Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Work Beyond Mac: Ten 'flows that put Workflow to work

Jason Cipriani | Jan. 9, 2015
As noted in a previous Work Beyond Mac column, DeskConnect's Workflow is a relatively new app that's a bit like Automator for iOS. I like it, but I'm still figuring out how to put it to best use as a productivity tool. While it's had a spot on my home screen since it was first released, I've used it largely to create animated GIFs and for other "fun" features.

As noted in a previous Work Beyond Mac column, DeskConnect's Workflow is a relatively new app that's a bit like Automator for iOS. I like it, but I'm still figuring out how to put it to best use as a productivity tool. While it's had a spot on my home screen since it was first released, I've used it largely to create animated GIFs and for other "fun" features.

Now that I've been able to dig into the app some more — and spent countless hours (not an exaggeration) combing through Workflows posted on Twitter by fellow users — I've found some handy 'flows I think we can all benefit from.

If you have Workflow installed on your iOS device, use it to view this post and tap on the name of the workflow (in blue) to install each one.

File Downloader

Safari lets you download files, but let's be honest, it's a horrible experience. Tapping on a link to download a file results in you just sitting there, staring at Safari, waiting for it to show signs of life and then, out of nowhere, it randomly presents the option to open the file in another app. There isn't a progress bar to be found; the entire process is very un-Apple-like.

With this workflow, you can download a file of any type and save it to any service that integrates with iOS 8's iCloud Drive file picker (Google Drive and Dropbox, for example). Best of all, there's a progress bar. Just be patient, as you can't leave the app while the file is downloading.

AirDrop Screenshot

Capturing a quick screenshot and sharing it to another device I own or with someone in my office is something I routinely do (as, I'm sure, do many others). The process isn't time consuming, but it can feel like a chore if you're required to do it over and over.

With this workflow you only need to tap an app icon on your home screen and select the person you want the screenshot(s) sent to. The 'flow will automatically select the last screenshot in your Camera Roll (you can change the number or have it prompt you each time it's run), and launch the standard iOS share sheet. It's nothing fancy, but it saves you some time over the long run.

View iCloud Drive

The inability to browse your entire iCloud Drive account from an iOS device is puzzling. As it is now, you need to launch an app that integrates iCloud Drive and then view your files. Depending on the app and file type, this can lead to a lot of bouncing around between apps.

 

1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.