When I meet with new clients, I typically take typewritten notes in the Drafts app on my iPad, using a template/checklist of topics I’ve created. In the past, I generated this checklist in Drafts via TextExpander, but I now trigger the template via a shortcut in iPadOS’s native Shortcuts app. I run the shortcut just before the meeting, and it automatically pulls the title of the meeting from my calendar, and puts that title at the start of a new note in Drafts. The shortcut inserts the date below the title, followed by my checklist/template.
I’m actually using three shortcuts to accomplish this, but they automatically run as one.1
Shortcut #1 – The “Launch” Shortcut
This first shortcut is the shortcut I run to start the whole process. It prompts me for the type of case my meeting will cover. Right now, I’ve only set up two case types, but I will be adding more in the future. The shortcut looks like this:
When run, this shortcut has a popup with two case types (“MVA” or “Misc”). I tap one, and my answer will determine which of two embedded shortcuts will run next as Shortcut #2 – either the “New MVA” shortcut or the “New Misc” shortcut (see below for these). Each of those two shortcuts creates a different template in Drafts.
Shortcut #2 – The Template Creation Shortcut
As mentioned, Shortcut #1 will run one of two “template creation” shortcuts, depending on the type of case I pick in the popup. So, for example, if I choose the “Misc” option when running Shortcut #1, it runs the following shortcut to fill out my template in a new Drafts note: 2
This shortcut does three things:
- The first step of the shortcut (i.e., the first block of the shortcut, above) runs Shortcut #3, spelled out below, to get the title of my next calendar event.
- The second step of the shortcut contains the text I want to appear as my template in a new Drafts note. The first line of this step pulls the name of the calendar event from the block above it. The second line calculates the current date and time. The third line contains the text/template I want in my Drafts note. I haven’t expanded the second step in the screenshot, since this will be different for everyone.
- The third step (i.e., block) of the shortcut creates the note in Drafts, containing all of the text from the preceding step.
Shortcut #3 – Get the Title of My Next Calendar Event
The final piece of the puzzle, as mentioned above, is triggered in the first step of Shortcut #2. That first step runs a shortcut (“Get title of next calendar event”) that pulls the title of my next calendar event from my work calendar. It looks like this:
The End Product
The end product lets me tap the “New Client” shortcut (Shortcut #1, above) to start the process. I’m then prompted for the type of case. Depending on my selection, a Drafts note is created containing one of two templates. That note automatically contains the appointment title at the top, followed by the current date and time, followed by the template. This all happens within a second or two.
Here are links to download all three shortcuts: