Oleg Atamanenko

thoughts about programming

iOS shortcuts

Recently I re-discovered iOS Shortcuts and found it is substantially useful. In this post, I’ll describe a few shortcuts I use.

I have multiple shortcuts but I’d like to share a few shortcuts that I found most useful and use a lot.

Send to Kindle

This shortcut allows you to easily send a document (i.e. PDF or any book you bought not on Amazon) to Kindle Document Storage via e-mail.

This is a single action shortcut, which is sending an e-mail. The benefit is that it is preconfigured to send to a private Kindle Address and configured to Convert files for reading on the kindle.

Save to Pocket

This shortcut extracts all URLs from a passed input and saves them to pocket. I used it for the newsletter from pointer.io which is a curated list of interesting reads across the web. Now site provides RSS, so it is easier to work with.


This one opens a multi-checkbox list and allows you to select items to buy in the grocery store. Each selected item is added to a list in Todoist. I found it useful because it allows me to skim through the list and select what I need to get at the grocery store.

Markdown to Evernote

After the new update, Evernote became less user-friendly, so I had to create a shortcut to share notes in Evernote. For example, all files are added as attachments to the note, which is not user-friendly if I want to save a text file. This shortcut gets a text and creates new notes. Also, it sets the correct tags and selects the notebook.

Fast OmniFocus input

OmniFocus is my main to-do list (Todoist is used for shared tasks/lists) with my significant other, I really hope OmniFocus would add shared projects in the future). This shortcut uses the ability of iOS to open a custom app when you double or triple tap on a phone back. It opens the text area and you can add multiple tasks at once, one task per line.

Write a journal

I try to do daily journaling and this shortcut helps me. In general, it just creates a file from a template in iA Writer with today’s date. The template is dynamic. It includes current location and temperature (I found it might be useful to check in 20 years where the diary was written). Another thing it does - it inserts a random quote from stoics to reflect on (this is done by a separate set of shortcuts which I’m not going to cover today)

Play next album

Some time ago I found 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and decides to listen through it. I exported the list to a project in OmniFocus and used it directly, but it was always a frustrating experience. First of all, it is quite a long list, second, there are music genres I usually don’t listen to, so I would skip them if I select them on my own. The shortcut performs the following actions: selects a random album from the list, searches on google link to the album on Spotify, and then opens Spotify. With a single tap, your next album is ready to be played. Obviously, I need to mark items in the list, but this is not automated yet. (I.e. I may actually skip the album or I could be interrupted).

Closing thoughts

There are other shortcuts, but those are utilitarian, for example setting random wallpaper from Reddit /r/natureporn as a wallpaper.

If you use iOS, you should check out the app, it may be useful for your workflow.