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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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Every morning at work we have a standup meeting on the phone where we take turns talking about what we did yesterday and what we're going to do today. It's a common type of meeting and takes about 5-10 minutes if no issues come up and 15-30 if some do.

As the meeting coordinator, I type up the meeting minutes and send it out to the group immediately following. Every day I would create a new message, type in the standard format, and randomly list the order for people to participate. After months and months, it dawned on me that this is a case for automation!

(As an aside, my mail client of choice is the cross-platform Postbox. It's built on top of Thunderbird but more native and with better usability. I highly recommend it!)

Here's the AppleScript I came up with—it works like a champ and I have it hooked into Alfred so that I can summon the email with a few keystrokes:

-- Get a randomized list of employees
set employees to {"Michael", "GOB", "Buster", "Kitty", "Lindsay"}
set employeeCount to count of employees
set ordered to {}
	if (count of ordered) is equal to employeeCount then
		exit repeat
	end if
	set employee to some item of employees
	if ordered does not contain employee then
		set end of ordered to employee
	end if
end repeat

-- Set up message details
set standupSubject to "TEEM Standup Notes (" & (do shell script "date '+%m/%d/%Y'") & ")"
set standupRecipients to ""
set standupEmployeeList to ""
repeat with currentEmployee in ordered
	set standupEmployeeList to standupEmployeeList & currentEmployee & ": " & "

end repeat
set standupBody to "Duration: 

" & standupEmployeeList

-- Create standup notes email
tell application "Postbox"
	send message subject standupSubject recipient standupRecipients body standupBody
end tell

I checked and the AppleScript library for is pretty similar. I'll leave that as an exercise for you, the reader.