Focus Mode "Stacks"

I’ve recently been thinking about trying to set up some new Focus Modes, now that I feel like they’ve gotten a lot more thorough in the latest version of macOS.

Two focus modes that I know I want to build a bit more are:

  • A “Work” focus mode
  • And a “Meetings” focus mode

What I’d love to do is something like:

  1. When I get to my desk, start a “Work” focus that would turn off in 8 hours (or at 6pm, maybe).
  2. And when I join a meeting, start a “Meeting” focus mode until I end the meeting.
  3. When the meeting ends “pop” up the stack back to the Work focus mode, that should still end at the same time.

When thinking about it, I’m almost picturing a “stack” that I’d push new focus modes onto, and pop back to the previous one when I’m done. (Imagine another step, too. Where maybe “Personal” is below work, so popping “Work” would bring you back to “Personal” until you pushed “Work” back on the next day.)

I know Focus modes on their own wouldn’t support this kind of behavior, and I don’t think Shortcuts alone would get me there. I’ve thought about trying to push the data into Data Jar, but one annoying little caveat is that my work macOS can’t use iCloud Drive, so the data wouldn’t be synced. I suppose if I gave up on the notion of stacks, though, and just used “current time” or my calendar or something to figure out what focus mode I should be in, that would probably work.

I’m curious if anyone’s implemented something like this, though.

Maybe take a look at Bunch.

Not exactly what you are asking for, as it will likely need to be triggered manually, but perhaps a viable solution nevertheless.

Edit: I’m not on Ventura yet, but it seems the Clock app has been brought to the Mac, and has some Shortcuts actions. So maybe there is a more direct way to do this.

I have a “Business” bunch that launches all my business apps, such as Outlook, Teams, etc. and also shuts down personal apps such as Photoshop. This may be much simpler than what you need but it would be a start.

I have just the thing for you!

In Shortcuts, you can set automations to run when you leave a focus mode. I use them to enable a different focus mode every time I leave one. I use this for a Go focus that turns on when I leave the house.

So for your Meeting focus, you could set a shortcuts automation to turn on Work focus every time you leave Meeting focus.

1 Like