Today I released my fifth YouTube video, focusing on building an agenda for the day and walking people through the process of building it.
This is a full-Siri shortcut, meaning it’ll work on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and CarPlay, with Siri speaking out the results to you:
It includes overdue and upcoming reminders, today’s calendar events, and contacts who have a birthday today – so many people say they only use Facebook for birthdays, so this could help you break that habit too.
In the video I demonstrate the use of Repeat With Each, Magic Variables, and Count/If actions to do some logic where I didn’t get quite the results I wanted.
As usual I’d love any feedback on the video – it’s slightly long, but there’s lots of good material to absorb. There was some fuzziness with my audio too, but I managed to get it listenable enough.
On to the next video – seems like Shortcuts 2.1 will be dropping alongside iOS 12.1 tomorrow!
“To me, whether Jobs intended it this way or not, the “bicycle for the mind” is the tool that empowers you to repurpose it for your specific needs, not just to consume things with it, or use it in the same way as everyone else.”
Later in the piece (emphasis mine):
“Job’s bicycle analogy was all about efficiency of locomotion. Without a bicycle, we’re highly inefficient animals at just getting around, but we can build tools, like bicycles, which put us at the top of the list.
But I also take from it that riding a bicycle is good for you. It makes you stronger. Buying a tool and using it is like driving a car — you’ll get to your destination, and efficiently, but you’ve done nothing to better yourself. Every day that car will take you exactly the same distance.
But each day you ride a bicycle, your legs get stronger. You get where you’re going, sure, but maybe more importantly, the more you ride, the farther you can go.
This is the way I look at the Jobs bicycle analogy: When you build your own tools, you make your mind stronger, and able to go farther the next day.
As I use Shortcuts more and more, I feel myself somewhere between driving a car made of apps built by other people and riding a bicycle of my own creation. I’m creating genuinely useful tools, and I’m pushing myself farther each day I ride[…]”
Stu’s piece is one of the best I’ve seen about the current state of Shortcuts, what it means to learn and use them regularly, and he also provides some really handy examples.
I highly suggest everyone train their Shortcuts muscles today, because you never know how it’ll help you out tomorrow being that much stronger at it.
Definitely check out the full piece (16 minutes) and get the shortcuts from his site too.
I could have made some improvements to the shortcut. Since I filmed this without a script, I didn’t add in Save to Photo Album at the end so that every GIF you made would be saved automatically – this is important because most people run shortcuts from the main library view, but you can only see the GIF in my version if you open the shortcut editor.1
I’m working on some new shorter videos, along with a longer main video each week – working out the process now, but I should be able to ramp up to get more videos out for all of you.
In the meantime, let me know if there’s anything particular you’d like to see from my channel2.
And, as always, linking to the video or retweeting it goes a long way – thank you to everyone who’s been supporting me so far.
It also could have all been built using Find Photos to give you more control; getting into that level of detail, however, definitely takes more than 3 minutes, so I’ll have to work sharing the best examples with the least compromises. ↩
People left more comments that I’m still a robot who doesn’t blink – even though I totally did once! It’s apparently difficult for me to blink naturally with a bright light in my face while trying to communicate the intricacies of this app on the fly. ↩
After I published, Rene Ritchie from iMore also reached out to me and asked for a short video clip with one of my tips on getting started with Shortcuts. Here’s what the full video turned out like:
I shot and put my part together for his video in just a few hours, which encouraged me to make shorter videos myself and demonstrated how tackling a specific single topic is much easier to produce.
For my own work, I’m still working through some process details – my own video was pretty long and difficult to make with so many parts, and an early version of it also just ended up not being very interesting to me. I also need to level my audio better still, plus nail down some of exactly how I am and should be using my cameras too.
I’ve also been developing criteria for which shortcuts I want to share, because, despite people wanting to see all 900 of mine, throwing them all online isn’t my goal – I want to teach people how to build their own, not just use my pre-built shortcuts.
Plus, I’ve completely shifted my schedule to allow for both video production AND writing – I fell off the map a bit getting my thoughts out here and on iMore/The Sweet Setup since starting to make videos.