If you think you’re not getting all the productivity you can from your Mac, it’s probably because you haven’t tried the Shortcuts app. Anyone can use it to simplify complex tasks and automate repetitive actions.
However, not everyone has the time to create shortcuts. Apple knows this, and that’s why the Shortcuts app has a Gallery section where users can install ready-to-use shortcuts. Moreover, you can also download shortcuts that anyone else has created from the internet.
Below we will list some of the best shortcuts you can install on your Mac to boost your productivity.
1. Google Translate
If you constantly refer to Google Translate for work or study, this is the one for you. This shortcut from u/brechtbakker on Reddit upgrades the default and iOS-limited translators in the Gallery and gives you Google Translate functionality in one click.
This translation shortcut can copy text from your clipboard or prompt you to enter new text. After installing it on your Mac, you can access and use it anytime from the Shortcuts app.
Install: Google Translate
2. Share availability
Effective communication about availability is an essential part of successful work and meetings. If this is something that has come up as a problem in the past, there is a Mac shortcut solution to fix it.
First, make sure you’ve set up your events on the Calendar app to accurately reflect your schedule. Once done, you can install this shortcut and run it.
This shortcut lets you send a text summary of your availability via iMessage or your carrier’s text messaging services. You can also save the text directly to your notes or add it as an item on the Reminders app.
Install: Share availability
3. Start my next meeting
Another shortcut to put your Calendar app to good use would be the Start My Next Meeting shortcut, which scans your calendar for meetings recorded within a 30-minute slot. When it finds a meeting, it automatically connects you to it and generates a note containing the meeting data in your Notes app for reference.
If you’re using the Zoom desktop app on your Mac, it automatically opens the app and connects you to the meeting. For those who don’t have Zoom installed, we have a guide on how to download and set up Zoom for Mac.
The Start My Next Meeting shortcut also recognizes meetings and appointments that you add to your Calendar app through Siri. But of course, he won’t be able to launch any virtual conferencing service unless there’s a link to one in your calendar’s meeting item.
Install: Start my next meeting
4. Create a PDF file
As the title suggests, the Create PDF shortcut speeds up your PDF creation process. Although there are other ways to convert files to PDF on Mac, this one is definitely one of the fastest.
Unlike other shortcuts, Make PDF does not have a prompt asking for input. Instead, this shortcut requires that you have already selected your input. You can do this by control-clicking (or right-clicking) the highlighted item and then clicking Servicesand finally selecting Create PDF in the drop-down menu.
Even though the shortcut actions suggest that this shortcut also converts images to PDF, it doesn’t seem to. You might be better off doing it without the shortcut.
Install: Create PDF
5. Automatic messaging
Have you ever wanted to send a message when you’re away from your devices? We already know about scheduled emails, but this is different. Auto Messaging lets you schedule and send a message to one person, initiate a conversation with multiple people, or send different messages to multiple people.
As far as shortcuts go, this one is one of the most complicated. It was created by a RoutineHub user called Bingobucketster with credit from other Reddit users. The pop-up message has menus and prompts that guide you through the instructions to use the shortcut successfully.
If you follow the on-screen prompts, Auto Messaging will guide you through creating a new list on the Reminders app, which you can use to track your Auto Messages. However, the main problem with this shortcut is how you have to manually and accurately enter the names of your recipients.
Auto Messaging also lets you send messages via WhatsApp, but only if the desktop app is installed. If you don’t have WhatsApp installed, you can read our guide on how to install WhatsApp on your Mac.
The shortcut is completely free; however, the creator put an option to donate to them in the menu.
Install: Automatic message
6. Renaming Files
A simple gem that you can find in the shortcut gallery is the Rename Files shortcuts. This shortcut allows you to rename files in batches. Its features include replacing specific keywords with your input and adding a date before or after the file name.
However, the Rename Files shortcut offers no way to completely rename items in your directory; you need to replace something or add an appendix. Therefore, this shortcut only provides a way to mark specific files.
Install: Rename files
7. Create a meeting note
Simple notes and reminders can be a bit tricky to follow. And that’s why we think the Create Meeting Note shortcut in the shortcut gallery is the way to go.
This shortcut will scan your notes to see if you have any notes for the next event in your Calendar app. If it doesn’t find anything, it will create a note for you in the Notes app. You can then add some things you would like to discuss before your next meeting.
Install: Create a meeting note
Stay productive with these macOS shortcuts
The greatest strength offered by shortcuts outside of automation is their flexibility. Once you get the hang of the language or what each action does, you can tweak a few things here and there to make it more to your liking.
Your other Apple devices, like your iPhone and iPad, can also follow you on your productivity journey, providing a more structured and planned life away from your desk.