A Siri Shortcut to Tell Me What to Say to Siri

November 15, 2018 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I'm still not completely comfortable with Siri Shortcuts. They come with a bit of embarrassment in public places and occasionally fail to actually run. But, I can already tell that this is the future of interacting with my mobile device.1

My problem soon became that I had more Siri shortcut phrases than I could remember. It's a bigger problem than remembering keyboard shortcuts for me, because I can't develop spatial memory that makes it automatic to trigger without remembering the exact phrasing. I often get my trigger phrases wrong for Siri Shortcuts and then just become one more old guy arguing with an inanimate object on the street. So I built a Shortcut to tell me what I can say to Siri.

It starts by creating a simple markdown file in the iCloud folder for Shortcuts. The file is just text that I enter for Shortcuts I want to remember.

Text file

The Shortcut is just two actions. It reads the markdown file from iCloud Drive and then displays the text as the result. Nothing fancy here.


My trigger phrase for this is "what can I say." This is not ideal, because if you ask Siri "what can I say to Siri" it will respond with a different answer listing a variety of unrelated Siri requests. But I figure it's easier for me to memorize this one phrase than to try to remember the dozen or so other phrases.

What can I say

I will also suggest that everyone try the built in Siri phrase "what can I say to Siri" and then browse the list. Most of it was irrelevant to my life but there were a few real surprises.

Siri Selections

  1. If Apple continues development and integration. That's a big "if"