Andreas “Zettt” Zeitler

Video producer.

about me

Hi. I’m Andreas. This is my short comprehensive self-summary. I work as video producer; improving the world of explainer videos. Motion graphics design, interaction design, screencasting, and audio engineering are dear to my heart. People say I’m passionate, hardworking, down to earth. My focus is on quality, equality, and elegance. I have a dedicated projects page.

My biggest management hero is Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece. Monkey is light-hearted, doesn’t take himself too seriously, but has a great goal — to become the biggest pirates of all. But him? Laughable! Despite all laughing Luffy consistently proves that he’s got his shit together. And that’s what I like.

List of pages

Workflow Workflows

Workflow for iOS has quickly become one of my favorite automation apps on my iPhone. I have never been very happy with Launch Center Pro because setting up URL’s always sounded like shit work to me. Workflow does away with all the URL nesting and complicated escaping, or not escaping. It comes with the drawback that the app is really slow, but that outweighs the annoying fiddling with URL’s that just don’t want to work.

This post lists some of my favorite workflows.

Open Camera App

This workflow, when executed, displays a list of most of my camera apps to pick & choose one to open. I mainly use ProCamera these days, but also Hydra is very common. When it comes to video, though, the camera used is a much higher influencer over the result, therefore the camera app is key.

Open Camera App

Shorten URL

The great thing about Workflow is that they integrate with many popular services such as Slack, Trello, etc. With those that aren’t available, users can run a Shell script on a remote server, or use (web) URL’s instead. Shorten URL uses the latter to shorten a URL with bit.ly

Shorten URL (not mine)

Markdownify and Open In

I use this to save the reference of a website in a text file that I want to use to study something further. This works wonderfully with Transmit iOS or Dropbox.

Markdownify and Open In

Due

Put simply this is a pick & choose workflow for my most used Due timers. The first one is my laundry timer. The machine runs 105 minutes. The other timer is for meditation; it asks for a meditation time on run.

Due

Edit Photo

Workflow has Aviary’s photo editor integreated. It doesn’t come with fancy stickers and fonts, but it does the job for a quick photo edit.

Edit Photo

Work Diary

Inspired by Dr. Drang’s Work Diary, I wanted something similar for myself. The basic idea is that I have a need to be able to recall when something “important” happened. Maybe you recall a time where you had an appointment at a doctor, cancelled it beforehand via phone, but only their answering machine took the call. Now the doctor wants to charge you. There are other situations as well, like when did we first meet, etc. All those “lifelog” events can be recorded with Workflow. As opposed to Dr. Drang, I chose to use a calendar instead. (Read more on lifelogging with IFTTT here.)

The calendar is called “Tracking”, and it’s a Google Calendar. The calendar is set to “hidden” in Calendars app.

Work Diary

Search Giphy

Need I say more?

Search Giphy

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How to Roll Multiple Projects in Multiple Companies

If you are like me, you’ve got more than one thing cooking. I’m always involved in multiple projects. Especially now as my newer(ish) role as producer, I’m getting involved with existing projects, and I get to see how other folks decided to plan and produce a show. That’s common in the creative industry, and for the past two years I’ve come up with a system that works so incredibly well that I want to share it with you.

One of the main issues is that I am an external video guy. I’m becoming involved with new projects and companies to see “their box from the inside”. Maybe you recall the saying:

think outside the box

That’s one of the reasons folks book someone for an explainer video. They need someone that is on the outside and communicates from a neutral outside standpoint why customers would buy a certain product. That is also the reason why I chose to have the saying:

We think outside your box

On the main page on zCasting 3000.

The only problem? It’s not that easy for us to think outside someone else’s box! Because when we get to know a different company, and their product, we know nothing about it. So we need to get in the box, check out every detail from the inside, only to be able to, then, step outside, and look it at it from that angle.

The problem? Every company rolls their own box! There’s always some sort of communication tool. There’s always something to coordinate tasks. There’s something for contacts, for email, etc. That is all fine and dandy. As a temporary coworker though, I always have to use whatever they use. That’s always a lot of hassle but it’s not that bad either.

Many many years ago, some folks had the idea of a SSB – a site-specific browser. On the Mac there is Fluid. Mozilla used to make Prism. There were others too, but to tell you the gist. These are apps that build apps that are only allowed to open one or multiple websites when launched. Fluid for instance can also have tabs (and browsers can have their own cookie storage which is nice for various security related reasons). The way I use Fluid is to make an app called after the name, project, company, partner, that I’m working with. And their logo as icon. These contained apps have the tabs configured and open to only interact with that company’s websites and services. This way, at the end of a day, you can simply close the browser, and you’re offline. Back in the office the next day? Open the SSB and continue to work!

Just is to make it super-clear. The way I use SSB’s is like so:

Company A uses Slack, Trello, and Facebook. The SSB has three tabs: Slack, Trello, and Facebook. Dead simple.

The only downside is that Fluid is outdated. Chrome can build an SSB, but it’s not so comfortable. Also newer, and more modern, implementations (using node) are not so comfortable for novice computer users.

Take your pick!

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Open iOS Tab on a Mac

This is going to be a quickie, since I’ve posted it so often in the post. Let me describe the problem, and then the solution.

Do you also have those moments where you quickly want to open a specific link/page/tab/whathaveyou on your Mac? Without iCloud? Something that works?

