How do you organize your Workflow workflows?

I’m interested in seeing how other people organize the tiles in your workflow app. Mine are somewhat haphazard – some of the most used are toward the top, but other than that I have no organizing principles - no color or icon schemes, no folders. As I accumulate more workflows, some of which I’ve copied with the intent to adapt, and others of which I’m still struggling with, and still others of which actually work.

I’m attaching a screenshot of my iPad. Would love to see or hear about what you do!



Workflow doesn’t have folders and I wished for something else.

I have hundreds of workflows, so whilst they are not all sorted as I’d like I try and use naming conventions to find things quickly. By naming the workflows to a particular format (e.g. all text processing workflows could start ‘TXT’) then they become easier to find with the search. I have hundreds so it is a chore otherwise. I also don’t just use one level. I use multiple levels where equired (with - as a separator).

I found colours worked when I had fewer than 100 but after that, not so much.


This is one issue, I really hope gets resolved at some point. I use color only to designate state of done-ness of a workflow (red=work in progress; orange=needs more testing; green=works as advertised). I try to use keywords in the title to help when searching, but beyond that I’m heavily reliant on search to find anything.


I organise my workflows by colour blue for today widgets, red for action extensions and grey for normal workflows.


I use emoji based on the kind of input they take (:floppy_disk: for files of course) which lets me search categorically. Poor man’s tagging. And I have written a launcher workflow with a list by tag which lets me pick.


Here it is - should be clear how to customise for your emoji scheme.


Maybe the best approach to organizing everything is to not try. @dfay’s Launcher workflow made me think of Launch Center Pro. Why not use something like LCP to organize your workflows? It offers grouping where you can create actions to related workflows and you can position those groups or actions anywhere on the grid that makes sense to you.


Separate launchers are fine for running workflows (I do use LCP & the Workflow widget for a few sets of my most common workflows), but they don’t help with the maintenance and there is an overhead on set-up that having a native organisation option does/would drastically reduce.


I don’t because there are two different organisational problems: 1) launching which I address through the workflow above (and which LCP can handle) & 2) organisation within the Workflow app, where the emoji tags allow for easy filtering, & which needs to have an internal solution.


Agreed, my suggestion to use LCP doesn’t fix the underlining issue of not having built-in organization within the app, but only an alternative to scrolling or searching through a metaphorical junk drawer. Since I couldn’t sleep last night, I’ve outlined what approaches are inherent in the app.

By color
I think this is the original intent of the Workflow developers. There are 15 different colors to choose from, so if you can organize all your workflows into 15 categories this would be a quick visual option. You may have to broaden the scope of a category in order to keep everything within 15 colors.

Spatially by category
Move all your related workflows together. All workflows related to music/playlists get moved together; all workflows related to filing docs to cloud together, etc. Pair this approach with colors or icon to create visual blocks of workflows.

Spatially by run type (Normal, Today Widget, Action Extension)
Since action extensions are most likely to be activated from the share sheet, move these to the bottom. Normal workflows only run in the app, so put these at the top. Put Today Widgets in the middle. If you color code these like @nathanieloffer, you’ll have a nice visual break as you scroll through the three types.

Spatially by type of input
Again, move all workflows that take a particular input together. Might be harder to organize workflows that take multiple types of input.

By frequency of use
Move your most used to the top to reduce scrolling. Would need to be paired with other approach to be effective.

By state
Put finished workflows toward the top. Workflows that are still being written or tested toward the bottom. Specify a specific color to indicate a work in progress. Would need to be paired with other approach to be effective.

By keyword
This is more of a search approach than organization. Let’s call it the SEO approach — stuffing the title with keywords or prepend/append titles with a category (per @sylumer) or emoji (per @dfay) that can be used to find/filter.

Don’t bother
Lastly, don’t even bother trying to organize them until Apple provides something better within the app. Until then “organize” by using a 3rd party app like Launch Center Pro, add them to your home screen or make more use of spotlight.

Given the app’s current options, a combination of the above is your best bet. YMMV


Is there anyone on the iOS 12 developer beta of Shortcuts who can tell us what organisational features (if any) have been added?

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I have the beta for Shortcuts. It is the same as Workflow right now.

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@dfay ‘s workflow got me thinking about a way to do something similar but based on color scheme. The color metadata is viewable in the Content Graph, but I don’t know how to access it in a workflow.

The content within the “WFWorkflow” item within “Workflow” includes icon information:

Is this information accessible to use as a conditional within a workflow step? I don’t think it is, but thought I would ask… Ideas? — jay


As you’ve observed, the content graph is a read only tool and it shows you what Workflow is able to draw upon behind the scenes. But not every attribute of every content object in the parent object is directly accessible to the user. It’s just a peek behind the curtain in many respects.

At one point you could look inside a Workflow object by renaming it to a text file and then accessing the content. You would then use the match action to get the info you want.

However, my actions that rely on that approach stopped working earlier this year. It now crashes the app when it tries to process more than one as well as a few other circumstances.

Take a look at this example workflow. Defaults to 1 workflow to process and seems fine. Make it any higher and it crashes. Unless my Workflow-fu is waning, I don’t think there’s a way around that crashing right now. But obviously happy to be proven wrong.


Thanks @sylumer. I will play around with this, but I bet your fu has not waned! :grinning:

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@fglazer how did you make the “things basic project template”? I’m interested in all the”things” you have.

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That is a workflow that came from The Sweet Setup - it’s part of their “all the things” course. It put, appropriately enough, a project into Things with the components of the course as tasks so I can track my progress.

One of those one-time-use and incredibly useful workflows, i can delete it now and get rid of some clutter. thanks for the reminder!


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I gotta watch that show. Sounds good

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These are my efforts, this has taken some considerable time and patience

This has been continually updated throughout the day, and using the public betas from day one, of them being released.

I’m also on a steep learning curve with regards Workflow, as I want more from it, I want it to work for me.

I’m an app junkie, as you will see, I have over 300 apps, using up 40.8 GB of 64 GB, over 25,000 pictures using 37.9 GB on iCloud

Page One

My Main homescreen, with folders broken up in to genres, all accessible by a click & a swipe or two.

Page Two

My Workflows Screen, depending on my location, task, or state of mind.

Folders on Page 2, My goto Workflows for one of my favourite pleasures, Music,
This is work in progress, as I’ve just figured out haw to add artists pictures to the icons

Page Three

Games Screen, again broken up into Genres, because I know what I’m looking for, when I’m looking.

Page 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10.

Because I’m a Working Jeweller, I want info fast & fluent, I want any link accessible within a swipe or two.

In future updates to iOS I would love to see "Home-Screens’ be come namable and movable, or scenes, dependent on location & time.


Short answer: I don’t organise my workflows.