I'm fully on the bandwagon of using home screen shortcuts on iOS. The Automators podcast had a nice discussion about the pros and cons. Coincidentally I've been using a folder on my dock for iPad to get to my most commonly used OmniFocus, DEVONthink, Day One, and Fantastical screens. At least these shortcuts still work as expected so I'm sticking with them.
While I like working in all of these apps, all of my shortcuts are workarounds for navigation limitations in the app UIs. For OmniFocus I have two Shortcuts that jump to my most commonly used project views. I also have two Shortcuts for adding tasks. One shortcut opens a text box and accepts TaskPaper formatted text for creating tasks in OmniFocus and the other starts an OmniFocus task using the Shortcuts entry screen. Both of these shortcuts are much easier to use than the built in OmniFocus task creation screen.
Creating the desktop shortcuts is easy. Just open the options for the shortcut and tap the "Add to Homescreen" link at the bottom. It's a little awkward, but Safari will open with instructions on how to add the shortcut to the iOS "desktop." Unfortunately there is no option to add the shortcut to specific folder. These Homescreen shortcuts also do not sync across devices.
I originally started this dock folder for DEVONthink shortcuts that I use daily (if not hourly). One shortcut starts a custom search in DTTG. The big trick here is that the shortcut gives me the option of limiting the scope to my most commonly used groups and databases. This saves me a few taps in the app and gives me better search results.
Another shortcut opens a text input field and then creates a note file in DEVONthink. It saves me a few seconds and some mild annoyance that would otherwise keep me out of DEVONthink. They are "shortcuts" in the truest sense.
The real power here is that they are all in my iPad dock. On my iPad I can hit CMD-Opt-D to bring up the dock. Or, I can hit CMD-Space to start a Spotlight search. Here's where naming Shortcuts with searchable names really pays off. "DT" is an excellent way to quickly launch my DEVONthink shortcuts.
As a tip, you can use the arrow keys on an iPad Pro Smart Keyboard to navigate the results in a Spotlight search. Hit Return to run it.
DEVONthink sync continues to improve, with last week's update rolling out push-sync between devices. In my experimentation this is a very nice improvement for anyone running DEVONthink across iOS and macOS devices. This is how it works for me.
After a new DEVONthink sync is triggered on one device ...
I'll be honest, I enjoy reading productivity books about as much as I enjoy reading about riding a bicycle. I just don't find the advice very useful in my own life. "Productivity" books can feel a lot like a pyramid scheme where each subsequent author retells ideas from ...
While I'm frustrated by some of Shortcuts gaps, it has solved some long standing problems. I use apps like Drafts less because I can do basic clipboard transformations with Shortcuts, triggered by Siri. Here are a few the clipboard Shortcuts I use the most.
Paste to Drafts
This is ...
I like pretty much everything David Sparks makes. He has good insight and generally soothing style. But, like many folks I've mostly given up on Apple's iBooks platform. I'm happy to see David transition to an all new learning platform for his wonderful field guides.
Siri Shortcuts ...
As a college student in the 90's I was relieved to get a computer. When I finished college all of my documents fit on about three floppy disks. I think school today requires a bit more knowledge management and I can't recommend the Devontech products enough. Get 40 ...
I’ve had a frustrated love affair with OmniFocus for many years. My bonafides with GTD, task managers, and OmniFocus is easily discovered here on Macdrifter. This article is concerned with the latest version of OmniFocus for iOS. I dedicated myself to running my home and work projects with nothing ...
GoodNotes is a terrific app for handwritten notes. I often need a combination of diagrams, text, and plain old doodles for meeting notes. The advantage of GoodNotes has always been its excellent handwriting recognition and export. But, I've switched to Notability since a recent update that adds handwriting recognition ...
As of last week the single largest use I had for Dropbox was DEVONthink syncing. I have 10 active databases all syncing thousands of documents between my Mac version and the iOS version. With DEVONthink’s encrypted sync, I rest pretty comfortably knowing that my data is guarded against Dropbox ...
Just when it feels like interest in workflow automation is dying, I discover a terrific new site: Automation Orchard. The new site has a terrific navigation and crosses over between iOS and Mac through a single portal. I also like that the site aggregates links from other sites to avoid ...
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