Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

Shortcuts Nirvana, Part 2

Published September 15th, 2021
This is the continuation of a very long article. I plan to finish describing my shortcuts by folder, about 355 in all. You can find the first part of the article here. Last updated 03/04/22.

Since writing an article on home automations and Shortcuts earlier this year, I have continued to find and make shortcuts and recently passed 800 in my library. I thought this milestone would be a good time to reflect on what I've been doing with these shortcuts and how I managed to gather so many.

Shortcuts App Icon

First, let me say that many of these shortcuts have really changed my life... for the better, as I'm sure Apple would be glad to hear. I spend more time in my Shortcuts app than I do in any other app on my iPhone at the moment, and having all this information available in one app like this makes it more accessible and rewarding. Sure, I have a lot of shortcuts I don't need, but I'll be focusing in this article on the ones I actually use, any automations associated with them, and what they do for me. You can find the list of folders in the first part of this article.

Quick Links

This folder has a number of shortcuts that act as quick links to actions that would otherwise take more time.

App Launcher: Something I read gave me the idea for this shortcut. It's simply a menu of my most-often-used apps, which I can then launch with a quick selection. I keep this shortcut in my Home Screen folder for ready access. It's much faster than browsing for an app. App Launcher Shortcut

Apple Feedback: I keep this shortcut handy because I always have a hard time finding where I can send feedback to Apple. This launches the Feedback Assistant app. Apple Feedback Shortcut

App Store: Arcade: This is simply a quick link to the Arcade section of the App Store. App Store: Arcade Shortcut

Shine Light: This handy shortcut toggles on the camera's flash bulb. If you run it again, it turns the flash off. Shine Light Shortcut

New! Screenshot: I wrote this simple shortcut because there are times when I'd like to ask Siri to take a screenshot rather than fiddling with the external buttons. It starts by waiting 5 seconds to give you time to get the screenshot set up and then takes a screenshot and saves it to your Recents folder in Photos. Screenshot Shortcut

Say Family: This shortcut counts down from 5 to 1, giving people enough time to assemble for a group photo. After it says "Say Cheese," it takes a picture with the back camera and saves it to your photo library. From RoutineHub. Say Family Shortcut

Quick Music

This folder has quite a few shortcuts, all designed to get music playing quickly. I'm only going to describe three of them here.

Automix: This shortcut lets you choose several options for quick music playing. It was originally designed to write a playlist with the selected music, but I've eliminated that part of the shortcut. I'm not sure where I found this, so I'm linking to my copy in iCloud. The choices are "Casual," meaning your whole library, "Artist," letting you select an artist from your library, "Genre", letting you hear music by genre, and "Year," playing songs you added in a certain year. I've modified the shortcut to in all cases play only 5-star songs. By default, the shortcut only returns 50 items, but you can change that behavior in the shortcut. Automix Shortcut

Latest 5 Stars: This shortcut plays 5-star songs from my library, sorted by the latest additions. This is nice when I sync my library with the iPhone and add a lot of new songs. This lets me hear the new songs first. I have a similar shortcut for 4-star songs. Latest 5 Stars Shortcut

Fresh Shuffle: This shortcut pulls from my library 5-star songs that I haven't listened to in the last 30 days. I'm not sure where I found this one. Fresh Shuffle Shortcut
Quick Music Artists

I have a slew of shortcuts set up to play particular artists. To date, I have shortcuts for the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Cougar Mellencamp, CCR, the Beatles, James Taylor, the Eagles, and Cat Stevens. I also have one for "Singer-Songwriters," which is a bit different because it plays multiple artists. Most of these have a 5-star version, a 4-star version, and one for both 4 and 5 stars. I'm showing an example using the Rolling Stones shortcuts. These shortcuts are great to use with Siri... a very quick way to start playing your favorite artists.

Rolling Stones: This shortcut gets my 5-star-rated Rolling Stones tunes and starts playing them. I believe this is based on a "Play Artist" shortcut in the Apple Gallery of Shortcuts. Rolling Stones Shortcut

Rolling Stones 4: This shortcut gets my 4-star-rated Rolling Stones tunes and starts playing them. Rolling Stones 4 Shortcut

Rolling Stones All: This shortcut gets my 4- and 5-star-rated Rolling Stones tunes and starts playing them. Rolling Stones All Shortcut

Singer Songwriters: This shortcut is a little different from the others in this folder. It searches my library for 5-star singer-songwriters' music and plays it. The artists included in the search are Carole King, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Graham Nash, Michael Nesmith, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson. Singer Songwriters Shortcut

Quick Music Genres

This folder has a lot of shortcuts designed to play music by genre. I discovered that making some of these is an extension of the "smart playlist" option in iTunes. Many of these shortcuts are "mash-ups" of genres that I've really enjoyed listening to. I'm giving an example of that with the Techno Funk genre. I'm also including a few other shortcuts that in one way or another conglomerates artists and genres into great playlists.

