Automators 47: The Daily Brief


Great episode. You mentioned that you could use a random quote api in a short cut. Does anyone know how you might implement something like that? I’d love to have an interesting quote as part of my morning report.

I had a question - Rosemary mentions on this episode how she uses Pushcuts to send a notification if a shortcut has already been run that day and does a test to see if it has using Data Jar. I know how to fo the Pushcut part. I’m wondering how you’;re doing it with Data Jar? Presumably it is some value in a dictionary bit how are you then resetting it each day?

I have a dictionary in Data Jar that I use for “shortcut last run”, first I pull the current value for the shortcut, and then I set it.

This is the API I’ve been experimenting with:

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Get Contents of URL with a suitable API, and then take the values you want from the dictionary and format it.

Here’s a humorous example -


@RosemaryOrchard I thought you and @MacSparky mentioned on the show you would share examples of your Daily Briefs. I looked in the show notes but did not see them anywhere. It was interesting to hear the different approaches each of you took to the same items, and it would be helpful to view these examples if possible. Thanks so much and a great show.


There has been a short discussion about blinds and also the IKEA blinds integrated in a home automation setup. I think it was @MacSparky who said he would be interested if anybody is using these in an automated fashion.
Well, I am using six or seven Ikea blinds in different sizes at my home fully automated based on sunrise, -set as well as altitude of the sun. But as I find Apple HomeKit pretty inflexible with regards to define automations, I am using Home Assistant for this. The Ikea blinds support the Zigbee protocol and based on that I have them integrated into home automation and since then they are reliably performing the automations defined - six months so far, I guess.

I’ve previously set up a “daily brief” style automation that this episode has inspired me to take a second look at and revamp. +1 to see more actual examples of the actual workflows of other’s daily brief so I can learn more.

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It would be great if our hosts could upload the shortcuts they mentioned. I generally find that the subjects they discuss are way beyond my paltry nerd skills and without being able to see what it is they’re actually doing it’s like listening to people talk about how they swim.


Hi @RosemaryOrchard

I am a big fan of your show that you host with David. I have tried to use your shortcut: get location (based on the wifi you are connected to)
But I can’t seem to figure out how to use it with other shortcuts. How would you implement the get location shortcut with other shortcuts?

Looking forward to your reply

All the best Martin

1 – In Rosemary’s Shortcut, update the dictionary to contain the list of known WiFi networks that you might connect to (network name as the key, full address as the value)

2 – add an Exit Shortcut command to the end of the Shortcut (Shortcuts will add the magic variable If Result automatically.

In the Shortcut that you want to use the location data, use a Run Shortcut action to call the Get Location Shortcut and then use the magic variable returned from the run command in whatever command you want, here I have passed it in to the Get Weather action. You do need to update the magic variable to be a Location as shown in the second image.

Hope this makes sense and answers your question…


This is exactly what I do!


Thank you so much @Tony - it was the last part I didn’t understand before your excellent explanation :pray:t2:

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@Elmanic Glad it helped.

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I got it to work now - but I do wonder why the exit shortcut action wasn’t included in @RosemaryOrchard shortcut?

Another question if WiFi is turned off I get this error (see screenshot).

Is that a mistake or should the shortcut behave differently?

All the best Martin

It depends upon how you want to use the snippet that Rosemary provided. As provided it allows another line to be added to the end of the Shortcut to use the location information directly; with the Exit Shortcut you then use the snippet as a reusable function to call from another Shortcut.

The error shown is due to no key being passed to the dictionary call when WiFi is turned off. I’ve modified the original Shortcut to allow for this case here:

You need to add the If block (highlighted in red) and then update the magic variable (highlighted in green).

My Shortcuts is playing up and will not generate a link to the correct Shortcut… Time for a reboot and I’ll try the link again later.

OK, this link should now work!

(Changed the wording to WiFi Off instead of Network Off

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Actually all shortcuts provide an output if run inside another shortcut, you just need to make sure your shortcut only has the output you need :wink:


True! I just tend to use the Exit Shortcut to make sure I return the intended data. :grin:

I added the if action and it works perfectly :pray:t2: thx again to you both @Tony and @RosemaryOrchard :grin:

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