Nested Folders Podcast ArtworkToday I’m launching a new podcast called Nested Folders with a friend of mine Scotty Jackson. Scotty and I met when we started testing early versions of OmniFocus 3 together, I believe our first real encounter was me helping him replicate a bug report so he could nail down the steps to email in. (Coincidentally this is also where I met Ryan Dotson who I ended up writing Build Your OmniFocus Workflow with – who would have guessed that people eager to do an early beta test of OmniFocus would also be good people to make productivity related content with?!)

Nested Folders is a productivity themed podcast, Scotty and I will be diving into all sorts of topics from project planning, to weekly reviews, when not to be productive and more. The Introduction Episode (0) and Episode 1: Checklisting a Project are out today! Episodes will come out every 2 weeks on Tuesdays.

I hope you’ll download the first episodes, give us a listen and subscribe. All of the details are over on the Nested Folders website, and the podcast also has it’s own Twitter account @NestedFolders which because I am an automation geek automatically feeds into our spreadsheet for feedback.

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.

Shortcut on iOS 12: Get calendar event, choose from list, get start time, get chosen event, get end time
Shortcut on iOS 12: Get calendar event, choose from list, get start time, get chosen event, get end time
iOS 13 version of the same shortcut
iOS 13 version of the same shortcut

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!

Episode 27: Shortcuts in iOS 13 – Diving into the Deep End!

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.

Listen to Automators 26: Getting Started With HomeKit


David Sparks and I teased it on Automators back in episode 17, and now the app is here: Timery, the Toggl app we all wish Toggl had made! the

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!
Saved timers
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.

Creating a project in Timery

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.

Tagging your time

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.
Timerys Shortcuts
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).

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.

App icons and theme
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.

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