Shortcuts in iOS 12

Frederico Viticci gives a great breakdown of Shortcuts, Siri, and iOS automation in iOS 12 (via DF):

Available in Settings ⇾ Siri & Search, iOS 12 features an option for users to define their own phrases for launching specific shortcuts via voice. This is done by speaking a custom phrase into a Siri recording UI that transcribes the command and creates a shortcut that can be invoked at any time. The Settings app automatically suggests recently used app shortcuts as well as other shortcuts that were previously “donated” by apps. Both recording a custom shortcut phrase and launching the phrase via Siri require an active Internet connection. Once given a custom phrase, user-configured shortcuts appear under the My Shortcuts section in Settings.

The shortcut phrases functionality is the feature I’m most excited about in iOS 12. I use Siri more and more in each subsequent year since it was introduced. My iPhone X is the snappiest iPhone I’ve had yet. What I mean by this is there is very little latency between pressing-and-holding the side button to launch Siri, speaking your command, and Siri executing that command.


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“Mastering the fundamentals isn’t sexy, but it works.”

James Clear says we should do more of what already works (via TNW):

In 2004, nine hospitals in Michigan began implementing a new procedure in their intensive care units (I.C.U.). Almost overnight, healthcare professionals were stunned with its success.

Three months after it began, the procedure had cut the infection rate of I.C.U. patients by sixty-six percent. Within 18 months, this one method had saved 75 million dollars in healthcare expenses. Best of all, this single intervention saved the lives of more than 1,500 people in just a year and a half. The strategy was immediately published in a blockbuster paper for the New England Journal of Medicine.

This medical miracle was also simpler that you could ever imagine. It was a checklist.

Checklists are just as effective for those of us not in the medical field:

Of course, these answers are boring. Mastering the fundamentals isn’t sexy, but it works. No matter what task you are working on, there is a simple checklist of steps that you can follow right now—basic fundamentals that you have known about for years—that can immediately yield results if you just practice them more consistently.

This reminds me of a great book my brother recommended to me, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.

People always want new, innovative, silver bullet shortcuts to getting shit done, when it’s really just about showing up and checking objectives off your list.



No Fat to Trim

I’ve been reading a lot of articles and blog posts about people leaving Twitter or Facebook, or switching from a smartphone to a ‘dumbphone’.

I like the general idea of hitting the reset button on social networks and technologies. Flushing out the old to make way for the new can be healthy in both your physical and virtual lives.

Earlier this week I decided to unsubscribe from all my RSS feeds. After a week without a healthy new supply of feeds, I’m definitely craving my tech, design and cultural news fixes but as I slowing begin to repopulate my Reeder app with new feeds, I’m realizing my original set of feeds was already pretty paired-down and healthy.

So while technological reset buttons and New Year’s Resolution Gym memberships can be great, what’s better is maintaining your health at closer intervals. Why wait until the end of the year to drop 10 pounds or drop 10 junky RSS feeds? Why not exercise once a day and examine the quality of your feeds once a week?

Maintaining a consistent regimen throughout the year makes any annual ‘check-ups’ must easier and full of less surprises. It also makes drastic measures at the end of the year unnecessary.





The Link Between Quietness And Productivity

Being quiet means you think before you speak. Quiet people are usually thoughtful thinkers. They think things through before making a statement. Something you probably wish many of your workers would do before taking up your valuable time.