Well, then. This is for you.

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Day One Automation

Day One (iOS, Mac) is a nice journaling app that I like to use to collect quotes, as well as my life log. Recently I’ve been trying to “optimize” a couple of things, which means I’ve been removing and automating stuff.

The two command line utilities that are really helpful are jrnl and dayone_export.

jrnl

jrnl is in and off itself a diary software. It is nice enough to read and write Day One diaries. This means you can use the app to add new Day One entries using a scripting solution, like Keyboard Maestro, on your Mac without the Mac app itself. This means you can automate it. The app also allows you to export entries in JSON.

It allows you to use an external editor, such as Vim. It has advanced filtering. And so much more. The command line utility is a full diary app, with support for multiple diaries. So if quotes overfill your Day One diary, you can move all of them to a new diary relatively easy. (Read FAQ and Advanced Usage)

dayone_export

dayone_export is a great way to export, as the name implies, Day One entries to something else. This utility is great to make a book out of a journal. To customize the output you can setup export templates in the Jinja format. I’ll stick with the quote workflow, because that’s what I actually use it for.

In my case I want to display a random quote on my desktop with Geek Tool, or a similar app. The following command does exactly that, and it removes empty lines from the export:

dayone_export --format txt --tags quote --template quotes.txt ~/Dropbox/Apps/Day\ One/Journal.dayone | sed '/^$/d' > ~/.geektool/quotes.txt

Just in case you’re curious this script displays a random quote from the file (I’m also using this in a TextExpander snippet named aff – short for affirmation):

f=~/.geektool/quotes.txt; n=$(expr $RANDOM \* `cat $f | wc -l` \/ 32768 + 1); head -n $n $f | tail -1

This is the quotes.txt template:

{% for entry in journal %}
{{ entry['Text'] }}
{% endfor %}

No dates or anything, just the entry text. Most quotes are just one line too.

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The Wait, the Rut, and the Free Fall

Photo credit: Blue Silhouette

When was the last time you’ve been waiting for the ideal moment? The right moment to tell someone you’d like to work with them. The right time to tell someone you like them. The right time to split up. The right time to start a new business. The right time to ask your boss for a raise.

We always wait for the perfect situation to do these things. When the moment eventually comes we’re going to see it, and then we can ask, or act.

The problem is, the ideal moment never comes. It’s never the right time to split up. It’s never the right time to quit a safe job and do your own thing.

One could say he or she is waiting to have an exact amount of money on their bank account. Because only when that money is available, they can feel secure enough to take the plunge. But every time they are short, that money needs to be invested, e.g. a car repair.

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Share Location on iOS

I’m often annoyed that I can’t share my location universally from my mobile device. It seems ridiculous but you can’t generate a thing on an iOS device that universally translates to Android or some other user’s (maps) preferences.

Luckily Drafts 4 has a some new tags to read the geo coordinates.

Execute the action, the current draft will not be affected, and your current raw latitude and longitude coordinates are on the clipboard. You can send this to anyone and they can just paste the coordinates into their maps app, and they know where you are. Demo with Google Maps and Apple Maps:

A video posted by Andreas Zeitler (@zettt) on

This action has one clipboard action with the following content:

[[latitude]],[[longitude]]

Import into Drafts 4.

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Adults & Games

Photo credit: I love fall.

Games. They are for kids, right?

I don’t believe in this anymore. I believe that we humans never really stop playing. As some often say “the games change, when we get older”. But that’s not the main point of this post. Yes, they do change, but that’s all natural. This post is about the games that we used to play, when we were kids, that we now don’t play anymore. The literal games. Running, nagging each other, pulling hair, building sandcastles, and even computer games. There’s probably even sex somewhere between these lines.

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Done Moving

So, Andreas, What’s Going to Happen? A Clear Cut.

MOSX

Mac OS X Screencasts rests in peace.

🎯 Until further notice: The websites will be kept alive, the products continue to be sold, no new content, I support new purchasers as well as old customers, I’m looking for a new home.

If I find a new home, and it will be feasible for MOSX to create new content, you can bet that I will.

MOSX.Tumblr

The old Tumblr has been backed up and is being made available at tumblr.macosxscreencasts.com.

🎯 There won’t be any new posts.

The New Home: zettt.com

I resurrect zettt.com once more. If you are still reading, even through all the moving and changes, then my guess is that I know you in one form or another, and if that’s the case, then it’s hopefully not too much to ask for, to subscribe to a new site.

But in case you are still using a feed reader:

  • You can subscribe to the Atom feed here.
  • There’s not going to be a redirect from MOSX.Tumblr to here.
  • There’s a new Twitter account, where I plan to share links and the like from. I even made a super-ugly avatar for it! 💖

Clarification

This is going to be my personal, English blog! I don’t have much time to spare these days. Don’t expect a huge number of posts. I’m going to write about stuff that interests me personally. I have a wide range of interest. While I’m still into technology, automation, scripting, and productivity, I also do other stuff, too. I always have. If you’re coming from MOSX.Tumblr, you know that I’m not afraid to post stuff about meditation, exercises, life improvement, mental challenges and how to cope with them.

Check out my projects page page, or tweet at me.

Technical Details

This website runs Octopress, or Jekyll, if you will, with the MediumFox theme. Might be changing, we’ll see. If the feed changes, oh well.

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