Configuring my Stream Deck

This post was originally written in August 2021 for Hemispheric News; subscribe at the Patreon site One Prime Plus to receive this monthly newsletter and other benefits that are linked to the Hemispheric Views podcast.

Sitting in my OmniFocus task list, and my SkedPal task list, both for two long, has been one item:

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I have been intending to give myself two hours to do some new stuff with my Stream Deck that has been sitting in front of me for about a year.

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After an initial foray upon purchase, it has mostly sat unloved and unused. Plugged in and active, but I would forget it is there, and never use any of its little buttons.

No more! Clearly if I wasn’t using it, I hadn’t configured it appropriately for my workflow. Hence, the project assignment to review it. Despite that project I let it sit idle. Defer, defer, defer.

Now, today, I made progress. New buttons have been configured. The test will be seeing if I stick with it. I crafted some buttons for OmniFocus to apply various stages of kanban process to my tasks, as per this example from Omni Automation. Perhaps this will both establish a use for the Stream Deck and rebuild my love of OmniFocus which I’ve found to be on the wane in recent times (another story for another day).

On other screens, I have some nice buttons setup to construct my desktop in ways for different podcasting setups. Unfortunately, I forget to use these, and I even forget what exactly they do and how I have them configured. If I were to start today, they would trigger a Bunch script - but I don’t think they do that at the moment!

The best way I have found to leverage the Stream Deck is in partnership with Keyboard Maestro. Having a script in KM is the best and easiest way to build automations which can be triggered via a button press. Don’t use the native/developer created integration though. The KM-link plugin that is available through the Stream Deck app store (for free) is a much more versatile option.

So, enough reading, let’s look at some pictures of my current bizarro eternal work-in-progress Stream Deck.

  • This is my default page. It needs work. The IFTTT button isn’t connected anymore. I never use Pomodoros but I have a button for them. Sigh. The happy calendar is good, though. It is a calendar reminder system that changes colour and has a countdown timer as the meeting draws near. I got this from TJ Luoma over at the Mac Power Users forum.

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  • My “media” folder has some music controls and playlist icons. I need one for my Favourites mix. Half the Zoom stuff doesn’t work properly. I gave up bothering to connect my dSLR as a webcam.

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  • My podcasts setup page. Maybe I did use Bunch!

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  • My OmniFocus kanban management page that I’ve set up over the last couple of days. Right as I’m considering switching from OmniFocus to Things. Nice one, Andrew.

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Looking at these pages, it’s quite clear I need to dedicate more time to my Stream Deck. It remains an under-utilised asset.

Do any readers own a Stream Deck? Do you have any great ideas about how to use it? Let me know in the Discord chat room, because any inspiration is helpful.

Andrew Canion @canion