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Shortcuts Field Guide, iOS13 Edition

Make your iPhone and iPad Dance.

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Mobile Automation Is within Your Grasp.

Apple continues to put the gas down on iOS automation. The iOS 13 version of Shortcuts represents a significant improvement over the prior version. Best of all, anyone can do it. Shortcuts does not rely on scripting languages but instead a common-sense approach to Automation. Here are just a few possible things you can do with Shortcuts in iOS 13:

  • Get an automatic weather report for the location of tomorrow’s appointments
  • Block schedule an entire week
  • Put your iPhone into focus mode when you connect to a coffee shop’s WiFi
  • Build simple apps, like a self-creating packing list customized for you
  • Automate your meetings
  • Automate sending a message when you are running late with an accurate, automatically generated ETA.

These are just a few examples of what you can do with Shortcuts, and all of these examples (along with many others) are included among the many video lessons in this course.

With Shortcuts, you can automate just about anything. In addition to teaching you all of the mechanics of Shortcuts, this course includes many walkthroughs of automation workflows you can use, download, or alter to automate your own iPhone and iPad.

There are 107 lovingly crafted screencasts totaling over six hours of content. Each tutorial includes a full transcript and closed captioning. Where appropriate, the tutorials also include downloadable Shortcuts that you can install and run alongside the video.



Free 40 Minute Sample!

Course Outline:

1. Introduction

Learn the basics of Shortcuts, including installation and interface. This section covers basic application concepts and how it organizes your Shortcuts. Also, build your first Shortcut.

2. Shortcuts Key Concepts

Shortcuts is a simplified type of programming, and there are several basic, key concepts you’ll want to know to get the most out of it. This section covers those basics, including the Shortcuts programming model, variables, magic variables, conversational shortcuts, share sheet-based shortcuts, and more.

3. Triggers

With Shortcuts, there are a lot of ways to kick off your automation. It can be something you physically trigger, such as a button on your screen, or something automated, like at a specific time or when you connect your phone to WiFi (or CarPlay!) or tap your phone against an NFC sticker. It’s brilliant. This section includes sixteen videos explaining every possible Shortcuts trigger.

4. Actions

Once you have figured out all of the triggers, you will want to start making your iPhone and iPad dance. Just like triggers, Shortcuts is capable of so many actions including the ability to control applications; control settings; add notifications; type text; get directions; create and modify calendar events, bulk adjust photos; make a better share sheet; automate mail; and so much more. There is so much that Shortcuts can do. This section includes 28 videos showing off all of Shortcuts’s tricks.

5. Advanced Concepts

Shortcuts is a lot more powerful than you may think. Once you work through the basic concepts, triggers, and actions, it’s time to dig in on advanced concepts like nesting, programming logic, URL schemes, Base64, regular expressions, and more. This section demystifies some of Shortcuts’s more powerful tools so anyone can use them.

6. Useful Shortcuts

Here you will find a laundry list of useful shortcuts. This section includes 32 screencasts of helpful walkthroughs and downloadable scripts to get more out of your iPhone and iPad. You can download and start using these scripts immediately, or use all of the knowledge that you will have picked up to customize these scripts and make them your own.

7. Conclusion

Learn about more Shortcuts resources.

Here is the course, by the numbers:

  • Over 6 hours of streaming or downloadable video
  • 107 separate videos, 7 separate sections
  • Many downloadable shortcuts
  • Heaps of dangerous knowledge, tricks, and hacks to make your iPhone and iPad dance

Your Instructor


David Sparks
David Sparks

David Sparks speaks and writes about how to use technology to be more productive. David is a past speaker at Macworld / iWorld and a regular faculty member for the American Bar Association’s TechShow.

David has published numerous books and videos on how to use technology including the MacSparky Field Guide series that includes videos and books on managing email, going paperless, and how to make a winning presentation. David is also co-host of the popular Mac Power Users, Automators, and Focused podcasts. When not speaking and writing about technology, David is a Business Attorney in Orange County, California.


"If you want to use your iPhone to help you get more stuff done, more easily by using automation then you need David’s new Shortcuts Field Guide. It’s an absolute Godsend!"

- Ernie Svenson, Ernie the Attorney

"In his new Shortcuts Field Guide, David Sparks updates what was already an excellent course into an even more solid way to learn how to make the most of your iOS devices. Learning how to use iOS Shortcuts well can really transform your device into a powerhouse. David has honed his Field Guide courses into a science, presenting what would otherwise be complex into a set of well-constructed stepwise pieces."

- Kourosh Dini, M.D., Author, Creating Flow with OmniFocus

"…unsurprisingly, it’s really good. If you want to take a crack at learning what Shortcuts can do, this is the place to start."

- Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

"If you get into the kind of automation I offer on this blog, or maybe wish you did if it weren’t for all the coding, then Shortcuts on iOS is either on your radar or should be. And David Sparks has just the thing."

- Brett Terpstra, BrettTerpstra.com

"This comes just in time for me — I confess to not knowing very much about Shortcuts. And I really need to learn! There couldn’t be anything better for that than a David Sparks Field Guide."

- Brent Simmons, Innesential.com

"This [Shortcuts] iOS automation feature still seems like a black box to me, but MacSparky covers in depth in digestible video nuggets."

- Jeff Carlson, jeffcarlson.com

"I’ve learned so much from David over the years, I had no problem plunking down thecourse fee. The course was more than worth the price."

- Dr. Jeff Taekman, Workflows in Personal and Professional Productivity

Course Materials


  Downloadable Links for All Course Shortcuts
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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