Shortcut: Pocket Quote To Obsidian

One of my favorite things to do is read through all the items I have saved throughout the day to my articles. It gives me time to wind down and usually gives me something to think about, and where most of my link posts come from. Unfortunately I can’t find anything that reliably shares any highlight I make to Obsidian, although things are in the making, so I made a Shortcut.

Pocket have changed the way that articles are shared out of the app recently and make this much more accessible instead of hiding the URL. This Shortcut isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing I am sure it could be done better, but it works! All you need to do is highlight the quote you want to save, then select share via and tap the Shortcut.

Get it here

App needed: You will need to download Tool Box Pro at the moment because Shortcuts is unable to save files outside of the Shortcuts folder in iOS14 and earlier.

To set this up in Tool Box Pro

Head into setting, then set up a folder bookmark as your obsidian folder. Then in the Shortcut select the folder bookmark you have set up. Hopefully you wont need this much longer, and I will update the shortcut when iOS15 comes out.

How To Publish To Micro.blog With iOS Shortcuts

My blog is currently hosted on the excellent micro.blog service. I could go on about why I chose this place to host, but my thoughts are summed up on my post here. It suits me perfectly because I publish everything to one place, from short ‘tweets’ to photos and also all of my writing. Due to this ease of posting I do most of it mobile from iOS with the help of some Shortcuts.

Images

Pictures are pretty easy to handle on micro.blog. If you want to post one image with some accompanying text there are a range of apps to use, including the very Instragram-esc Sunlit. Meaning you can post whatever you want wherever you want.

If you are writing a longer post and want to put some accompanying images in it, this simple Shortcut has you covered. It will upload the image to your micro.blog uploads section and then copy the link to the image directly to your clipboard ready to paste into your writing.

Get It Here

All you will need to do is attain a app token by going to Account settings and scrolling to the bottom and clicking App Tokens or clicking here.

Text

No good posting something without any text. For Shorter ‘tweets’ a range of apps are available to making posting easier, however if you really want to speed things up this simple Shortcut for iOS will ask for your post and then…post it.

For longer posts with a title this simple shortcut will help you out. Simply highlight the text you want to post and share it it the Shortcut, it presumes you are writing in markdown and will remove Title formatting for you and use this as the post Title.

Get It Here

All you will need to do is attain a app token by going to Account settings and scrolling to the bottom and clicking App Tokens or clicking here. This posting really is one touch. There is no facility to add in categories (I may work on this later) but I use filters very heavily so these are well worth looking into.

Note: These currently do not work on iOS15!

Publishing To WordPress With iOS Shortcuts

If I can be allowed to stick my neck out a little here, I think the iPad is the perfect blogging device. The battery life is great, it’s very affordable, you can take it anywhere and interact with it in several different ways. In a pinch you can even take photos with ti, although you might get some strange looks. Publishing from iOS has also never been easier, and here’s how to do it with a couple of Shortcuts.

Images

Often choosing images is the hardest part of a blog post, once you’ve chosen them you have to upload them and choose where you want the go. Which can be a real pain particularly on a mobile device. WordPress is pretty easy to work with but means you have to stop what you’re doing and use either the web or their app to sort out images. This is usually where people give up, but fear not, the Shortcut below will upload your image and copy the markdown syntax for it directly to your clipboard.

This Shortcut was created by Mike Rockwell at Initial Charge. who has a whole toolkit of Shortcuts for publishers.

Get it here

No more messing around, simply select your image, use the shortcut and paste in where you want the image to appear in your writing. You’ll need to set up a Tiny PNG account with this one so you don;t take up too much space with your images and pages load faster, but its really easy to do. In fact because this Shortcut is so simple I sometimes now upload the images I want to use and paste them in first.

Publishing To WordPress

Once all the words are finished, the final step is to publish your posts. This usually involves copying the text, opening the web browser, logging in and going through the various steps of actually getting everything out there. This can be streamlined down to a few taps using the Shortcut below. It is one I have shared this one before, which was first created by Tim Nahumck in his drafts review I simply updated it to use newer Shortcuts methods.

Get it here

This Shortcut will transfer all the text into a new blog post for you, as well as set the title correctly, remove any extra spacing and then ask you to confirm categories and tags. Meaning you don’t have to rely on using a app with publishing built in, you can now write your post out in any app you like such as Apple Notes.

There you have it, you can publish to WordPress with a few taps thanks to Shortcuts on iOS.

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.

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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 1Download 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 1Download 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 1Download 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 1Download 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 1All 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.