To say that I love to tinker with my Mac would be a gross understatement. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my job. I love my Mac. Not necessarily in that order.
One of my regular tasks at Mac360 is to find worthy Mac apps that don’t cost much. As the resident Value Vixen™ I take pride in getting my Mac to do more with less. It’s almost as if I yearn for a Mac digital butler who would work for next to nothing.
The Butler Does It
We’ve all used a one trick pony on our Macs—a simple utility that pretty much does one thing. Dictionary. Preview. TextEdit. Time Machine. Our Macs are loaded with one trick ponies.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a utility that does multiple tricks?
Butler bills itself as the Many Tricks Pony. It is. Sort of. Butler is a digital utility for you Mac that helps you do a bunch of tasks that you normally wouldn’t want to do or wouldn’t do totally on your own.
What’s a butler?
A butler is a servant in a wealthy, large household. In great houses, the household is sometimes divided into departments with the butler in charge of the dining room, wine cellar, and pantry.
Uh oh. OK, maybe we’re rich in the sense that we have good health and use Macs, but I’m not much on wine cellar ownership and I’m scared of what crawls around in the pantry.
A butler is male, and in charge of male servants, while a housekeeper is usually a woman, and in charge of female servants. Traditionally, male servants (such as footmen) were better paid and therefore rarer and of higher status than female servants. The butler, as the senior male servant, has the highest servant status.
In other words, a butler is like Niles on The Nanny. So, a digital Butler on your Mac must be a surly, wise-cracking, live-in, pseudo assistant who manages to get things done with little fanfare.
Butler does that without the wise cracks.
Triggers And Tasks, Oh My!
Butler does its deeds using the Triggers and Tasks methods. The triggers are things like hot keys, or hot corners, or events, or the Mac’s Menubar, or pop-up menus. Invoke a trigger and an assigned task gets performed.
Tasks include launching apps, opening files, accessing preferences, searching the web, even managing bookmarks.
But that’s not all. Since you’re in charge of assigning the tasks there’s more work for the Butler than for you.
Add the ability to run AppleScripts, get multiple layers of copy and paste, auto enter text, auto keystroke, move and copy files from the Finder, even control iTunes.
See? Niles never did any of that. Butler can be customized in minutes. Butler resides in the Menubar and as a Docklet in the Dock, so it’s just a click away. The cool part is that you determine the tasks so it’s as if your Butler is made just for your needs.
I like Butler. Butler likes me. Butler’s not free. But Butler is true shareware. Use it. If you like it, buy it (not expensive). If you don’t like what Butler does it can still be used. You’ll feel like a plantation owner and may not sleep well at night.