Our Favourite Third-Party Apps That Work with Mac Shortcuts

Utility •  Nov.10, 2021

Shortcuts app macos

The latest version of Mac, namely macOS Monterey, caused a bit of a stir by overwhelming us with so many features that we had been waiting for since forever. Now, to enhance your experience with your macOS devices, you must utilize these new features to their full potential. One of the ways to do so is by using some best-fit Third-Party Apps for yourself.

After all, a new update must improve your interaction with your Mac instead of just being another update that takes too long to install and gives you near to nothing in return. With the latest update of macOS, Shortcuts are finally here to stay. Here we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites so far that you should give a shot at, and hopefully, they’ll make it to your list of shortcuts on your macOS device.

Apps for self-care and productivity

Technology can do wonders. Regardless of the common idea that your electronic devices will exhaust the life out of you, we know that they can actually help you feel better at times. Here are some apps to help you with mindfulness.

1. Dark Noise 

Price: $9.99

dark noise

Have you been trying to focus on a task but unable to do so for too long? Are you not able to work in silence but playing songs gets too distracting? Or maybe you just want to relax. Dark Noise can be your fix for all of these problems as it’ll create a soothing auditory ambiance for you to work on. This makes it a must-try Application as it has the potential to become a game-changer for you by helping you in your daily tasks.

Here are all the shortcuts that you can use with Dark Noise:

  • Start Dark Noise
  • Start Dark Noise with Stop Time
  • Start Dark Noise with Duration
  • Set mix audio

The shortcuts are basic; however, they help you start or stop a Dark Noise session to help focus on the ongoing task with a single click.

2. Focused Work

Price: Free (in-app purchases)

focused work

One of the most essential things for productivity is time management. If you’re interested in improving your productivity and have been looking for a timer to help you manage time better, this might be your call. Focused Work will not only time your tasks for you but will also help you reflect on your progress as well. In fact, even when focusing on specific tasks, it is advised to take short breaks in between to increase the outcome.

Focused Work offers multiple ways to begin a Focused work session. This even includes Shortcuts actions available on Macs:

  • Set Timer
  • Adjust Volume Level
  • Skip current Stage
  • Start a Focus Session
  • Get the Current Focus Session
  • Restart the current Stage
  • Pause the Focus Session
  • End the Focus Session
  • Resume the Focus Session

All these Shortcuts are super handy, and like time tracking, Focused Work actions work well to track and manage focused sessions. It helps you increase productivity and deliver a better workflow experience.

3. Moment

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


Are you concerned about how much time you might be spending on your phone? Maybe a tracker would help you manage your habit of going through your phone somewhat better. Moment is a simple app. It’ll do the simple task of noting how much time you’re spending on each app. This way, you’ll know whether it’s the memes of Instagram or the loophole of odd YouTube recommendations that has you spending time the most, and you can work on your habits, respectively.

Here are the shortcuts that you can use with moment to manage the time you are spending on an app:

  • Create events
  • Start a countdown timer
  • Set reminders

You can also customize and add more shortcuts. However, this is a great place to begin, and Moment will help mark events and track reminders with a single click.

4. Things

Price: $49.99


In case you’ve got a lot of things going on at the moment, Things might help you get through it. It is going to help you make to-do lists, set deadlines, and keep track of it all. It’s simple, easy-to-use, and helpful, which earns it a place on the list.

Things have the following four shortcuts:

  • Display List
  • Display To-Do list
  • Add To-Do list
  • Run Things URL

The notable choices are the “Add To-Do list” and “Display To-Do list” shortcuts. These help you quickly make to-do lists and display them with a single click. Hence, improving productivity and access to notes.

Note-taking and text editor apps

Taking notes on electronic devices is easy, convenient, and even better for the environment, so many have started to prefer it over the traditional use of pen and paper. Hence there’s no reason not to take note-taking to that medium too. In case you haven’t already, we recommend you try note-taking with these applications.

5. Ulysses

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


The main idea behind this Application is to make writing so convenient that the writer doesn’t have to worry about the formalities of writing, such as the format. Alongside, most users say the application seems to offer quite a brilliant experience with smooth functioning. It is made to suit any and every form of writing, so it is a must-have if you’re using your device for any form of writing task.

Here is the complete list of the shortcuts available on the Mac:

  • Get Callback Identifier
  • Include Text to Sheet
  • Include Image to Sheet
  • Get a Sheet
  • Open the Ulysses app
  • Get the Current Sheet
  • Attach files to Sheet
  • Create a new Sheet
  • Create a new Group

These shortcuts give users the flexibility to add content such as images or texts to a sheet. It also helps them quickly open the app and load a sheet. Hence, making the task easier and quicker for everyone.