Techno Funk: This is an example of a "mash-up" of genres from my music library. In this case, the shortcut merges my Techno/Synth Pop and Funk/Hip-Hop/Go-Go genres. It's set to play songs rated 5 stars. Other similar shortcuts I have include "Philly Disco", which merges Philly style Soul with Disco, and Southern Soul, which merges Funky Soul and Deep Soul. The following two shortcuts are the same as this one, but for different star ratings. Techno Funk Shortcut

Techno Funk 4 Stars: This is the same as the previous shortcut, but set to play only songs rated 4 stars. Techno Funk 4 Stars Shortcut

Techno Funk All: This shortcut is the same as the previous two, but set to play both 4- and 5-star tunes from my library. Techno Funk All Shortcut

Northern Soul: This shortcut is a mash-up of four genres... Philly-style Soul, Motown-style Soul, Other Northern Soul and Soul Instrumentals. It's set to play only 5-star tunes from my library. Northern Soul Shortcut

Motown: You'd think this would be covered in the Northern Soul shortcut, but I wanted one that's specific to Motown artists, not merely music based on the Motown sound. So this shortcut fetches the following artists and plays 5-star songs of theirs from my library: Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Miracles, Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, Elgins, Isley Brothers, Temptations, Gladys Knight & Pips, Velvelettes, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars, David Ruffin, Jackson 5, Spinners, Eddie Holland, Brenda Holloway, and Barrett Strong. Because some of these artists recorded outside the Motown fold, the shortcut also specifies that the genre be Motown soul. Motown Shortcut

World: I've particularly enjoyed listening to this mash-up of my genres Reggae/Ska, Latin and Calypso. It pulls 5-star-rated songs in those genres from my library. World Shortcut


This folder contains shortcuts that pertain to the iPhone's settings. It also has some shortcuts for the Mac and the Apple Watch. I have automations set up for my battery life, with an automation every 5% of battery life. Some of these shortcuts are used in managing the battery as well as brightness in these automations.

Open Settings:

This shortcut provides a menu that's a window into the various screens in the Settings app. It's a quick way to navigate to a particular Settings screen. I'm not sure where this one came from. Open Settings Shortcut

Display Settings: This shortcut links to the display settings screen in Settings, which is one I seem to refer to more often. I believe this shortcut was made by the next shortcut in this list. Display Settings Shortcut

Settings Shortcut Generator: This nifty shortcut can be used to create a new shortcut for a specific screen in the Settings app. I include it as much for the innovative approach as for my use of it. From RoutineHub. Settings Shortcut Generator Shortcut

Max Brightness: This shortcut makes your iPhone as bright as it can be, toggling several settings as well as maxing out the brightness. Just the thing for a sunny day, but use sparingly as it will use your battery faster. From RoutineHub. Max Brightness Shortcut

Brightness To Battery: This brilliant shortcut sets the brightness setting to your battery percentage. I use it with Siri all the time, and it's built into many of my shortcuts for breaks and for the battery automations. It dims your display at the same rate that your battery declines, helping to save battery life. I don't know where I got this one, but I couldn't do without it! Brightness To Battery Shortcut

Super Low Brightness: This Siri command simply sets the brightness to a very low (15%) level to save battery life. I usually use it when Super Low Battery Mode is turned on. Super Low Brightness Shortcut

Super Low Battery On: This and the next shortcut are based on the Super Low Battery Mode shortcut from This one turns off cellular data, turns on low power mode, sets brightness to 15%, and turns down the volume to 15%. I use this in my Breaks and Battery automations and shortcuts. I also use it from Siri. I left Bluetooth and WiFi on, because my iPhone is pretty much useless without those. Super Low Battery On Shortcut

Super Low Battery Off: This and the previous shortcut are based on the Super Low Battery Mode shortcut from This one turns on cellular data, turns off low power mode, runs the Brightness to Battery shortcut, and sets the volume at 50%. I use this in my Breaks and Battery automations and shortcuts. I also use it from Siri. Super Low Battery Off Shortcut

Set Battery Charge Mode: I use this shortcut for automations when my iPhone is connected and disconnected from power. It lets me choose whether to turn Super Low Battery on or off and runs one of the previous two shortcuts. Set Battery Charge Mode Shortcut

Battery Charged: I use this shortcut in my automations for battery levels 90 and 100 percent. If the time is between 7 AM and 7 PM, it speaks the battery level; otherwise, it sends a notification. Battery Charged Shortcut

When Battery Falls Below 5%: I have this shortcut tied to an automation when my battery level reaches 5%. If during the day, it speaks an urgent warning about connecting to power. If at other times, it sends a notification. It also turns on Super Low Battery mode. When Battery Falls Below 5% Shortcut

iPhone Disconnected: This is another shortcut that's tied to an automation. In this case, it's run when my iPhone is connected or disconnected from power. It plays the "Approved" sound (see folder Sounds) shortcut (because I like the sound :-) and runs the Set Battery Charge Mode shortcut so I can decide whether or not to turn on super low batter mode. iPhone Disconnected Shortcut

Mac Sleep: This shortcut lets you sleep your Mac remotely. For it to work, you need to populate the shortcut's SSH command information and make sure your Mac's sharing settings allow for remote access. Once I got this set up, I find it very handy. Mac Sleep Shortcut

Wake Mac: This shortcut lets you wake your Mac remotely. For it to work, you need to populate the shortcut's SSH command information and make sure your Mac's sharing settings allow for remote access. Once I got this set up, I find it very handy. Wake Mac Shortcut

Change Watch Face: I use this shortcut as part of my battery automations. I run it every 10% of battery life to change my watch face. I like so many of the watch faces, it's nice to see a different one as the day goes on. Change Watch Face Shortcut

Water Eject: There are a ton of variations of this shortcut out on the web, and some are among the most popular shortcuts. I haven't had a need to use this one yet, but I tested it, and I'm sure it will do a good job of ejecting fluid from my iPhone should the need arise. From RoutineHub. Water Eject Shortcut

Share Sheet Only

This folder has shortcuts that can only be run from the Share Sheet. They only take input when you're in some application (like Safari or Photos) and hit the "share" icon.

