Track TV shows with the TV Journal for Workflow and Day One

The spinoff from the Movie Diary; the TV Journal tracks and logs your television shows. This is my most ambitious action for Workflow yet and I've been craving to share it with you. Last time I checked it used more than 300 action blocks — then I lost count. Countless bugs found over beta versions – as an action that pushes Workflow to its limit – delayed its release, but here it is, the TV Journal.

This is not the first diary for TV shows out there, after the Movie Diary all sorts of workflows spawned to register activities but I was unsatisfied. Saving a TV episode was cumbersome in the approaches I chanced upon, you had to type the input for the show, then the season and the episode afterwards; another one for ratings and I hope you didn't hit multiple results in the search input.

I think this goes against how we watch TV series: sequentially. If you watch the fifth episode in the first season of The Americans, next time the workflow assumes you watched the sixth. The first time you trigger the TV Journal, you'll be prompted to add a new show – this is the only moment you'll have to type anything – and select the last episode you watched, give it a rating and you'll create a Day One entry.

Next time you trigger the workflow, you'll be prompted to either select a show or add a new one, in the former you'll select a star grade for the episode and you're done after two taps. There are two tricks to make this structure viable: one is a text file on Dropbox to store your data, the workflow creates, reads and updates the file.

The other is building a fallback to the nested conditional blocks. When you insert an IF action, you don't need to fill the Otherwise field, then if the condition fails, the workflow will skip the IF block and continue. Therefore, you can test multiple conditions with conditional blocks and run either an Exit Workflow or Alert block at the end of the chain if all conditions are met. This way you can filter and split a workflow, creating a general fallback that affects any negative condition.

You can download the TV Journal here. It is still a beta, but seems to be working fine on Workflow 1.2.1; I'm aware that sometimes the action doesn't send the series poster to Day One, yet I was considering an alternative solution to store posters on Dropbox and lift that bandwidth away from MovieDB. Maybe for an upcoming version, for now I hope you enjoy the TV Journal.