string output is a real-time example that’s parsed by our scheduling library).
  • Enter “1pm tomorrow” to have an action run at 2024-04-18 13:00:00.
  • Enter “following Friday at noon” to schedule it for 2024-04-19 12:00:00. Again, these string examples are live and what would be used if you added this text to a recipe right now.

Days Ahead:

  • “5 days” means something will happen 5 days from now, at 2024-04-22 03:18:28 if triggers in the recipe were completed right now.
  • “4 months” sets a task for four months later, at 2024-08-17 03:18:28.

Special Times:

  • “tomorrow midday” is understood as 2024-04-18 12:00:00.
  • “tomorrow eod” (end of the day) is scheduled for 2024-04-18 23:59:00.

Combining Days and Times:

  • “2pm next week Friday” means the task is set for 2024-04-26 14:00:00.

Making Sense of Time

Automator Pro knows some special words for time and can guess what you mean:

  • Midday and Midnight: It knows “midday” means 12:00 PM and “midnight” means 12:00 AM.
  • Words for Next: If you say “coming”, “following” or “upcoming,” Automator interprets this as “next.” So, “this coming Friday at 1 PM” gets scheduled for .

Limitations on Recurring Events and Some Expressions

Automator Pro efficiently processes a wide array of date and time expressions for single-instance scheduling, but it doesn’t support recurring events or certain complex expressions, such as “every Friday” or  “every day.” Should you input unsupported phrases, Automator Pro will add the error note in Recipe logs.

Simple Arithmetic with Time

Automator Pro can do simple math with time:

  • Exact Timestamps: If you give it a specific timestamp, it uses it as is.
  • Adding or Subtracting Time: You can add or subtract time, like a timestamp token + 86400 (this equals one day in seconds), and it figures out the new time.

Basic Scheduling Inputs

You can schedule tasks using natural language or specific time frames, such as:

  • Fixed Times: “next Friday at 1 pm” or “1pm tomorrow”.
  • Relative Days: Like “5 days” or “4 months”.
  • Special Times: “tomorrow midday” or “tomorrow eod” (end of the day).
  • Combinations: “2pm next week Friday”.

Automator Pro understands special times (like “midday” for 12:00 PM) and synonyms (“coming” means “next”).

Handling Unrecognizable Inputs

If Automator Pro can’t parse an input (e.g., “every Friday”), it’ll let you know so you can adjust it.

Developer Filters for Customization

Automator Pro offers developer filters to adapt and expand upon how scheduling interpretations are handled. Here are the current filters and how you might use them:

1. Special Time Mappings

Modify or add special time expressions.

add_filter('automator_pro_custom_delay_synonyms_mapping', function($mappings) {
    $mappings['tea time'] = '4:00 PM'; // Example addition
    return $mappings;
});

2. Synonyms Mappings

Adjust or expand the synonyms list for scheduling inputs.

add_filter('automator_pro_custom_delay_synonyms_mapping', function($synonyms) {
    $synonyms['next week'] = 'next Monday'; // Custom handling for "next week"
    return $synonyms;
});

Complete list of keywords supported in custom schedules

All dates and times are relative to when the triggers in a recipe are completed.

  • Midday = 12 PM
  • Midnight = 12 AM
  • Coming = next (e.g. the following week)
  • Upcoming = next
  • Following = next
  • Tonight = today at 8 PM
  • Tomorrow night = tomorrow at 8 PM
  • End of the day = today at 11:59 PM
  • eod = 11:59 PM
  • Start of the day = 12 AM
  • Noon = 12 PM
  • Afternoon = 2 PM
  • Evening = 6 PM
  • Morning = 8 AM
  • Early morning = 5 AM
  • Late morning = 11 AM
  • Mid-morning = 10 AM
  • Late night = 10 PM
  • Early evening = 5 PM
  • Next week = 1 week in future
  • Next month = 1 month in future
  • Next year = 1 year in future
  • Day after tomorrow = 2 days from now
  • Weekend = Next Saturday
  • End of this week = this Sunday
  • Start of the week = Monday
  • End of the month = Last day of the month at 11:59 PM
  • Start of the month = First day of the month at 12 AM
  • Mid of the month = 15th day of the month at 12:00 PM

Errors and Fixes

If Automator Pro doesn’t understand the time you told it, it will let you know. This way, you can change your input and try again.

Automator Pro’s time scheduling is quite smart. It understands different ways of saying when you want something to happen. Just tell it a time or a date, and it’ll do its best to understand and set up your task. If you keep it simple and use the examples above as a guide, you’ll be all set to schedule your tasks easily.

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