Zip and Save Encoded: This shortcut takes files as input, and it first zips them up. Then it converts the files to Base64 format, copies the result to the clipboard, and lets you save the file to iCloud. I have a similar shortcut that skips the Base64 step and simply saves the zip file. Zip and Save Encoded Shortcut

Tweet Web Page Info: This shortcut gets the title and URL from the current web page and pastes them into a Twitter message window. You can edit the message before sending it off. Tweet Web Page Info Shortcut

Get Images: This shortcut pulls all the images from the current web page and displays them for you. You can select which photos you want to save to your photo library, after which the photos get saved to the album you specify. I don't know where I found this one, but it does have a credit comment inside. Get Images Shortcut

Find RSS Feed: This shortcut looks into the code of the current web page and returns any RSS feeds it finds. It shows you the title of the RSS feed if it finds one and copies its URL to the clipboard. I couldn't find the original source for this one. Find RSS Feed Shortcut

Change Text Case: This shortcut takes input from the share sheet and lets you choose how to change the text's case. It lets you choose Uppercase, lowercase, initial caps, and more. It copies the result to the clipboard and then shows the result in a Quick Look window. I'm linking to my version in iCloud since I don't know where I got this shortcut. Change Text Case Shortcut

Translate Input: This handy shortcut will translate into English any language it encounters. It shows you the translation and then copies it to the clipboard. I used this heavily in translating non-English shortcuts. Very reliable. Translate Input Shortcut

Apple Notes Clipper: This shortcut gets the title and body of the current web page (Safari Article) and shows it to you in Quick Look. It then opens a Notes compose sheet and lets you save to Notes. I believe this one comes from the Apple Gallery in Shortcuts. Apple Notes Clipper Shortcut

Safari Article to Mail: This is the same as the previous shortcut, but instead of saving to notes, it lets you compose an email with the current web page's article. Safari Article to Mail Shortcut

Get URL: This shortcut simply returns the URL of the current web page and copies it to the clipboard. Get URL Shortcut

Read Selection: This shortcut will speak whatever text you have selected when run from the share sheet. Read Selection Shortcut

Read Article: This shortcut finds the body (Safari Article) of the current web page and reads it aloud. Read Article Shortcut

New! Summarize: This shortcut uses the website and their AI summarizing algorithm to summarize a given web page. You invoke it from the share sheet in Safari, and it works most of the time, returning a 7-paragraph summary of the given page. I'm not terribly impressed with the summarizing, but it's still a cool shortcut. From RoutineHub. Summarize Shortcut

New! View Source Code: This shortcut saved my hide recently when for some reason Safari on the Mac wouldn't display the source code for my weekly newsletter. With this shortcut, I could easily view the source code in Safari on my iPhone and then share the code with my Mac through AirDrop. Source unknown. View Source Code Shortcut

New! Reverse Image Search: This shortcut does a cool trick: It lets you select an image and then do a Google search based on that image. So the results returned are a lot of images and links to the image you searched for, as well as to similar images. From RoutineHub. Reverse Image Search Shortcut

Shortcuts Items

This folder has a number of shortcuts websites and feeds for when you're looking for shortcuts. It has others that help when working with shortcuts.

Newest RH Shortcuts: This shortcut returns a list of about 25 of the latest shortcuts added to RoutineHub. Selecting one opens the RoutineHub page in the Safari view controller. This is a German shortcut from RoutineHub. I'm linking to my translated version. Newest RH Shortcuts Shortcut

Latest Update RoutineHub: This shortcut returns the list of recently updated shortcuts on RoutineHub. It's a bit slow. Latest Update RoutineHub Shortcut

RoutineHub Search Pro: This shortcut lets you enter a term and search RoutineHub for shortcuts. You can also search for shortcut authors. From RoutineHub. RoutineHub Search Pro Shortcut

New! Search RoutineHub: I wrote this simple shortcut because the previous one takes longer to produce results. Instead of showing the results in a menu, it loads RoutineHub in the Safari view controller. When launched, you just enter a search term to start the search. Search RoutineHub Shortcut

Share Shortcuts Feed: This shortcut displays the RSS feed for the website. It's nice because it shows the date of the shortcut in the returned list. Share Shortcuts Feed Shortcut

Shortcuts RSS: This shortcut gets three feeds at once... From RoutineHub, ShareShortcuts and ShortcutsGallery. It presents a long list, some of which have information about publishing dates, which you can choose from to open a Safari sheet. Shortcuts RSS Shortcut

Siri Shortcuts Search: This shortcut lets you search across several shortcuts sites, entering a search term and getting a Safari view with the Google results. Siri Shortcuts Search Shortcut

New! Shortcuts Searcher: This shortcut uses a custom Google search engine that indexes about 7 different sites with shortcuts. It's similar to the preceding shortcut, but is more comprehensive. You enter a search term, and get results in the Safari view controller. Shortcuts Searcher Shortcut

Shortcuts Websites: This shortcut presents a lengthy list of shortcuts websites. Great when you're looking for new sources of shortcuts. Shortcuts Websites Shortcut

Open Shortcuts User Guide: This shortcut is a quick link to the Shortcuts User Guide on Apple's website. Definitely worth perusing if you get serious about shortcuts, either from a user or a creator perspective. Open Shortcuts User Guide Shortcut

Shortcuts Release Notes: This shortcut links to the release notes for the Shortcuts app on Apple's website. It's interesting to see how the capabilities of Shortcuts evolved in the first few years. I'll be interested to see the notes for iOS 15 when they're released. Shortcuts Release Notes Shortcut

Open Discord Channel: This shortcut opens a deep link into the Discord app to locate the shorcuts channel, which is pretty active with new shortcuts. I found this one through Matthew Cassinelli's newsletter. Open Discord Channel Shortcut


This folder has a lot of shortcuts that are mostly for amusement: They simply play sounds of various kinds.

