Learn how to perform actions in Things automatically based on your location, a time of day, or other triggers.

Apple’s Shortcuts app allows you to specify certain circumstances that will cause your shortcuts to run automatically.

There are two components to an automation:

  1. The automation: This is where you specify the trigger that will cause your shortcut to run. For example, when I wake up in the morning, when I get in my car, and so on.
  2. The shortcut: This is where you specify what should happen. For example, open a list in Things, create a to-do, and so on.

Automation is only supported on iPhone and iPad, not Mac.

Create your shortcut

Before you set up your automation you must first create the shortcut that specifies what should happen. This is done in Apple’s Shortcuts app. If you’ve never made a shortcut before, see Apple’s documentation for getting started.

See also our example shortcuts and in-depth technical documentation.

Automate your shortcut

Rather than running your shortcut manually, your device can run it for you automatically based on a trigger you set.

To create an automation, open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad, go to the Automation tab, and then follow Apple’s instructions on how to create an automation.

Here are a few examples where you might use an automation with Things:

When I turn off my alarm in the morning
Open the Today list so that I can plan my day.
When I drive past the grocery store
Prompt me to check my Shopping list.
When I arrive at my parents house
Remind me to review items tagged with Parents.
When I get in my car and connect to CarPlay
Show me today’s Errands.
At 4:00 PM every day
Check my Inbox for items that have arrived from Mail to Things and move them into a list for me.

To choose your trigger and configure what shortcut it should run, follow Apple’s instructions.


Please note that the Shortcuts app is made by Apple. If you have any problems with the app itself, please contact Apple for assistance.