Automate the Creation of Pipeline Tables with Workflow

I’ve been using pipelines for a few years now, primarily for this site. If you don’t know what pipelines are, you can check out this post where I go into them in detail. In short, pipelines are a chronologically ordered table that let you quickly see what you have to do next. For example, I have a pipeline for this site with all the posts in order, and it lets me see with a glance the status of the post, the date I need to publish it, as well as extra notes. It’s a really good way to keep on top of a structured schedule.

One issue I had with pipelines is that it took ages to make the tables – filling in the dates for the next few months was a pain, as was filling in the statues column. However, I spent some time to create a Workflow that allows you to quickly create a pipeline table. It’s fully customisable, and I have it to make a new column every Saturday.

I’m going to go through the Workflow in detail here. If you want to customise the Workflow for your own schedule, I suggest you read this to know what’s going on. The Workflow by default makes a row for every Saturday for 26 weeks. This can be changed, and it’s pretty easy to do so. Also, the Workflow will save the table to Evernote – you can use a different service too, just make sure that it supports rich text.

The Workflow first asks you to input a date. This is saved as a date into the variable OriginalDate. The variable OriginalDate is gotten, and adjusted by 7 days (so the next Saturday). It is formatted into the long date format, and given the variable Day2 and CurrentDay. If you want to change the day to show in the table, you can simply set whatever day you want in the input box. Also change the title to that day so it looks neat.

Then, the variable CurrentDay is gotten and 7 days is added on top, and then formatted into the long date format. Then, it is set in the CurrentDay variable, and added to the Dates variable. This is repeated 26 times (adjust this to set how many weeks you want to appear in your table). The variable CurrentDay is overwritten so that 7 days are added to the latest repeat of the day, and then all the days are stored in the Dates variable.

After the repeat, the variable Dates is split up into new lines, and with each line the variable Line is set, and then each line split of into its own variable. This is added to a preformatted text box, which looks like: | Saturday (Line) | | TO WRITE | |. This is a markdown table, and the Line variable adds the date to the column. If you want to use a different day, change ‘Saturday’ to whatever date you want.

Then, each line of the table is combined into the final variable, TableOfTruth (yes, I know a stupid name). This is then placed into a text box, which has the date you input along with the variables that make up the table. As the table is formatted as markdown, it is then converted to rich text, and then saved into Evernote. The table has columns for the Date, Title, Status and notes for the task. I’ve been using pipeline tables for a while, and you can check out what the Workflow creates below (note that I have formatted my tables top row in Evernote).

The Workflow is available to download here.

It was a hard Workflow to make, but adjusting it to your needs should be pretty easy. If you need any help editing it or have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.