Apple Sounds: This is one of several shortcuts I've collected that play sounds from Apple and its devices. This one is the most comprehensive, covering iOS, watchOS, MacOS, TVOS, and more. From RoutineHub. Apple Sounds Shortcut

iOS Sound Explorer: This one is a comprehensive shortcut for listening to the various sounds your iPhone makes. It's fun to explore, after which it copies the sound file URL to your clipboard. I'm not sure where I got this one. iOS Sound Explorer Shortcut

Mac Startup Chime: Just as you'd suspect, this one simply plays the sound a Mac makes when it starts up. Having to restart my Mac happens so rarely that it's nice to play this now and then. From RoutineHub. Mac Startup Chime Shortcut

Approved Sound: I use this one in some of my shortcuts, since I like this particular sound, which happens when an ApplePay transaction is approved. I use the sound in my Meditation shortcuts and in my connecting/disconnecting from power shortcut. I think I got this on RoutineHub. Approved Sound Shortcut

Star Trek Sounds: This shortcut revives such splendid sounds from the original Star Trek series, such as the communicator, the transporter, the bridge, red alert, and more. I'm not sure where this one came from. Star Trek Sounds Shortcut

Star Wars Sfx: This shortcut has a few iconic sounds — both music and voice — from the Star Wars universe, including the theme and imperial march music. I'm not sure where I got this one. Star Wars Sfx Shortcut

Iconic Soundtracks: This shortcut plays part of the theme song from some iconic movies, including The Lion King, Mission Impossible, The Good, Bad and Ugly, and Pirates of the Caribbean. This came from RoutineHub, I think, but the site notes that the shortcut has been "abandoned" by the author, so I'm linking to my copy, which seems to work fine.Iconic Soundtracks Shortcut

NASA Soundboard: This shortcut has an incredible array of sounds from NASA missions, including the iconic "Eagle Has Landed" and "A First Step for Man..." from the first landing on the moon. If you're a NASA fan, you'll be delighted with this one. From RoutineHub. NASA Soundboard Shortcut

New! Built-in Sounds: It turns out that the iPhone has several hidden "background sounds", and this shortcut gives you access to them. The sounds are things like Rain, Ocean, and Stream. You can optionally set a timer for 15 minutes or for 1-2 hours. From RoutineHub. Built-in Sounds Shortcut

Sitcom Laugh: For those moments when a little levity might help, here's a shortcut that plays a typical sitcom laugh track. Not sure where this one came from. Sitcom Laugh Shortcut

Halloween Evil Laugh: This is Vincent Price's evil laugh, which I believe was used in "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. From RoutineHub. Halloween Evil Laugh Shortcut

iFart+: I know... I'm deteriorating into real banality here. But this may get a laugh if played at the right time and with the right people. I couldn't find the original source for this simple, but effective fart sound. iFart+ Shortcut

Test and Sample Shortcuts

This folder has a lot of shortcuts that I've started working on but never finished, as well as old versions of current shortcuts. None of these are worth publishing.

Travel and Events

This folder has shortcuts pertaining to travel and events, mostly using the Maps and Calendar apps.

Directions Home: This useful Siri command maps me home from wherever I happen to be. This comes from the Apple Gallery of shortcuts. Directions Home Shortcut

Directions To Next Event: This shortcut, great when run from Siri, finds your next event with location information and maps you to it. If you have more than one upcoming event with a location, it will show you the options and let you choose. Also from the Apple Gallery. Directions To Next Event Shortcut

New! Where To?: I wrote this simple shortcut recently because I thought it would be faster and easier to ask Siri to find something in Maps than locating the Maps app and entering a search there. When invoked, the shortcut asks where you want to go, and your reply can be a business name, an address, a neighborhood name, a landmark, or a city. The shortcut then opens Maps and shows the location with a Get Directions link. I'm amazed at how flexible the response can be, and Maps will still find what you're looking for. Where To? Shortcut

GPS Pins: This great shortcut lets you "pin" an event and its location to your calendar. You can choose among different kinds of events and give the event a name. The shortcut also lets you navigate to a saved pin. From RoutineHub. GPS Pins Shortcut

Directions To Picture: This shortcut lets you choose a photo and launches Maps to show you where the photo was taken. This only works for photos that have location information in them, which is true of all the photos you take yourself. I'm not sure where this shortcut came from. Directions To Picture Shortcut

Garage Park: This shortcut lets you enter detailed information about where you parked in a garage... level, lot number etc... and helps you navigate back to your car. From RoutineHub. Garage Park Shortcut

Travel Time To Next Event: This shortcut estimates how long and how far you have to drive to your next calendar event with location information. Original source unknown. Travel Time To Next Event Shortcut

Gary's Storage Unit: I have several shortcuts like this one, which simply open Maps and get directions to a specific location. You can make this kind of shortcut by opening Maps and navigating to a location. Then, open Shortcuts and make a new shortcut using Maps actions, and you'll find an action for the location you just entered. Very handy. Gary's Storage Unit Shortcut

Record Stores: I have several shortcuts like this one, which opens Maps and shows me nearby record stores. Again, you can make this with a custom Maps action in Shortcuts. Record Stores Shortcut

New! Record Stores Search: The previous shortcut shows you record stores in your current location, but what if you want to search record stores in a different location? Now you can, with this simple shortcut. It asks for a location and then will open Maps and show you record stores in that location. Record Stores Search Shortcut

New! Antique Store Search: This is the same as the previous shortcut, but it searches for antique stores rather than record stores. As you may have guessed, these are two searches my wife and I do when traveling or planning travel. You can modify these to search whatever flips your lid. :-) Antique Store Search Shortcut

