This post details how to use Apple Shortcuts to build a lightweight journal to log events, which are timestamped and saved to Apple Notes.
Apple Shortcuts provide a way to automate and extend the functionality of apps on Apple devices. It’s like programming, except you don’t need a compiler, an app store or to deploy a website. It’s powerful, incredibly useful and a great tool to have in your toolbox. 🛠️🧰
We can leverage an Apple Shortcut script which prompts the user for some details when it runs, and saves those details in a timestamped note in Apple Notes.
I wanted to have a way to quickly log when events happen, that would automatically be grouped by date.
I use this same system for a few things:
I’ve streamlined the process as much as I can for creating an event. It takes only two inputs and can be completed within a few seconds:
Events are saved in Apple Notes, in a folder called Journal. As they are saved in Apple Notes, it makes them accessible and searchable across all of my devices.
I wanted to group events by date, so a new note is created for each day which had an event recorded. If there are multiple events for a day they will be appended to the same file.
The shortcut itself is a set of script events which ask the user for text describing what happened, then ask the user for the date the event happened. With these two inputs, it will then check if a note already exists for that day.
For a link to the full shortcut, see “How You Can Use This” below
Apple Shortcuts, and open the new
Journalshortcut. You need to choose the Folder for your journal in 2 places. (You need to do this even if you are already using the name “Journal”)
If you’ve done it all correctly, whenever you run that shortcut you’ll be prompted for the event details, followed by the date. The created note will then be shown which is handy for adding further details, pasting in images etc…
💡 You can add the shortcut to your Home Screen for one-click triggering.
Go forth and journal ✍️Home