6. Drafts

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


Let’s say, unlike Ulysses, you’re not looking into a tool too powerful and too fancy and just want to go with the flow with what you write. That is, quickly jot what comes to your mind and then worry about putting it all together later on. In such a case, Drafts would be a better app to look into. Here is the complete list of Shortcuts you can use with Drafts:

  • Open the Draft app
  • Update the Draft app
  • Markdown To HTML conversion
  • Create a new Draft with Dictation
  • Run Actions on Draft
  • Create a new Draft
  • Search for Drafts
  • Get Drafts from Workspace
  • Open the Workspace
  • View the current Draft
  • Get Current Draft
  • Show Capture
  • Process Template

Drafts shortcuts are quick, easy, and simple to use, and upon clicking on the ‘Open Workspace’ shortcut icon, you’ll directly hop to a blank page – waiting to be filled by your words. This convenience makes it one of the most popularly used applications as well.

7. Evernote

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


If you’re familiar with writing on your electronic devices, this recommendation probably will not come as a shock to you. It is one of the most famous text editing apps out there currently. Here are all the shortcuts that Evernote provides:

  • Create notebooks
  • Create checklist
  • Add screenshots or clippings
  • Add media such as music or pictures

There is so much you can do with this editor, from maintaining checklists to formatting your text along with the simple yet feature-laden interface that anyone would find easy and entertaining to use. You can add images and audio files to your notes as well, making it brilliant to use.

8. Bear

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


Using this application would be a beautiful experience altogether. Also, if you struggle with concentration, you will be glad to know that this app has a focus mode. Not only that but there is also an additional assurance of security with Bear since it allows you to encrypt the notes and lock the app as well.

Bear provides Shortcuts to all the major features, and these are:

  • Open a new Bear Note
  • Get Contents of Bear Note
  • Trash the current note
  • Get a new note
  • Open a new note
  • Include text to a note
  • Search notes
  • Add tags to a note
  • Create a note from URL
  • Search tags
  • Add files to note
  • Create Bear Note from URL
  • Open a new section
  • Open a new Tag
  • Archive a note
  • Create a new Note
  • Pin a note

All these shortcuts mean that Bear can get a little confusing, but the app’s effectiveness just doesn’t stop there, and the overall app is much better and easy to get used to. So, once you master the app and its quick Shortcuts, you will be much faster in jotting down notes and writing stuff down.

Photo/video editing apps

Looking to spaz up your photos and videos? Well, if the default editing tool isn’t working for you and you need the perfect app with all the customization options, then you’re at the right place. Here are some awesome apps that you can use to edit your photos and videos and make them look amazing.

9. DarkRoom

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


You can edit your photos as well as videos with DarkRoom. If it helps, this application also won the Apple Design Aware in the year 2020 too. It’s got several powerful tools to help you with your photo editing and a wonderful community that shares the art it creates. Here is a list of all the shortcuts that you can use with the app:

  • Edit Files with Darkroom
  • Include Photos to Favorites
  • Reject and Flag Photos

DarkRoom+ is also available, which offers a premium version of the software with much more tools that you can use. In case you’re someone who is interested in photo-editing, you should give this one a shot.

10. Pixelmator Pro

Price: $39.99

pixelmator pro

We highly recommend using this application. Not only are there 28 different editing actions for the images, but there’s also a split comparison feature to help you compare the original photo with the edited one. Since this application is also fully optimized to be used on Mac devices, you’ll be editing your photos beautifully in no time through it.

Pixelmator Pro also comes with a variety of different shortcuts that you can use to help make editing easy and much more fun, and they are:

  • Resizing and Converting images
  • Compressing images and videos
  • Setting the editing parameters

These shortcuts are the tip of the iceberg; however, there are lot more shortcuts that you can incorporate with the app and your Mac. So, the possibilities are endless add you can make various shortcuts that can work with different parameters and help edit images and videos with ease.

Other apps that’ll make your life much easy

11. Yoink

Price: $8.99


How often have you tried to copy-paste some critical data but then lost it in between the process? Or maybe you overwrote the clipboard and lost the information on it. With how they describe themselves, Yoink is more like a shelf in our devices’ virtual world. Its work is to hold data instead of the clipboard, basically, and it also manages to arrange it better.

Here are the Shortcuts that Yoink can use:

  • Add new Files to Yoink
  • Save the Clipboard Contents
  • Get different Files from Yoink
  • Remove All Files

This enables many quirky things and allows you to add and remove files from Yoink and save Clipboard content for quick copying and pasting.