Explore Nearby Landmarks: This shortcut searches for Landmarks near your current location and displays a list of sites. Choosing one opens Maps and gets directions. Source unknown.Explore Nearby Landmarks Shortcut

Charlotte Trip: I made this shortcut for a vacation and shopping trip we took recently. It presents a menu of all the record stores and antique malls we planned to visit on the way to Charlotte, as well as to our location in Charlotte. I arranged the menu in approximately chronological order, ending with our trip to Sunset Beach, NC. Almost all of the actions were made using custom Maps actions as described for Gary's Storage Unit and the Record Stores shortcuts above. This shortcut really saved us time and let us do away with writing down addresses. Charlotte Trip Shortcut

Concert Mute: This shortcut simply lets you silence your iPhone when attending a concert or movie. You can turn off the mute settings when you're done by running the shortcut again. From RoutineHub. Concert Mute Shortcut

Create Event: This shortcut lets you set up an event in your calendar. It asks for title, location, start and end dates, and any notes about the event. Sometimes easier than using Calendar itself. Create Event Shortcut

Upcoming Events: This shortcut pulls the next 5 events from your calendar and displays them in a menu, showing date, time and location for each. Source unknown. Upcoming Events Shortcut

Past Events: This shortcut looks at the last 30 days of your calendar and displays those events with location information. It shows date, time, title and location for each event. Source unknown. Past Events Shortcut

Today's Events: This shortcut shows all the events recorded for the current day in Calendar. I use this during the day to make sure I've taken all my medications and vitamins, which are logged to my calendar. Source unknown. Today's Events Shortcut

Holidays and Events: This shortcut has several functions, but I use it mainly to see upcoming National holidays. From RoutineHub. Holidays and Events Shortcut

Special Day Countdown: This shortcut simply takes a date you select and tells you how many days remain until that date. From the Apple Gallery. Special Day Countdown Shortcut

New! How Long To: I wrote this shortcut because I was researching destinations for a winter vacation. Instead of using Maps to look up how long it would take to get to a given city, the shortcut simply asks you for a city and returns the information you need. It tells you the route you'll travel, how long it will take to get there, how far the city is, and when you'll arrive if you leave now. Great when run from Siri. How Long To Shortcut

Search Calendar History: This handy shortcut lets you search your calendar history for an event title. Very useful for checking when you started and/or stopped taking a prescription or for seeing how long it's been since you saw the dentist. Source unknown. Search Calendar History Shortcut

Calendar To Timeline ImageRecords Wallpaper Image

Calendar To Timeline: This shortcut lets you visualize your upcoming calendar events an attractive timeline, which you can save or share. When run, you choose how many months of your calendar to include in the timeline. From RoutineHub. Calendar To Timeline Shortcut


This folder has a variety of shortcuts, most of which involve converting from one thing to another.

Translate: This shortcut lets you enter text or use your clipboard as input. You can convert from English to any other language, and vice versa. At the end, it will pronounce the phrase in the language you choose. The source of this shortcut is unknown, so I'm linking to my iCloud version. Translate Shortcut

Convert: This shortcut lets you convert between liters and gallons, among other fluid measures. Source unknown. Convert Shortcut

Convert Length: This shortcut lets you convert between centimeters and inches. We U.S. citizens need all the help with metric measures we can get. :-) Source unknown. Convert Length Shortcut

Convert Temperature: This shortcuts lets you convert between Celsius and Fahrenheit. This really helps me at times, because I just can't think in Celsius when it comes to temperature. Source unknown. Morning Break Shortcut

Hex To RGB Converter: I've needed this one from time to time. It takes a hex color code and returns the equivalent in RGB values. Source unknown. Hex To RGB Converter Shortcut

Morse Code Converter: This shortcut will convert plain text to dots and dashes and copy the result to your clipboard. It will also convert morse code to plain text. Source unknown. Morse Code Converter Shortcut

Utilities Menu: This is an elaborate, all-in-one shortcut that contains a wide variety of utilities for working with text, the web, media, and more. I don't honestly use this one very much, but it's pretty cool. From RoutineHub. Utilities Menu Shortcut

Time Activity: I wrote this shortcut to help me track how long certain activities take. When run, the shortcut will tell you when it started the activity. When run again, it will tell you how long the activity took and ask if you want to start a new activity. The shortcut requires DataJar to store global variables. Time Activity Shortcut

New! Currency Converter: It took me forever to find a currency converter app that actually works. This one is the result of merging two shortcuts to get a working product. You simply choose the currency you're converting from, the currency you're converting to, and the amount you want to convert. The shortcut then shows the result and copies it to the clipboard. Currency Converter Shortcut


I spend a lot of time working with wallpaper images of various kinds, and I have automations that change my lock screen wallpaper with every 5% change in battery level. This folder has shortcuts that provide images for wallpaper use as well as shortcuts that enhance and modify images for use as wallpaper.

