Use ‘Shortery’ to Add Automations to Your MacOS Shortcuts

Use ‘Shortery’ to Add Automations to Your MacOS Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app for Mac is missing one of the iPhone’s best features: Automations. The Mac app Shortery bridges the gap.

Shortcuts on the iPhone offers an “Automations” tab, which allows you to launch shortcuts automatically when certain things happen. You can, for example, disable your alarms when you leave the house (a feature I use to turn my cat’s food alarms off when I’m away from the house). The automations tab is missing from the Mac, however, which is odd because Automator, the precursor to Shortcuts, did offer some of this functionality—you could, for example, use Folder Actions to trigger an automation whenever a file is added to a folder. That solution still works because Automator still exists, but it’s understandable to prefer Shortcuts at this point—it’s clearly the automation tool Apple is putting resources into at the moment.

That’s where Shortery comes in. This application is free but offers extremely limited features—the full version costs $US10. With this application you can set up custom rules to trigger shortcuts. There are 17 different categories of triggers, like when the contents of a folder change or when it’s a certain time of day.

You can set up rules and choose a shortcut to launch when these triggers occur. For example, say you wanted documents to print when they are added to a particular folder. First, you’d make a simple shortcut that prints a document using your default printer. Next, you’d set up an automation in Shortery that will run that automation whenever a new PDF is added to that folder.

Click Save when you’ve set up everything the way you like it and you’re done: every PDF you add to that folder will print.

This is just one example. I set up an automation that starts a Time Machine backup instantly whenever I connect my back-up drive. Lars Gerckens, part of the two-person team who built Shortery, told me that users have set up automations to do things like control their lights depending on the time of day and turning on Do Not Disturb mode automatically when they’re physically at the office.

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