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Scheduling Bunches

Available Keys

You can use Bunch like an alarm clock or timer by making use of some frontmatter keys in your Bunch files.

open at Set a time to open this bunch daily
close at Set a time to close this bunch daily
open on Set a weekday and time to open weekly
close on Set a weekday and time to close weekly
open every Repeat open at intervals
close after Set an interval after which to close

Bunch will always read in these keys and set the alarms and timers when it launches, so it doesn’t matter if you quit the app in between scheduled launches.

Bunches with active schedules will have a timer icon after their title in the menu.

Schedules, Screensavers, and Sleep

Bunches scheduled to open or close automatically will work while the screensaver is running or the display is asleep, but will not wake the display or stop the screensaver.

If your Mac is asleep at the scheduled time, it will run when the machine wakes. Bunch will not wake your machine automatically.

Open at intervals

The open every key runs the Bunch at timed intervals. The value should be shorthand for hours and minutes to create an interval: 1h30m would run it every hour and a half. You can also just use 1h or 30m.

You can also use “d” to specify days. If you want to launch every other day, use “2d”. This, however, does not allow you to specify a time. So, for most intents and purposes you’ll want to use open at.

It will even let you do seconds (s), if you needed to.

open every: 1h30m

This can be useful for always-open Bunches, though it can be disruptive if launching apps and opening files takes window focus from what you’re working on. This is most useful for small Bunches that use things like Spotlight searches to open files, allowing them to be continually updated.

Close After an Interval

The close after key defines an interval to wait after opening the Bunch before automatically closing it. It uses the same formatting as open at, e.g. a time string like 1h30m or 1d. This will just start a background timer that will automatically close the Bunch after it’s been open for that period of time.

Closing the bunch manually will cancel the timer. If Bunch is quit, the timer will be lost and reset when the Bunch is opened again (even if it’s restored at launch).

Tip: Keep in mind that you can use % before app names to ignore them when closing. That means your Bunch can do things like turn on Do Not Disturb or toggle Dark Mode and then restore settings after a set period of time. Combine with an open option to toggle things on and off at set intervals. Apps that are already open will be unaffected by Bunch opens.

Daily Schedules

The “at” commands trigger daily.

Opening Daily

The open at key creates a daily “alarm” that will go off at the same time every day, as long as Bunch is running.

open at: 5pm

Time can be specified with a meridian (am/pm) or as 24 hour time. Whatever time it initially goes off, it will then start repeating at 24 hour intervals. If Bunch isn’t running when the time comes, it will not launch automatically again until the next day.

Closing Daily

You can also use close at to close a Bunch at a set time each day. open at and close at can be used simultaneously.

Weekly Schedules

The “on” commands trigger weekly.

Opening Weekly

You can specify a day of the week and a time to create weekly Bunches, great for end-of-the week reviews, or celebrating the weekend by shutting down Slack.

open on: friday 5pm

Closing Weekly

You can also use close on to close a Bunch weekly at a set day and time. open on and close on can be used simultaneously.

Natural Language Dates

All of the scheduling keys (other than open every) allow natural language dates and times. You can just write 1pm or tue noon and it should figure out what you’re trying to do. You can view the Console to see the confirmation that scheduling is happening. I don’t currently offer a front-end way to see what all is scheduled, but I’d like to eventually.

Cancelling an Automatic Launch or Close

Cancelling a scheduled launch

When launching and closing Bunches on a schedule, Bunch will attempt to show a notification 15 seconds before the action happens. Clicking the notification will cause it to the action to happen immediately, and there’s a cancel button to skip that scheduled launch until the interval comes around again. This notification system is only tested on Big Sur. I highly recommend setting Bunch’s notification style to “Alert” in System Preferences, they work much better for what Bunch uses them for.