Album Wallpaper: This cool shortcut looks at what I've listened to in the last 14 days, finds the art associated with those songs, and prepares a wallpaper image with the art arrayed in an angled pattern across the screen. I used this for a long time before switching to my current wallpaper "strategy." From RoutineHub Album Wallpaper Shortcut

WallCreator Automated: This shortcut generates beautiful gradient images, using two colors and varying direction of the gradient, for use as wallpaper. I've modified it to let me choose whether or not to save the image. If I elect to save, the shortcut will let me apply the wallpaper to my lock or home screen. WallCreator Automated Shortcut

Gradient Paper: This shortcut also generates gradient wallpaper images, but it uses 4 different colors and wider variety of angles and origin points. It automatically previews the image for you and then saves the image to the Recents album and offers to set the home screen wallpaper. I couldn't find the original, so I'm linking to my iCloud version. Gradient Paper Shortcut

Gradient Paper ShowDock: This shortcut combines the Gradient Paper shortcut (above) with parts of the ShowDock shortcut (below). When run, it previews the image, saves it to Recents and then offers to let you add one of three ShowDock images (using the three separate ShowDock shortcuts, below) to the bottom. After that, you can set the Home Screen with the new wallpaper. I use this frequently to update my Home Screen wallpaper, so I keep it in my Home Screen folder for quick access. Gradient Paper ShowDock Shortcut

ShowDock: This cool shortcut has about 20 different enhancements you can add to your wallpaper. The enhancements are designed to highlight the Dock area of your iPhone home screen and range from ones that fade the bottom of the image out to ones that add colorful and interesting dividers above the Dock area. You select an image and then one of the enhancements, and the shortcut previews the enhanced image before offering to set your home or lock screen with the new wallpaper. I couldn't find the original for this, but it does have a credit comment inside. ShowDock Shortcut

ShowDock Color Splash ImageShowDock Rainbow Image

ShowDock Color Splash: This is one of three shortcuts that pull my favorite enhancements from the ShowDock shortcut. I run it inside the Gradient Paper ShowDock shortcut (above). It takes the latest image saved to Recents and applies an enhancement that looks like a splash of a rainbow of colors. It then lets you save the enhanced image as your Home Screen wallpaper. ShowDock Color Splash Shortcut

ShowDock Rainbow: This is one of three shortcuts that pull my favorite enhancements from the ShowDock shortcut. I run it inside the Gradient Paper ShowDock shortcut (above). It takes the latest image saved to Recents and applies an enhancement that looks like wavy rainbow of colors. It then lets you save the enhanced image as your Home Screen wallpaper. ShowDock Rainbow Shortcut

ShowDock Wavy Chrome: This is one of three shortcuts that pull my favorite enhancements from the ShowDock shortcut. I run it inside the Gradient Paper ShowDock shortcut (above). It takes the latest image saved to Recents and applies an enhancement that looks like a chrome wave, which lets in some of the background color. It then lets you save the enhanced image as your Home Screen wallpaper. ShowDock Wavy Chrome Shortcut

Calendar Homescreen: This useful shortcut takes a photo you select and adds the next 7 events from your calendar to the bottom. You can then set the image as your wallpaper. I use a modified version of this shortcut on my lock screen (Calendar on Lock Screen Auto). I couldn't find the original, so I'm linking to my iCloud version. Calendar Homescreen Shortcut

Calendar on Lock Screen Auto: I call this shortcut from within the "Add Battery Level and Calendar" shortcut. This is an embeddable version of Calendar Homescreen (above), and it keeps my calendar up to date on my lock screen... Very handy! Calendar on Lock Screen Auto Shortcut

ShowDock Wavy Chrome ImageAdd Battery Level and Calendar Image

Add Battery Level and Calendar: This shortcut is a modification of one I found that modifies a wallpaper image to add the current battery level below the level indicator on your lock screen. I've missed seeing the percentage since Apple did away with it, and this brings it back. I've combined this shortcut with the Calendar Homescreen shortcut so that it adds my calendar to the lock screen as well. The shortcut contains some logic that pulls wallpapers from 5 different "buckets" that I maintain — NASA images, Landscapes, Cats, Fine Art and Google Earth. It uses the seconds of a minute and picks a wallpaper depending on what second of the minute it is. This shortcut requres Toolbox Pro (I think the paid version) to do the battery level function. Add Battery Level and Calendar Shortcut

GradCircle Wallpaper: This cool shortcut uses the free app Scriptable to generate stark, modern-looking wallpapers with curving lines of different colors... a sort of mid-century modern look. After previewing the wallpaper, it gives you the option of saving it or setting it as wallpaper. I don't know where I found this. GradCircle Wallpaper Shortcut

Set Art Wallpaper: This shortcut pulls a fine art image and lets you use it as your wallpaper. I've modified it so that after a preview you can decide whether to save the image or not. If you save it, the shortcut will then let you set it as wallpaper. Source unknown. Set Art Wallpaper Shortcut

Random Cat Wallpaper: This shortcut pulls an image of cats from a seemingly bottomless supply. I've modified the original to let you choose whether or not to save the image, and you can see it previewed as wallpaper. Source unknown. Random Cat Wallpaper Shortcut

Wallpaper Engine: This shortcut lets you search for wallpapers on, or you can choose a random image. You can specify how many images you want to see, after which you can elect to save one or more of them or use them as wallpaper. I use the search function a lot. The shortcut returns images in the proper size for your device's lock or home screen. From RoutineHub. Wallpaper Engine Shortcut

Daily Wallpaper - Landscapes 4K: This shortcut uses a downloadable zip file of 85 beautiful landscape images and picks a random image from the zip file. I've modified it to let you decide whether or not to keep a given image. If you decide to save the image, you can see the landscape previewed on your lock screen. From RoutineHub. Daily Wallpaper - Landscapes 4K Shortcut

Resize Images To Wallpaper: I use this shortcut to make all the images I pass to it the height of my iPhone screen. This is part of my process for preparing wallpaper-sized images for the various "buckets" I maintain (NASA, Cats, Landscapes, Fine Art). Resize Images To Wallpaper Shortcut

Wallz Reborn: This shortcut finishes the job of the "Resize Images To Wallpaper" shortcut, taking images passed to it and cropping them horizontally to wallpaper size. You can also use it to resize to other screen resolutions. From RoutineHub. Wallz Reborn Shortcut

