Will you look at that! Stephen Millard generously created and shared a Keyboard Maestro plugin for Shortcuts on macOS. This looks like a great bridge to Shortcuts, which is still the best way to work with Apple Calendar data.
I consider myself pretty old school. I regularly read entire articles and often take notes if something is interesting. Once upon a time I made the terrible mistake of archiving entire articles in my text note archive. It was terrible because in most systems it makes searching more difficult. The better solution for me was to extract only the quotes that I needed for a note. I created an iOS Shortcut that helps with this.
One of the worst parts of traveling for work is using Concur for expense report submission.1 The entire system is obtuse and slow. But the worst part is that receipts are not accepted as PDFs. They must be images. While this is insane to me, there’s no arguing with a monolith. So I made an iOS shortcut. This is a dead simple shortcut. I select a PDF with the document picker.
A few weeks ago I was trying to share a link I copied from the Safari sharing sheet on iOS. Every time I tried to paste the link in a web form the clipboard seemed empty. I made this really simple but incredibly useful shortcut to solve the problem. The root cause of my frustration is that iOS treats URL sharing as a special case and the clipboard gets confused if I want text or a web preview, or some other version of a URL.
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.
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 one that saves me from opening Drafts and tapping one key. Don’t judge me. The trigger is a simple Siri phrase. While Drafts provides its own Siri action (added through the Siri preference) I prefer this Shortcut because it first test if the clipboard is an image before trying to save it to Drafts.
The Problem I’m a big fan of Drafts for iOS. It’s a terrific writing environment and it can integrate with just about anything through URL schemes. But, URL schemes have a major limitation when I write long blocks of text. A URL can only support a finite number of characters (around 2000). I want to export text from Drafts and send it to other apps as a Markdown file. If I have a markdown header line with a “title” defined I want the file to be named with that title.