With the release of iOS 12, the Shortcuts app was released into the wild. Unlike Siri Shortcuts, through which you can assign simple voice commands to frequently used actions on your device,1 the Shortcuts app empowers you to build simple and complex automated workflows with a building block interface.
If you are intrigued by the power of the Shortcuts app, or you just want some inspiration, you’re in luck. Like the communities around other automation tools, Shortcuts users are generous with their creations and have shared their shortcuts online in several locations. Here are the seven best places I’ve found so far for downloading shortcuts:
Macstories, the popular blog founded by Federico Vittici, focuses on iOS and the Mac with an emphasis on iPad productivity. Going back to when Shortcuts was known as Workflow, the site has been a great source for workflows/shortcuts. Good places to start are the site’s iOS automation section and the section for posts containing the shortcuts tag.
Sample Shortcut: A recent post shared a shortcut to filter a photo taken on the same day in previous years and preview it with Quick Look.
Club MacStories is a subscription service, with the main benefit being a weekly newsletter emailed to club members. A subscription gives you access to the back catalog of newsletters, too. Most newsletters now contain some shortcuts, and there’s been talk of a special shortcuts repository for club members, presumably to replace the Workflow Essentials Archive (membership required to view).
Sample Shortcut: Episode 145 of the weekly club newsletter (membership required) contained a shortcut to save any kind of document as a new note in the app Keep It.
Shortcutsgallery is a repository of shortcuts, with an option to filter the available shortcuts by category. You can also visit a “Most Popular” section. If you want to submit your own shortcut, there is a submission page. That page indicates it can take up to 24 hours for a submitted shortcut to appear in the overview, so I presume someone reviews any submissions.
Sample Shortcut: Robert Petersen shared a Getting pulled over by the Police shortcut. The shortcut “pauses any music that may be playing, turns down your brightness, turns on Do Not Disturb, and sends a message to the contact of your choosing letting them know you’re being pulled over and what your current location is. It then opens your front camera to a video recording so you have a video record of being pulled over. Once you stop the recording it sends a copy of the video to a contact you specify, puts the brightness back up, and turns off Do Not Disturb.” Know the laws in your state concerning the recording of audio before using this one.
Automators podcast and Automators forum
Rosemary Orchard and David Sparks are automation masters. Every two weeks they release the Automators podcast, in which they discuss different automation topics. Episode 4 covered Shortcuts. The iOS section of the Automators forum is also a good source of listener-created shortcuts.
Sample Shortcut: Listener Darcy Sabatino recently shared a shortcut that links a new Evernote note to a calendar event. Find it here.
I’m not much of a Reddit user, but I frequent the Shortcuts subreddit, which contains a treasure trove of shortcuts available for download.
Sample Shortcut: For those of you who use Google Maps instead of Apple Maps, Reddit user andi51081 recently shared a shortcut that lets you send your current location to someone as a Google Maps URL, via Messages, Mail, or WhatsApp. Get it here.
Mac Power Users podcast forum
Sample Shortcut: Inspired by David Sparks, listener Joseph Welsh posted a shortcut in the MPU forum that causes your phone to greet you, give you today’s date time, tell you your device’s power level, tell you what city you are in (I guess in case you’re a singer in a band on tour), and tell you the Carrot Weather forecast for the day.
Sharecuts is another repository of shortcuts, billing itself as “a way for Shortcuts enthusiasts to find cool shortcuts and share their shortcuts with the community.” Submissions are currently limited to a small number of people selected by the site administrator, who plans on making the site open for everyone in the future, with curation and upvoting features. At the time of this writing, the site contains 21 shortcuts. Perhaps it will grow in the future.
Sample Shortcut: The front page contains a shortcut, shared by Rosemary Orchard, that you can use to backup your shortcuts.
Hit me up on Twitter if you know of any other good places to find shortcuts.
Yes, I know that’s a gross oversimplification.↩