With the buzz around iOS Shortcuts, I thought it would be useful to do a round up of resources for sharing and discovering iOS Shortcuts, and for learning how to build your own. A number of galleries and exchanges have started to emerge in the past few weeks. Believe it or not, the app formerly known as Workflow was released back in 2014, so there are also a number of established resources worth knowing about.
New iOS Shortcuts Galleries and Exchanges
This one looks very promising. The developer was clever enough to add an API, so users can incorporate actions to automate updates to complex Shortcuts. That feature alone should make RoutineHub the frontrunner.
This one was looking likely for about a week, until Routine Hub introduced its API. Still growing, just not as fast. They have started to run competitions for signups too, which puts me off to be honest. You may still find some interesting creations here
By all accounts, this was one of the first galleries. It was setup by users on the developer Beta, so they had a head start. Unfortunately, it is still locked down to new users, which means it is not as useful as other repositories at this point. There is some quality control, nonetheless the admins have missed an opportunity here by not trusting the community.
May or may not be the newest of the bunch, but the one I learned of most recently. Expect this one to become popular, as it was shared in the recent edition of the MacStories Newsletter.
Helpful Resources for iOS Shortcuts and Automation
The Shortcuts sub on reddit is by far the best place to find information about Shortcuts. You might have to wade through some inane posts, and silliness at times, but it is worth enduring.
Although this guide is focused on Drafts, learning how URL schemes work will take your Shortcuts game to another level. The post has aged well, the author was a big loss to the site.
Anyone who has followed the Workflow/Shortcuts story will be aware of the role that Federico Viticci has played in popularising the app. More than that, MacStories has been a kind of vanguard of iOS Automation. In depth examples of advanced workflows and Shortcuts are shipped almost every week with Club MacStories. A membership will also grant you access to an impressive archive of Shortcuts.
I don’t often recommend official documentation. The Workflow documentation, however, was always very comprehensive. Curiously, Apple have not yet bothered to update the guide.
Other Repositories and Sites Worth Visiting
I have my suspicions that Rose Orchard is not one person, but more like Inigo Montoya’s Dread Pirate Roberts. How else can you explain how she seems to be everywhere at once? This particular Orchard instance collates automation links. It has slowed down a little lately, but there is the Automators Podcast for would be automation disciples.
In the beginning there was Workflow which came with its own gallery. Once Apple acquired the app the gallery was one of the first things to be culled. Innovations like this one from Jordan Merrick help fill the gap for a time. I published a brief post about the directory, if you are so inclined. Otherwise, there is also plenty to learn on Jordan’s own site.
This site hasn’t been updated in some time, but it still hosts a number of interesting workflows/Shortcuts that still work. I’m putting it here as it remains a little piece of Workflow and iOS Automation history.
Shortcuts for Students and Academic Nerds
There is a growing collection of Shortcuts on this very site. Some generic, and many more that are aimed at writing, research and study:
- Learning Workflow iOS, Automate Citation Formatting
- Automate Referencing with Zotero
- Citation Scanner, EZ Proxy and Docverter (Pandoc)
- Smart Reading Lists with Notebooks
- Notebooks App: Note Taking Shortcuts
- Shortcuts for Migrating Data from Evernote to DEVONthink etc
- Clipboard Shortcut for Bibliographic Data