A Couple of Shortcut Tips

My favourite feature that Apple introduced us to at WWDC this year was, far and away, Shortcuts. I’ve not left the app since it was released to the public on Monday. Workflow never really clicked for me, so I had assumed Shortcuts would be the same. This time, however, I made a concerted effort to really dig in properly and I realised very quickly it’s far more intuitive than it seems at first.

I’ve been meaning to (threatening to) start doing a few more regular posts here to share some ideas that I’ve either created myself, or to highlight some creations I’ve found around the web. This, unfortunately, isn’t that …

I did, however, think it may be useful to share a couple of small tips I’ve found really help when you start trying to build some more complex Shortucts.


As you start to get more confident with Shortcuts, you’ll want to start building more and more complex flows. If you’ve seen, or tried to create, any of the popular morning routine type Shortcuts you’ll see what I mean. Something that really helps with this, however, is nesting your Shortcuts within each other.

Nesting involves creating a small component of your Shortcut as a standalone element, and then creating a master Shortcut that will pull in your seperate sub Shortcuts. An example of this can be seen here:

Nested Shortcuts

Each of the referenced Shortcuts are quite long, at times, but very managable as a single entity. When you add them into an overall master Shortcut, however, everything is far more managable.


I’ve the last few weeks I’ve accrued about 200ish Shortcuts, all with different colours and Glyphs. It’s a mess in there! When I have a few minutes in the evening I’m taking a few minutes to review these to tidy them up, colour code and update the glphys to something more logical.

Something that may also be useful, which I’m also doing, is for you to ‘tag’ your Shortcuts. If you add a ‘Comment’ step to your Shortcut and then add something like #Automation you can then search for grouped / similarly tagged Shortcuts via … another Shortcut.

Here’s a Shortcut that can search for your tags, once setup.

I found this tag searching Shortcut elsewhere, but I can’t recall where now to give credit unfortunately. I would imagine it was either from Matt or Viticci.

Watch this space for more Shortcuts related goodness soon!

🎙️ 10: An Introduction to iOS Automation

I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the the Shortcuts app, finally, when iOS 12 launches on Monday. Automation on iOS is going to be pretty huge in the coming months, I would assume.

The latest episode of my podcast, Upload dug into this a little, at a very high level initially, if you’re interested in hearing a little more about what options you have already on this front.

I reference this in the podcast itself, but this series will likely work better as a blog post, ratherh than a podcast, so I will be doing some more detailed iOS Automation posts here over the comings weeks / months.

Automation on iOS – An Introduction

Ever since I switched to an iPad as my primary computer, some time in 2014 (with the Air 2), iOS has been getting more and more powerful. Some _power_ apps such as [Drafts](https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/drafts-5-capture-act/id1236254471?mt=8), [Launch Center Pro](https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/launch-center-pro/id532016360?mt=8) and [Workflow](https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/workflow/id915249334?mt=8) have really cemented the OS as a bit of a powerhouse, in the right hands that is …

Over the last few months I’ve been building up a bit of an arsenal of powerful automations and tweaks, powered by the apps mentioned above, and some others that I will get to at a later date. It’s got me even more excited about a platform that I am already 100% behind and invested in. So much so that I wanted to start putting together some posts about the various setups and tweaks I have currently. I should take this opportunity to caveat that many of the actions and automations I’m going to discuss on this blog over the coming weeks have either been created by other (far smarter) people or are based on others code that I’ve since copied and modified. I will, of course, detail who created the originals or what site I may have found the inspiration from as I go along.

These posts will be broken down into the following areas:

– Scriptable (a very smart app that’s currently in beta)
– Launch Center Pro
– Drafts
– Workflow / Shortcuts

This is, in all likelihood, the order they’ll be posted in as well so keep an eye out over the coming days for the **Scriptable** post and I hope you enjoy the series!