12. Keep it

Price: Free (in-app purchases)

keep it

In case you have a lot of things that you would want to save and keep safely, Keep It would be of great use. It stands out from other note-taking apps as it goes beyond just taking notes and allows you to save, organize, organize and filter a variety of information as well. Shortcuts also play a major role, and here’s everything that you can do with Keep-it actions:

  • Get Keep It Item
  • Include Text to Keep It
  • Find Keep It Folders
  • Attach different Files to Keep It
  • Add Web Link to Keep It
  • Add a new list List to Keep It
  • Get the current Keep It List
  • Remove a Keep It Item
  • Get Text Content
  • Open a new Item in Keep It

These Shortcuts are awesome and allow it to append notes, add lists, set properties, and a lot more. Also,  because it enables you to save anything from plain text to links and images, it is a brilliant way to maintain a form of the scrapbook as well.

13. PCalc

Price: $9.99


Remember the time your mathematics teacher would lecture you about how you won’t always have a calculator to solve problems relating to numbers for you? Well, not only were they wrong, but this application goes a step further by being a powerful scientific calculator. This superior scientific calculator will also support the calculations with hexadecimal, octal or binary numbers. If you’re someone who uses a lot of numbers for different reasons, it is a great app to have on your device.

It also comes with a lot of shortcuts that you can use on your Mac, and they are:

  • Run Commands
  • Get a Register Value
  • Get Currency Rates
  • Run a Function with Name
  • Set a new Register with Value
  • Convert different Value
  • Set new Registers with Constants
  • Switch among different Layout
  • Run a Function with Two Parameters

The shortcuts provide a great value and help deliver a fantastic experience for converting different values and incorporating sheets. Also, you can shift layouts with a single click and run functions with different names and values, making everything work a lot smoother and with a lot less effort.

14. Data Jar

Price: Free (in-app purchases)


The function of this application is in the name itself. Imagine this application to be like a Jar that will be holding your data. The best part about this application is that you will be able to save a variety of data, but you’ll also read and modify data directly from Shortcuts. You’ll find yourself in comfort while using this app, as it was designed to fit in perfectly with Shortcuts.

Here are all the shortcuts that data jar provides:

  • Add new item To List
  • Check If the Value Exists
  • Get the current Value
  • View the current Value
  • Delete the current Value
  • Set a new Value
  • Count Values

15. Music Harbor

Price: Free (in-app purchases)

music harbor

In case you haven’t guessed from the name already, Music Harbor is an app that will help you browse and listen to your favorite music artists. The Mac app includes several Shortcuts actions to access the app’s data and manage the artists you follow:

  • Mark As Watched
  • Get the Upcoming Music Data
  • Unfollow an Artist
  • Get Music data from a Video
  • Mark As Seen
  • Follow a new Artist
  • Get Music Data

Music Harbor may feel like any other music-hearing app, but it is specially optimized to fit well with your Mac, which is why we recommend you really give this one a shot.


What is macOS Shortcuts?

Shortcuts are one of the latest features that have been introduced in macOS Monterey. It had been long asked for and can be quite a useful feature if used to its fullest. It lets people automate repetitive tasks from different apps and services. It also helps connect functionality from other apps to solve problems.

Shortcuts for Mac will make automation more fun and accessible than ever before by allowing everyone to create their own Shortcuts or use the default ones that come with the apps.

How to use Shortcuts in macOS Monterey?

Shortcuts for Mac enables you to be creative with how you use your Mac. Basically, all it does is give you the option to keep the options you often use just one tap away or one command away in the case of Siri. Here are the steps to get started on the app –

  • First, make sure you’ve installed the app already. Once you’ve done that, tap app to open it.
  • Now, all you need to do is tap on that “Create Shortcut” button to get started with the process. You can also head to the Shortcuts Gallery to use some pre-made shortcuts you might be interested in using.
  • Once you’re done, you can check the shortcut by clicking on the play button and making relevant edits.
  • Finally, all you need to do is tap on next, give a name to your shortcut and click on done.
How do I open 3rd party apps on Mac?

You can use Finder on your Mac to locate the 3rd party app you want to open. However, don’t use Launchpad to do this and “Control” + “Click” the app icon and then choose the “Open” button from the shortcut menu.

This is the quick way to open any 3rd party apps on your Mac, and we recommend learning it to save time and allow you to access the apps effectively.

Can Shortcuts play Spotify?

Yes, you can use shortcuts to play Spotify. Go to the Shortcuts library, and there will be additional Spotify shortcuts. These include the following: Play Spotify Album, Play Spotify Track, Search Spotify Playlist, and Search Spotify Artist. Now, just search for the shortcuts and install them.

Final words

There is no doubt that third-party applications can actually make your macOS Monterey perform tasks that will make your life better, and so we hope that this list of third-party applications is useful to you. It’s best to explore various applications and see which one helps you out the best with your day-to-day tasks. If an app tends to be of great use, it’s best to create a Shortcut so that it is always one call away from your use.

While the number of amazing applications available can be overwhelming, it is advised that you’re still cautious when installing any software due to the risk of viruses and spyware. You won’t have to worry about the applications listed here since they are trusted, so we hope one of these makes a place in your Shortcuts.

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