Daily NASA Wallpaper: This shortcut contains a downloadable zip file of my NASA wallpapers (about 150 of them). It previews a random image from the zip file and offers to set it as your wallpaper. I use this same basic pattern for the following three shortcuts. Daily NASA Wallpaper Shortcut

Daily Cats Wallpaper: This shortcut contains a downloadable zip file of my cats wallpapers (about 100 of them). It previews a random image from the zip file and offers to set it as your wallpaper. Daily Cats Wallpaper Shortcut

Daily Fine Art Wallpaper: This shortcut contains a downloadable zip file of my fine art wallpapers (about 100 of them). It previews a random image from the zip file and offers to set it as your wallpaper. Daily Fine Art Wallpaper Shortcut

Daily Landscape Wallpaper: This shortcut contains a downloadable zip file of my landscape wallpapers (about 100 of them). It previews a random image from the zip file and offers to set it as your wallpaper. Daily Landscape Wallpaper Shortcut

New! FStopper PTOD Wallpaper: Always looking for good sources of photos in various categories, this one occasionally has a daily image that grabs me, so I check it daily. FStopper PTOD Wallpaper Shortcut

New! Google Earth: I think I discovered this one on RoutineHub, but I made a few changes to it to suit my needs. It turns out that Google Earth satellites take a lot of amazing photos, and you can see some of them through this shortcut. It originally was intended just to make the image your lock screen or home screen wallpaper, with no way of saving the image. I fixed that, so the shortcut now saves a single copy of the image to a specified folder in Photos, in addition to offering to make the photo your wallpaper. I like these images so much I've made them part of my rotation of lock screen papers, as described in the "Add Battery and Calendar" shortcut. Google Earth Shortcut

New! LS Weather: This shortcut and the next one are complicated and difficult to set up. They require Scriptable, and you have to find and download a Scriptable script and install it manually in Scriptable. The results are very cool, and I use them both from time to time. Essentially, LS Weather adds weather information in various configurations to your lock screen. It has other functionality as well, but I didn't set it up for that. From RoutineHub. LS Weather Shortcut

New! LS Forecast: This shortcut and the previous one are complicated and difficult to set up. They require Scriptable, and you have to find and download a Scriptable script and install it manually in Scriptable. The results are very cool, and I use them both from time to time. Essentially, LS Forecast adds weather forecast information to your lock screen in an attraction manner. From RoutineHub. LS Forecast Shortcut

New! Wallpaper Mixer: This cool shortcut takes two images from your photo library and crops/combines them horizontally into wallpaper size. You can come up with some interesting effects with the right photos. From RoutineHub. Wallpaper Mixer Shortcut

New! Unsplash Collections: This shortcut pulls images from's extensive collection. It's organized to find images in certain categories of Unsplash Collections that I collect: Landscapes, Space, Cats, and Fine Art. When run, you select a collection, and the shortcut returns an image, which you can choose to save or not. If you do save, the shortcut will preview your home screen with the photo. If you don't save, the shortcut will ask if you want to search again. Unsplash Collections Shortcut


This folder contains shortcuts that show the weather in various ways.

Total Weather: This is the most comprehensive textual summary of the weather data available for your current location. It also gives a briefer summary of tomorrow's forecast. Useful when run from Siri to have her read the weather for you. From RoutineHub. Total Weather Shortcut

New! Feels Like: This handy shortcut (just say, "Hey Siri Feels Like") gets the current temperature and reads it along with the Feels Like temperature and the wind speed. Perfect for when you're heading outside. Feels Like Shortcut

My Weather: This simple shortcut opens the Weather app to show weather in your current location. My Weather Shortcut

Weather In City: This shortcut presents a menu of all the cities you've bookmarked in the Weather app and lets you choose which city's weather to view. It then opens the Weather app to the chosen city. Weather In City Shortcut

NOAA Multi-Day Forecast: This shortcut lets you choose the length of time in days for the forecast and then pulls up the latest official NOAA forecast for your current location in a Quick Look screen. I often find the NOAA forecast to be more accurate than the source Apple uses, so I like being able to quickly refer to it in this shortcut. From RoutineHub. NOAA Multi-Day Forecast Shortcut

Weather Chart: This shortcut uses Charty to present the 12-day forecast as an attractive line chart, showing high, low, and average temperatures expected. Source unknown. Weather Chart Shortcut

New! Weather Chart With Average High: This is the same as the preceding shortcut, but I've added a data series for Average High, which superimposes on the high/medium/log graph lines. I need to edit the shortcut daily to enter the latest average high temperature data. Weather Chart With Average High Shortcut

New! Log Average High: I decided to start keeping track of the average high temperature, so this shortcut logs the data to my calendar each day. Log Average High Shortcut

New! Average High: This shortcut simply reads my calendar and shows me the Average High data for the last 30 days. Average High Shortcut

New! UV Index: This shortcut gets the UV Index from today's weather and logs it to the Health app. UV Index Shortcut

New! UV Index Chart: This shortcut charts the last 30 days of UV Index data from the health app, using Charty. UV Index Chart Shortcut

Precipitation: This shortcut shows expected precipitation percentages in a bar-type chart. It presents the information for the next 12 days in a menu. Source unknown. Precipitation Shortcut

Pollen: This shortcut opens the website in a Safari sheet. It presents the page showing the 5-day allergy forecast for your current location. Source unknown. Pollen Shortcut

Severe Weather: This shortcut was made from a custom Siri action in the News app. It opens News and shows stories about severe weather. Severe Weather Shortcut

