I still can’t decide where I want to put my time. Do I follow mastodon users on Micro.blog or follow micro.blog users on Mastodon? At the minute I’m doing both, and thankfully it’s straightforward to find any ActivityPub users on Micro.blog. Even easier with the handy Shortcut!
All you have to do is find the user’s account and run the Shortcut. You need to highlight the user’s account address in Safari and share the webpage to the Shortcut. This is especially handy for people with a complicated instance address. If this isn’t possible, just type (or paste) in the handle when asked.
The Shortcut will then convert the address to the correct format and search micro.blog. From there you can follow the account easily, just make sure you’re signed in. All of your accounts in one place, like magic. That’s interoperability for you!
Undoubtedly, the biggest thing I was looking forward to with the macOS Monterey update was Shortcuts. It promises to be the final piece in automating the Apple universe. Admittedly, it is a bit hit-and-miss, feeling as if it’s still in beta, but most things work well. My favourite part is pinning Shortcuts to the menu bar, and this is my favourite one.
In creating this Shortcut, I took inspiration from Gabrizio Rinaldi’s version that I found via The Birchtree Bark Newsletter. However, I wasn’t happy with just starting the screensaver. This is fine if you are working from home, but I work in an office and regulations dictate my workstation must be locked when I am not at it. This took a bit of work as older versions made for Automator no longer work, but step forward some simple Apple script to save the day.
This small shortcut will quit all apps, put the volume down to 0 (no one wants to hear your Mac pinging when you’re at home) and also lock your Mac. You can leave some apps running if you need to by customising the first step in the Shortcut. All you need to do is click on ‘choose’ and select any apps you want to keep running.
You will need to give Shortcuts permission to run scripts. Also make sure this is pinned to the menu bar as if you try to run it from within Shortcuts the last part will not work as the app has been killed halfway through!
You are welcome to add in other automations on the end of this, like Gabrizio did, such as switching off HomeKit enabled lights or putting the heating up a bit for when you get home. I debated playing a sound clip to signal me clocking out, but I might use this a few times a day so I didn’t want to annoy myself! It would be great to see what you do, so let me know.
Update: Slight tweek to make sure the whole script can run.
I’ve made no secret that I have been crying out for the ability to add attachment to Things 3. I love the app but this is the only thing that is keeping me using Todoistfor work related reminders. I have tried loads of different options and work arounds, been helped out along the way, but could never find something good enough. This isn’t perfect but the best way is to use Bear to add files as attachments to Things.
Bear has a great implementation of file attachments to notes, you can clip pretty much anything you wish. The app will then show file links inline, allowing for other notes and attachments to be placed as desired. Thanks to the developers love of URL schemes you can then link to the note from Things. You can do all this manually but you came here for the Workflow!
This can be run from the today widget, provides the file picker, and once you’ve decided on your attachment it gets to work. The file name will be used for a note in Bear, and of course an item in Things with a link back to the note.
Despite the need for a work around it actually allows you to clip a few attachments and also make notes alongside for a pretty great experience. I have my fingers crossed for Cultured Code to add in attachments, but they seem adverse to adopting the feature.
This is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence, I’m on a roll creating Workflows to make my writing easier. This latest one uses my new todo app Things and my favourite notes app Bear to make sure I catch all the ideas I have for blog posts.
Thats not to say it can’t be used for other things, reminders that you need to add a lot of text in. An idea you need to expand on later, whatever it is this Workflow will make sure you don’t forget about it.
Once you’ve downloaded the Workflow obviously you will need Bear Notes app. If you’re unsure on what it is and if it’s worthwhile check out my review first. Unless you want to sync between devices or export in PDF the app is completely free. Don’t forget to grant access to Bear in Workflow before you try and run it!
The Workflow will ask you for a title for your idea, and then for any extra notes you want to add. Once these are added it will create a new Bear note with your idea title and notes, then create a new Things todo with the same title. In the Things item there will be a link to the Bear note and also a reminder set for this evening.
You can of course remove the reminder but I find it really handy to set one for later on so I can flesh out the idea further and most importantly I don’t forget about it!
The Workflow takes full advantage of the new automation and URL scheme added into the 3.4 update. For extra customisation you can edit the URL at the bottom with all sorts of extras. For hints and tips how to do this check out the link builder on the Things support page.