Make your Mac dance after watching MacSparky’s Keyboard Maestro Field Guide

Yesterday, David Sparks released the Keyboard Maestro Field Guide, the seventh paid course offered through his Learn MacSparky site1. This 4-hour block of videos covers 76 different screencasts about Keyboard Maestro, the Mac automation application that provides significantly deep capabilities and makes them available to use across your Apple desktop or laptop.

As usual, David’s course is well-paced, insightful, and makes it easy to learn complex topics like Keyboard Maestro’s slightly esoteric design language.

I’ve been investing some time here and there in learning Keyboard Maestro for my own video and podcast production needs. But I got stuck along the way, and was only able to initially make some real progress by personally interviewing David’s cohost of the Automators podcast Rosemary Orchard on the subject of Keyboard Maestro on Twitch just a few weeks ago.

But afterwards, without someone helping me along the way, I faltered again, and didn’t dive deep enough to integrate it fully into my workflows. Thankfully, David’s Field Guide has been the perfect aide since then. This is a deep subject that requires lots of hand-holding, and I struggle to invest the time to figure it all out myself.

For this course I downloaded the convenient combined versions of each section of videos and set them up on Plex to be available on all my devices. Even just watching along so far, I’ve been able to do more in Keyboard Maestro than ever before – and without thinking too hard about, which is always a win in my book.

With David’s guide—as with any of his others—I trust I am getting the information I need, ready to go whenever I’m up for it, and at the end I’ll have a bunch of examples to use alongside my own ideas too.

There’s a free 18-minute intro that I suggest checking out, and you can read about what’s in the course in David’s blog post as well.

If you’re interested in speeding up your Mac and automating tasks similar to the way Siri Shortcuts can for your iPhone and iPad, then I suggest purchasing the course (along with Keyboard Maestro itself, if you haven’t yet).

It’s available at an introductory price of $24, normally $29, and once you’re done, as David subtitled the course on his site, you can surely make your Mac dance.

Get the Keyboard Maestro Field Guide.

Note: David has been kind enough to make me an affiliate for his courses online, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase through one of the links in this post. That being said, I genuinely do recommend all of his courses, like the fantastic Siri Shortcuts Field Guide, and would still continue to do so even without being part of his program.


  1. Plus five free guides! 

Matt Galligan’s Shared Shortcuts on Notion

Last week, I came across a useful shortcut for calling into meetings, tweeted out by Matt Galligan, former founder of Circa and now CEO of Interchange1:

The shortcut grabs your next calendar event, extracts the phone number, and dials it for you – with a trigger phrase set up, you can just say “Dial In” to Siri and it’ll just work.

Matt also has a neat way for sharing this and his other shortcuts: using Notion. Continue reading “Matt Galligan’s Shared Shortcuts on Notion”

A Pair of Shortcuts to Log Podcast Episodes in Airtable and Play One at Random in Overcast 🔗

Julia M. on her blog Rampant Procrastination:

1. Open the information tab in Overcast of a podcast you wish to log to Airtable.

2.Select the text of the information tab from the podcast title down, grabbing as much of the episode description as you would like to be included in the notes field in Airtable. Press copy to put this text on the clipboard.

3. This shortcut is used as a sharesheet extension, so press the share button and select Shortcuts, then run the shortcut to log the podcast.”

This post is a great write-up from Julia explaining a way she’s saving podcast episodes to Airtable, plus pulling from that database to play one again at random.

She has little technique for grabbing information from Overcast on the clipboard before sharing the episode, and wrote up how she’s extracting the information from once it’s in the shortcut before sending it through Airtable’s API.

Definitely subscribe to her new blog and give her a follow.

If you have a blog post about Shortcuts, always feel free to tweet me the link. I post some of them here and in my newsletter too.

Six Colors: Simple sleep tracking with Shortcuts 🔗

Dan Moren, writing for Six Colors:

What I really wanted was for iOS to be a bit more intelligent. For example, it could realize that when I turn off my bedside light (which is a HomeKit-compatible Philips Hue bulb) I’m going to bed. And then, when I pick up my phone in the morning it could log that I’m awake, and store the resulting information in the Health app.

Alas, that functionality doesn’t exist. So I made it myself using a pair of Shortcuts.

While I was away at Disneyland, this great set of shortcuts snuck by me.

This is the exact approach I have so often – I think “why can’t my pocket computer do this?” and then Shortcuts lets me roll my own solution.

Read the link on Six Colors.

Mastering Apple Music: sharing my favorite shortcut on The Sweet Setup

Last week over on The Sweet Setup, I posted one of my personal favorite shortcuts that I built back when I worked at Workflow.

It interacts with all the Apple Music Mixes curated for me, letting me select which one to use, then lets me choose from five options:

I run this shortcut almost every day, either updating a playlist to the Master versions I’ve created, jumping in to pick something, and shuffling all the tracks when I don’t want to choose.

With all the different menus, the flow gets slightly complicated – this is really about 20 different tasks combined into one quick step.

The article originally didn’t include the most helpful version of the shortcut, and someone mentioned they had trouble setting it up – the shortcut was lacking Import Questions to make it as easy as possible to add playlists and links.

I updated the shortcut with 23 import questions for you to fill out, plus I updated some of the menu titles to be even more explicit what’s going on.

Download it again if you ran into problems during setup.

We also updated the post later in the day to include the new workflow link and screenshot of the shortcut, so check out the full post to get the details.

Also, add me on Apple Music so I can see what you’re listening to as well.

Check out other articles I’ve written for The Sweet Setup.