In episode 30 of Automators David and I thought we’d share a few of our recent automations with you – as well as updating my TextExpander outputs to accommodate a switch in my email addresses I had some fun with Shortcuts!
In episode 29 of Automators we got to talk to Adam Tow – creator of awesome automations. I met Adam at the Automators WWDC meetup this year and he demoed some of his wonderful shortcuts for me. I’ve seen them before and even tried them out, but once I saw Adam demoing them David and I knew we had to get him on the show to share how this all works!
Adam walked us through a few of his amazing automations:
- MsgFiler: A way to file messages in Mail extremely quickly. I’ve been trying this since we recorded and I’m sold, I’ll admit I love using the keyboard and tend not to reach for the mouse unless I have to but this is a great utility!
- Photo Magic: Adam has an amazing setup whereby photos taken on his DSLR end up automatically sent to him via iMessage, added to Photos, uploaded to Google Photos, oh, and the RAW photos are uploaded to Amazon too. Sounds crazy? There’s a bunch of very good reasons for this!
- The Dark Dungeon Text Adventure: Did you know you can play a text adventure game in Shortcuts? Or have it translated into (almost) any language? Adam made it easy!
For more details you’ll have to listen to the show.
As a note, in the show I said I thought you could get a public link to a Dropbox folder through Shortcuts. You can get links to files, but for some reason links to folders no longer works – this is a shame, but we can hope that Dropbox offer this as a paramaterised Shortcut in iOS 13.
Thanks to our sponsor for this episode:
- TextExpander, from Smile: Unlock your productivity with TextExpander. Get 20% off with your first year.
In Automators 27 David and I did the thing we do best: ignore all the advice, install the betas, suffer for it, but in the end we got you the goods on Shortcuts in iOS 13 and what it’s really like!
One of the things we love in this new version of Shortcuts is the replacement of
Get Variable with this new sentence format in each action.
I know in the episode I said I would do a video on this, but I think these screenshots explain it much better than a video would have! It’s now much easier to see what you’re working with – and that’s better for everyone from Shortcuts super nerds to people just poking around who find it installed on their devices after they update the OS in September.
I hope you enjoy listening to the episode – David and I are both running developer beta 3 now!
One note: I said in the episode that I wasn’t able to run Shortcuts from notifications (e.g. with triggers like time) – beta 3 resolved this.
Thanks to our sponsors for this episode, Away and TextExpander from Smile.
In the latest episode of Automators, David and I dived into our home automation setups and went beyond “I can control it from my phone” to find out what things you can really automate, because that’s the kind of automation nerds we are!
I have personally been using Home 3 a lot to amp up my automations – this is what lets me specify the night time routine should only run if the kitchen light is on, and more. These things aren’t available in the Home app that comes baked into your iPhone, but this app makes them available and doesn’t require you to run anything else on a server somewhere to make it all work.
In episode 25 of Automators David and I sat down together in person, with the help of his suitcase and some shoes, we were able to record a full episode in person! Continue reading
In the latest episode of Automators David and I went crazy over AirTable – we use it to plan Automators which makes our life so much easier, that combined with the automations you can attach to this meant it was the perfect topic for an episode of Automators! Continue reading
What’s impressive about this app, is that I rarely launch it, but I’m pretty sure my workflow would feel broken without it. Timery has excellent integrations with Shortcuts, letting me start and stop timers as part of my automations without thinking. Whenever I run Shortcuts to put myself into certain modes (such as podcasting, or writing for my blog), as well as launching the correct applications, I also start logging my time. I also build in checks to let me know how long I’ve already worked on projects today when I end my timers – this is a not so gentle nudge that if I want to achieve my goals, I should invest an appropriate amount of time in them!
The main screen in Timers is your saved timers which serve three purposes, letting you start tracking a project, with tags and a description if you so choose, with just a tap. These timers are also donated to Siri (and therefore Shortcuts), and also display how long you’ve worked on those timers today. I find this screen great for both a quick overview as well as starting timers.
The next screen is Time Entries where you can see log of your most recent time entries. There are swipe options for these entries allowing you to delete or edit them, as well as play button which lets you start a new time tracking entry with the same parameters.
The developer behind Timery, Joe Hribar, has worked extremely hard to make sure this app rivals the Toggl app – it has all the core functionality covered, as well as genuinely excellent shortcuts support. This means there’s full support for Workspaces, the premium Toggl feature which lets you helps you carve up your life further with tags and projects belonging to Workspaces.
The way I use Timery most, is through Shortcuts. I use Launch Center Pro and Pushcuts to send me notifications which I use to launch Shortcuts, and these shortcuts tell Timery to track my time for me. As all the saved timers can be used to both start timers as well as check the time logged so far on each of them this alone becomes helpful for tracking time. The Shortcuts support allows you to toggle “show when run” (this is the only setting on all donated shortcuts within the Shortcuts app right now) – this is used to show you the details of your time tracking, and it’s done in a minimalist way which makes sure I see the information I need and can dismiss the notification within a second or two at most.
As well as the saved timers in the app, you can also just start time tracking and add the details you want or need – which makes it easy to get going and then you can give it a title, project, or tags later before you finish (or after the fact with the Timery club).
The Timery app in its free state is excellent, but if you join the Timery Club, an optional in app subscription of $9.99/year, as well as supporting development of the app you get extra functionality:
- Unlimited saved timers, the free version allows you to have 4 saved timers (which in my opinion is a generous number).
- Edit all the elements of time entries from the last week as well as delete and duplicate them.
- Add historical time entries.
- Add, edit, and delete Toggl projects, tasks, and tags.
- Show your tag names in the saved timers (otherwise the tag icon is displayed)
- Custom themes, app icons, and dark mode. Dark mode can be toggled based on the screen brightness, sunrise, and sunset, or manually.
If you have no interest in tracking your time then this app is not for you, but if you’re curious about it, or have been struggling with it – or even if you already track every second and want to make your life easier, I highly recommend downloading Timery. It has made it much easier for me to track my time, because it is very simple to use – and in my case, it builds right into my shortcuts that I already use to launch a significant number of actions.
Timery feels like a much better-designed app than the Toggl app, there’s more data on the screen, and I can choose what data goes on what screen – as well as the Shortcuts that should be donated (instead of doing the action and letting it show up and then having lots of unnecessary actions in my Shortcuts app. Plus the developer is active and open to feedback and suggestions for improvement!
Timery is available on the App Store today, it’s a free download with an optional in app purchase for the Timery Club which is $0.99/month or $9.99/year.