Owen Linzmayer doesn’t like the way Login Items cannot be temporarily disabled or skipped in OS X; either you load all of the ones you have set up in the Accounts Prefs, or hold down shift during login and don’t load any of them. This can be troublesome if you’re out on the road and don’t want to load up all the stuff needed to operate peripherals that aren’t connected.
Well, Owen has a point there, but as soon as I read his complaint a simple solution popped into my head.
The first thing to do is crank up Automator. We’re going to create several different short workflows. Let’s assume Owen has two different work environments he wants to use regularly - Office, and On The Road.
For each environment, he can make an Automator workflow that loads up a pre-selected group of applications, folders and individual files if necessary, using the simple combination of actions as follows:
- Get specified Finder items (add as many as you want to the list)
- Open Finder items
Owen can make one of these for Office, and one for On The Road. And half a dozen more, if he wishes. Each one should be saved as an Application, and for the sake of the next step, in a particular place - I’ll suggest a new folder called “Where Am I”, inside the top-level Applications folder.
Now to finish things off, with another simple workflow:
- Ask for Finder items (have the prompt say something like: “Where are you today?”, and the Start At folder set to the “Where Am I” folder created in the previous step)
- Open Finder items
This should also be saved as an application, in the Applications folder, and then this workflow can be added as a Login Item for Owen’s account.
The result? Every time Owen logs in, his computer asks him: “Where are you today?” and displays an Open… dialog with his various setups. He selects the appropriate one, and everything he needs is loaded up ready for work. As a bonus, these working environments can be invoked at any time by simply launching them with Quicksilver.