Update to Creating Contracts

This post is an update to “Creating Contracts”.

Since I lasted posted about my methods of creating contracts, I’ve made some changes. However, the vast majority of my process remains the same. Since I’m still using it after several months, I believe that this automation is here to stay!

One of the things that I’ve changed involves how my reminders end up in OmniFocus. If you remember, my Shortcut adds reminders to send the contract, add the musician to the roster, the date their contract is due back, and a reminder for me to send them a copy of their completed contract once it is all done. Now, obviously I can’t send them a copy of their completed contract until they return it. OmniFocus does not have a built in way to have one task dependent on other unless you are using sequential projects. However, a genius named Kaitlyn Salzke came up with a method to fix this. Visit her website here to see how to set this up (and learn more about some of the other awesome things that she has come up with!).

Using Kaitlyn’s method, I’m now able to make sending the completed contract out dependent on receiving the contract, so its hidden in my to do list until I check off that it’s been received. The date that the contract is due is still there though, so I remember to start pestering the musician if the contract isn’t in my email inbox by that date.

Another thing that I have changed is that I have combined the two separate Zaps that I was using before. I’ve found it’s faster if Zapier has instructions to download the file immediately after it’s been created, instead of waiting for a separate Zap to be triggered. This isn’t a big change, but it still saves time.

Previously, I had Hazel converting the Word documents into PDFs. However, this started to become inconsistent and didn’t always work the way I wanted. I discovered that Zapier will allow you to download a Google Document as a PDF. So, now Zapier downloads both a Microsoft Word copy and PDF copy of each template.

Once the contract is in my Dropbox, Zapier now sends me a Pushcut notification. This Pushcut notification is linked to a new Shortcut that I created. When I press this notification, it prepares an email for me to send out the contract to the proper musician.

Here’s how it works:

Zapier can connect directly to your Pushcut account. I have it create dynamic text to tell me who’s contract is ready, using information that it’s pulling from my initial webhook that Shortcuts gave it. It takes information from Airtable that I want to use in the email, and puts these into the “Input Parameter” field, with each variable as a different line.

Then, we use a Shortcut. It pulls the input parameters that we gave Zapier and splits them up as different variables by line.

Then, Shortcuts will “Get” the file and give me a preview of it as a Quick Look. From there, I have a text block with the text I want to use for the email, using the variables for first name and the concert date. Then I use “Send Email” with the text, the file, and the variable from Zapier with the musician’s email.

Then the email pops up with everything completed. I have a chance to proof it over and then hit send.

I’m currently working on elaborating this to give me a method to say if the contract looks ok or not, and open up the Word document for me to edit if needed. I’ve gotten it where the Word document will open, but it keeps coming up as a “Read Only” file. Let me know if you come up with a method of doing this!

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