Shortcut: Publishing to Wordpress

This is one of my most used Shortcuts now I have removed posting friction and settled a little. Shortcuts is a really robust way to publish to WordPress and not have to use the Wordpress app or third party app.

This isn’t all of my work, and all the technical stuff was done by Tim Nahumck in his drafts review it just needed updating and tweaking a little as Shortcuts evolves.

Grab It

You can write a post in pretty much any app you have now. Use Markdown format though as the shortcut looks for # to set the title and removes all this for you. See my screen shots for an example of my Apple Notes publishing.

Shortcut: Find Apple News Original URL

This issue has been driving me insane for a while. Apple seem determined to keep everything locked into news yet there isn’t the out cry like there was for Google’s AMP hiding we’d addresses.

Still Apple news is surprisingly good, with a little curation effort, I just want to share the stories I like.

So I stumbled across this shortcut amongst lots of others - I don’t remember where exactly, but I will try and link when I find it. It didn’t work correctly anyway so I’ve removed all the crud people seem to think they need to put in for external updating and pinging servers and updated it to share the URL correctly.

Grab it.

7011130170 update: The original Shortcut was by jakebathman

Shortcut: Things Attachments Using Bear

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!

2018 05 15 workflow things attachments 1

Download 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.

Check out some of my other Workflows I have shared over time, these are steadily increasing as I find and make more. If you need any help or want to try and achieve something with Workflow head over to the subreddit and ask away.

Shortcut: Ideas To Drafts And Things

After giving it some time I am very happy with doing all my blog writing in Drafts 5. Unfortunately due to Workflow’s slowing updates, actions take ages to update and I have been stuck on a way to update my old Bear for ideas Workflow. Luckily using Drafts actions and the robust URL scheme I’ve been able to get this going again.

For this Workflow to work you will also need this Drafts 5 action. The Workflow uses the url scheme to create a note using your chosen idea title and notes, and also run the above action. This copies the open note URL and the notes UUID to the clipboard, ready to be placed in a Things to-do item.

2018 05 15 drafts things idea 1

Download The Workflow

The Workflow will then create a Things item with the ideas title, and copy in a link to open the Drafts note with a single tap. Last but not least you will be returned to your Drafts 5 note ready to tap away if you wish.

As with every Workflow, you can customise this to your liking. If you don’t want to be returned to Drafts, simply deleted the last open URL action from the Workflow. I have also left out an reminder or due date on the Things item, although I like to add in a reminder for later that day just to give me a gentle push towards fleshing it out a little.

Check out some of my other Workflows I have shared over time, these are steadily increasing as I find and make more. If you need any help or want to try and achieve something with Workflow head over to the subreddit and ask away.

Shortcut: Shopping List In Things

As I slowly split my life into different sections, and live a life with different apps for home and work – Things 3 has become vitally important. It takes a more relaxed approach than Todoist and allows me to remember things to do but not feel stressed about them.

So I’ve put together a simple Workflow to place a list of items I need into a checklist in Things 3. This can be launched from the Today widget so you can type in all the items, just tap return between them. Or more often than not my wife will text me a list or put it in a shared Apple Note, I can simply highlight the list and share it to the Workflow.

2018 05 15 shoppinglist workflow 1

Download the Workflow

After typing in which shop you’re going to the Workflow creates a checklist in Things to mark off once you’re there. Such is the power of Workflow and also the brilliant automation features of Things this simple base can also be easily adapted for a list of whatever you need to do, such as a project checklist or DIY tasks list.

All you need to do is change the question in the ask for input action where it says “where are you going” to a more relevant question for the list you wish to make.

Check out some of my other Workflows I have shared over time, these are steadily increasing as I find and make more. If you need any help or want to try and achieve something with Workflow head over to the subreddit and ask away.

Shortcut: Bear And Things For Ideas

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.

2018 03 13 workflow idea screenshots 1

Download the Workflow.

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.

Shortcut: Interesting Links To Things

Wow, well this adventure into the possibility of using Things as a replacement for Todoist is proving fruitful. That is not to say I couldn’t do most of these things in other apps, but the automation seems much more approachable. It also helps that people like Federico at MacStories keep giving me inspiration for more Workflows.  This Workflow simplifies one shared with MacStories members, and allows me to quickly add webpages that I want to read later, or ones I want to write about to Things.

It takes Safari webpage links, finds the article title and webpage, prompts for a tag and due date, then puts all of that information into Things for you to look at later. The date can also be input in natural language as discussed in an older post.

2018 03 04 things article screens 1

All of the information is then crammed into a URL which might look complicated but is in fact surprisingly easy. Due to the automation features packed into Things 3.4 the URL will open in the Things app and add in your desired todo item. Including article title, website information and of course the URL as a note, so you can pick up where you left off.

This simple Workflow is really easy to customise if you wish. I use one without a due date which can be deleted if you want to. You can also create a list in Things for all of these articles instead of adding a tag. Just change the long URL at the bottom to read &list= instead of &tags=.

There is a whole list of possibilities that you could build into the URL scheme if you want to take a look what Things supports head over to their support page. I will be sharing more Workflows as and when I build them so follow along.

Shortcut: Natural Language Dates In Things

As you might have gathered already I have been playing around with Things 3 from Cultured Code. After being a long time Todoist user it has taken a little getting used to, but the recent updates have made the app provide almost everything that I am looking for. One major missing piece is natural language processing, and once you have started using things in this way it is hard to go back.

In Todoist you can input tasks by typing as if you were speaking. For example typing into the entry field “Change the air filter next Tuesday at 8am” will add in a task of exactly that instruction. Where as in Things you have to tap through date and time options for a reminder at the desired time.

2018 03 03 things screenshots 1

Luckily there is a simple solution, and once again Workflow comes to the rescue. If you haven’t used Workflow before, grab the app (its free) and check out a few hints to get you started.

Workflow has an in built natural language engine so can do all the heavy lifting for you. I have put together a very simple workflow that will help you along. Grab it from the link above and put it to use, it’s as easy as pie.

The first prompt will ask you for a title for your todo, the second will ask for any notes you wish to ask. Lastly there is a prompt for the date for the reminder. This can process regular dates and also the natural language you desire, convert this into the format Things needs and put it all into the app.

You can customise this as much as you like with tags and projects. For more information on Things URL scheme and automation head over to their support page.