New! U.S. Climate Data: I think I found this shortcut on RoutineHub, but it didn't work when I tried it out. The problem is that the site it pulls data from had changed their chart strategy. The original shortcut was expecting an image to grab, but the new site shows the graph in an interactive manner. So I changed the shortcut to load the final page in the Safari view controller instead. This shortcut lets you choose a State and city and returns a graph showing average, high and low temperatures for the year by month, as well as precipitation amounts. U.S. Climate Data Shortcut

New! Weather Report For: I modified a shortcut I found that produces a summary of the current weather. Instead of restricting it to finding your current location data, I introduced a search feature that lets you enter any location to find the weather there. I figured out how to make this work for any U.S. city as well as for international cities. You can even enter the name of a neighborhood. Weather Report For Shortcut

Daily Forecast: This handy shortcut brings up the next 12-day forecast for your location, showing date, temperature and conditions expected. Source unknown. Daily Forecast Shortcut

New! Daily Forecast For: This is the previous shortcut, but it first prompts you to specify a location. The shortcut routes the inputted location through the Maps app to get a location Weather can use. Very handy for getting a daily forecast for some location other than your own. Daily Forecast For Shortcut

Hourly Forecast: This shortcut is much like the previous one (same original source, I believe), but it shows the temperature and conditions expected for the next 24 hours. Hourly Forecast Shortcut

New! Hourly Forecast For: This is the previous shortcut, but it first prompts you to specify a location. The shortcut routes the inputted location through the Maps app to get a location Weather can use. Very handy for getting an hourly forecast for some location other than your own. Hourly Forecast For Shortcut

Precipitation Hourly Forecast: I think I made this one based on the previous shortcut. It shows the expected percent chance of precipitation for the next 24 hours. Precipitation Hourly Forecast Shortcut

New! Precipitation Forecast For: This is the same as the preceding shortcut, but it gives you the option to enter a location rather than using your current location by default. Precipitation Forecast For Shortcut

New! U.S. Cities Weather Report: This shortcut runs through about 35 U.S. cities, giving a summary of their weather today and forecast for the next 2 days. It announces the name of the city and state and then presents the information, one city at a time. This substitutes for my long-time habit of perusing the cities weather data in the paper each day. U.S. Cities Weather Report Shortcut

New! International Weather Report: This is the same as the preceding shortcut, but it fetches data for about 20 international cities instead of for U.S. cities. International Weather Report Shortcut

Is It Raining: I wrote this shortcut one day when I was sitting in my windowless office and wondering if it was raining outside. It looks at the precipitation chances (in percent) for the current time and tells you whether or not rain is likely. It also gets the chance of rain for the next two hours and reports that as well. Is It Raining Shortcut

Is It Raining (Conditions): I wrote this shortcut as a different way to answer the question. Instead of looking at percent chance of precipitation, the shortcut uses text matching to see if the current conditions suggest rain. If the conditions match "Thunderstorm," "Rain," or "Showers," it's probably raining. If none of those things match, then the answer is no. I've found this to be a bit more accurate than the previous shortcut. Is It Raining (Conditions) Shortcut

Web Sites and Feeds

This folder has a number of shortcuts that load web sites or their RSS feeds. I've found "bookmarking" websites by making a shortcut is faster than using Safari.

Mars: This shortcut simply loads this website (Musings from Mars) in a Safari view window. I find shortcuts like this more convenient than going to Safari. An interesting thing about the Safari view window... In the lower right corner is an icon that will load the page in Safari itself if you choose to do that. Mars Shortcut

Discogs: Here's another website that I load frequently. It's convenient to have it as a shortcut. Discogs Shortcut

Wayback Machine: This shortcut loads the "Wayback Machine" at This site lets you search the web's past by loading old versions of any website the machine has crawled. Wayback Machine Shortcut

New! White House: This shortcut provides links in a menu to the White House home page, the briefing room, and speeches and remarks pages. I use this with Read Article in the Share Sheet to have the latest releases read to me. White House Shortcut

9 To 5 Mac: This shortcut loads the news feed for this Mac-related website. 9 To 5 Mac Shortcut

Mac Stories: This shortcut loads the news feed for this Mac-related website. Mac Stories Shortcut

C45 Jukebox: This loads the RSS feed for the Classic 45s "Jukebox" podcast. In this version, selecting an item loads the page in the Safari view window. C45 Jukebox Shortcut

C45 Jukebox Text: This shortcut also loads the Classic 45s "Jukebox" feed, but instead of taking you to a web page on selecting an item, it pulls the text and image from the feed and presents it in a QuickLook window. I'd like to grab the audio file, too, but haven't figured out how to do that yet. C45 Jukebox Text Shortcut

New! Jukebox: This shortcut finds the latest episodes of the Podcast Classic 45s Jukebox. When you choose an episode, the shortcut starts playing the song and presents the descriptive information included in the Podcast in a preview window. Jukebox Shortcut

New! Animal Shelter: I made this simple shortcut when we started looking for a new cat when our much loved Coach died recently. The shortcut simply loads the Arlington, VA, animal shelter's web page, set to screen only male kittens. This is an example of a shortcut that took perhaps a minute to make but saves me time by making it super-quick and easy to load the page, which I check several times a day for new arrivals. You could bookmark the page or save a tab in Safari, but the time required to find and follow the bookmark or find and load the tab in Safari is greater than simply clicking on this shortcut. Animal Shelter Shortcut

New! Google Search for 45s: One of the things I check Google often for is the position of my business in search results listings. So I made a shortcut that does four searches for 45 rpm records, pausing each time to let me view Google results in the Safari view controller, and then proceeding to the next keyword search. It's a very efficient way of quickly seeing whether my business' position has changed. Google Search for 45s Shortcut

  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Show Comments
Just Say No To Flash