I was hunting for a way to create an automated shortcut to an Apple Note (still hunting), and stumbled on a bunch of other shortcuts that seemed like they would be great to share here… so I’ve rounded up some of the best Apple shortcuts to help you at work!
(Hopefully not a shortcut for work, but: did you know that if you’re being pulled over you can say, “Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” and it triggers 18 separate actions including a darkened screen but constant recording, sending a message with your location to a friend, and more? Business Insider and CNet both have more details.)
As Business Insider noted:
Shortcuts are one of the most underappreciated features for the iPhone and iPad. Using the Shortcuts app, you can automate common tasks and daisy chain apps to work together with a single command. Some shortcuts are immensely useful and can come in handy multiple times each week. Others can improve and simplify the experience of using your phone, making you wonder why you didn’t start using the shortcut much sooner.
You can run shortcuts directly from the Shortcuts app, but it’s a lot more convenient to start them by voice with Siri or by adding your favorite shortcuts as widgets to the iPhone’s Home page. A few shortcuts are special cases and are best run from the Share page within the app where the shortcut is designed to work.
You can also check out Apple’s guide to shortcuts.
Note that you have to have the Shortcuts app installed; it’s been preinstalled on a lot of the newer phones. Speaking of, if you take a lot of pictures (of kids, pets, whatever) and haven’t upgraded to the 3-camera system like the ones in the stock photo above, you are missing out — it’s so, so much better than the old one.
Two other important notes: every source advises to beware untrusted shortcuts — you won’t be able to install them without installing something else. The other thing is that if you’re creating an automation (like my morning wake-up playlist) I like to check it immediately after creating it by making the initial time about 5 minutes from now.
Apple Shortcuts to Help You During Your Workday (Whether You’re Remote or In the Office)
(All links go to the shortcut, so this part might be easier to read on your iPhone, although there are more descriptions of what the shortcut does if you open it in Chrome. The links seem to be a little finicky — they all go to the correct place but you may get an error message at first; keep trying.)
- Create a PDF out of anything. This is already super easy to do in the Notes app, but you can make it even easier by making it a shortcut.
- Create Meeting Note – this looks up the next meeting on your calendar, and add a new note if you don’t already have one so you can write down any thoughts or tasks
- Reflect on the Day – keep a record of what you accomplished for the day and set goals for the next day.
- Start My Next Meeting – instead of shuffling through your phone trying to figure out where you put the invite for your last meeting, this one automatically connects to the next virtual meeting in your calendar, creates a new nope in the Notes app, and turns on DND for the duration of the meeting.
- Check Spelling – this app improves on Autocorrect by checking your spelling and then offering you your entire message with corrected spelling so you can just copy and paste it.
Apple Shortcuts for When You’re In the Office…
- Remind Me at Work will allow you to remember something once you physically arrive at your workplace by displaying a note on your screen.
- DND Until I Leave automatically puts your phone on silent until you leave your current location. (You could also do this with an NFC tag, but I still have yet to explore that world!)
- Home ETA compares your current location with your home address and automatically texts the contact of your choosing what your Home ETA is.
Other Cool Apple Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier
- Create a GIF with your camera. In addition to being super fun with friends, I could see this being useful for quick tutorials (especially of the “how to get to the right screen/setting” variety) for friends or coworkers.
- This SOS “Express DoorDash” one looks really cool and gives you an easy and discreet way to message a trusted contact info like your location, what you’re wearing, and more. (The app is now on iCloud!) (Here are some of our other favorite personal safety apps…)
- Shazam++ gives you a bevy of options after you Shazam a song, including sharing it or opening it in Spotify.
- Search GIPHY and share supposedly helps you find the perfect GIF in seconds to share with friends… we’ll see about that.
Where to Find More Shortcuts and Automations
If you click on the Shortcuts app, then “Gallery” (lower right hand corner), there are a ton of different suggestions. I also had a ton of Automation Suggestions just for me, one or two of which I adopted. (This is how I eventually set up an automation to open a specific note at a certain time repeatedly!)
I’ll post a screenshot from my Gallery page below. Some other good sources include these articles from Mashable, CNet, Business Insider — and of course there is an entire Reddit subforum for shortcuts. (Keep an eye on Lifehacker also — as of this writing they only had a list of the best widgets you can put on your homescreen, one of the other big updates with iOS 14.)
Stock photo via Stencil.