Automating iOS – My Favourite Workflows

Workflow is now known as Shortcuts, however all of the workflows mentioned below will still work. If you want more workflows, you can check out a later post with more here.

I’m a big user of Workflow, and app that allows you to use visual programming to drag and drop blocks to create ‘scripts’ that allow you to easily automate what you do on your iPad and iPhone. Instead of tediously doing things such as adding tasks one by one into your task manager, Workflow can automate that so you simply write them out, then add them to your task manager with one tap. It’s incredibly easy to create these Workflows, and no programming knowledge is needed.

Workflow automates things you do on your iPhone and iPad and turns those tedious tasks into a single action that takes less than a second to execute. Keep reading to find out the Workflows that I use on a daily basis, and save me time everyday.

I’ve been using Workflow for years now, and it’s really helped me move to my iPad as my main computer, and it’s saved me hours by automating the things I do everyday. It also allows me to do things on my iPad and iPhone that I normally wouldn’t be able to do.

Frameshot for iPhone X

The Workflow on the left, and the frameshotted version on the right.
The Workflow on the left, and the frameshotted version on the right.

I didn’t make this Workflow, I found it on Twitter. It’s really good as you don’t need to save any images to your iCloud Drive. Instead, it uses Base64 Encoding to save the images in the Workflow itself, and when you select the colour you want the frameshot to be it decides the string. It’s a really good Workflow, and if you ever need to add the device onto a screenshot I really recommend getting it.

You can pick this Workflow up here.

Combining Images

Three images combined using the Combine Workflow
Three images combined using the Combine Workflow

This Workflow can either be used from the Photos app or by running the Workflow itself. You can select the images you want to combine, and then they save to your Photos album with a space of 10 pixels between them. I use this for combining screenshots, like you’ll see in this post. A really simple but useful Workflow.

This Workflow is available here.

Quick List into Evernote

This is a Workflow that allows you to share an App Store app, and have it append to a note in Evernote. I used this for creating my Best Apps of 2017 post, as it allowed me to quickly save the links to the apps I was adding to the post so I could quickly access them. Another use would be if you wanted to quickly add links to a note that you needed to include in a bibliography, and this Workflow can save you loads of time as there is no need to switch apps, and use copy and paste.

This Workflow is available here.

Ulysses to Evernote

The Ulysses document in markdown can be seen to the left, with the Workflow in the centre, and the end result on the right.
The Ulysses document in markdown can be seen to the left, with the Workflow in the centre, and the end result on the right.

Sometimes I wanted to export a Ulysses document I had written to Evernote, however when I tried to add the rich text to Evernote, it would save as a .zip file. This simple Workflow allows me to share the file to Workflow, which then unzips the file and adds it to Evernote. The great thing is that all links, titles, and formatting works in Evernote too.

You can get this Workflow here.

Add multiple tasks to Things

I recently changed to Things 3 as my task manager, and it’s been great. I’ve found that whilst it’s missing some features of the manager I used before, Todoist, that it makes up for it in a few key features that I’ve mentioned in the review for it and this post. This Workflow lets me write a list in Drafts 4 1, and then simply share the Draft to this Workflow and add each line as a new task in Things. It will then switch to Things with the entry, so you can add more details or change the project it’s in (by default in Inbox), and then switch back to Workflow and repeat this for the other lines you have. It’s a great way to quickly add tasks to Things.

This Workflow is available here.

Quickly create a lesson in Evernote

I use this Workflow multiple times everyday, and for me it’s a life saver. Here is how it works:

  1. Looks at my School calendar and finds out what event is next/what event I am in.
  2. Compares the event to preset text fields to find out if that event is a subject.
  3. If it is, it sets the event title as a variable.
  4. It then also sets a predefined set words as the variable tags (these will be the tags the Evernote note will have).
  5. It then sets these in a text field, with the variable for the subject title, along with the date next for it, and then the notebook below that and the tags below that.
  6. This is added to Drafts, which runs an action that adds the first line as the note title, the second line as the notebook the note should go in, and the third line the tags the note should have.
  7. This is then sent to Evernote.

This Workflow is a really great way to quickly make a note in Evernote, with a title, date, in the right notebook, and with the tags you want it to have all in one tap. A few years ago I wrote a whole post on it, so you can check it out here if you would like to find out more.

You can get the Workflow here, and the Drafts action here.

Upload an image to Imgur to quickly share

This Workflow allows you to select an image, upload it to Imgur, and then copy it’s URL to your clipboard. I use this one a lot for sharing images to Reddit, and it’s handy if you want to quickly share images to other people. You can also edit it to upload the last image from your device if you want to eliminate a few taps, and run it from the Workflow today widget.

You can get the Workflow here.

These are a few of my most used Workflows, and they’ve really improved my experience of using my iPad and iPhone. If you find that you don’t need any of the Workflows I’ve mentioned above, I still really recommend you download the app as it’s very easy to make your own.

I hope you enjoyed reading, and found this post helpful!

  1. You can use any writing app you want, including Evernote, Bear and Ulysses.