New in the Shortcuts Library: One Thing Menu Bar shortcuts

My collection of shortcuts for One Thing for Mac, a Menu Bar applet that lets you display any text — automate your music, tasks, and current status.

I’ve just added a new folder to the Shortcuts Library — my set of One Thing Menu Bar shortcuts:

Open One Thing:

Activates the One Thing menu bar app to display any text.

Use this shortcut to activate One Thing on your Mac and have its applet display in the menu bar.

Tapping on One Thing will display its edit window, which lets you change the text and have that show up in the Menu Bar instead.

Set my One Thing:

Previews your current One Thing, then prompts you to update it.

Use this shortcut to change your active text displayed in One Thing in the Menu Bar on your Mac.

This shortcut gets the current menu bar text and shows it in the prompt, plus includes the current text as the default answer.

In effect, this is the same as tapping the menu bar item, but this flow can be used with Run Shortcut inside any other shortcut when you want to update your current status.

Add Now Playing to Menu Bar:

Displays the current song playing in Apple Music in the Menu Bar.

Use this shortcut to check Apple Music for the current song and display the track title & artist in the Menu Bar using One Thing.

If nothing is found, One Thing will display “No music playing…” for 2 seconds and then clear the applet so there’s no text.

Use this method in your own One Thing shortcuts to temporarily display text in the Menu Bar as needed.

Add preset to menu bar:

Pick from a list of pre-determined options to display in the Menu Bar.

Use this shortcut on your Mac along with One Thing as a way to pick from a pre-set list of common tasks or information you want to display in the Menu Bar.

In this simple example, I’ve included options for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. Other ideas might include putting your daily reoccuring to-dos, or picking from words of motivation you might want to show throughout your day.

Plus, the shortcut includes some scripting that allows for the menu options to be listed nicely capitalized, but then your choice is changed to lowercase before being placed in front of the action verb in the final step.

Show Today’s Current Thing:

Grabs a to-do from Things set for Today and displays it in the Menu Bar using One Thing.

I use this shortcut to take my current task from Things 3 and display its title in the Menu Bar so I don’t lose focus on my most-important thing to do at the moment.

As someone whose line of work is inherently cross-functional, it can be easy to get distracted with other opportunities throughout the day — this helps me realign on what I was doing before I got off-track.

Note: this requires the beta of Things 3 that supports new Shortcuts actions.

Show random Thing in Menu Bar:

Displays a random to-do that’s due today from Things in the Menu Bar.

Using One Thing for Mac and Things 3, this shortcut pulls all tasks that are scheduled with a Start Date for Today and picks a random item from the list to display in the Menu Bar.

This shortcut is particularly useful when you need to get to work but either aren’t sure what to prioritize or just want to get started on anything important.

Instead of taking on the mental load of picking what to do, let the computer decide for you based on what’s available right now.

Note: this requires the beta of Things 3 that supports new Shortcuts actions.

One Thing progress bar:

Sample shortcut showing how One Thing can be used to show progress.

This shortcut demonstrates how the app One Thing for Mac can be used to display useful information in the Menu Bar by passing data inside a repeating loop.

This shortcut was inspired by a conversation with Jason Snell over Mastodon, so I used an example idea where Jason might want to download recent blog posts as HTML and see how far along his downloader was progressing as it is running.

When the shortcut runs, the menu bar item for One Thing will update with 10% complete, 20% complete, 30%… etc.

Use this shortcut as inspiration for your own workflows that could use better visual feedback in the Menu Bar and have a similar repeating loop that takes a while to finish.

Quit One Thing:

Closes One Thing and stops showing its Menu Bar applet.

Use this shortcut to hide the One Thing app from the Menu Bar and close down your session.

When using One Thing’s actions to show progression in the Menu Bar, you could follow up by quitting the app after the process is finished.

One Thing bundle:

Mutli-tool for controlling One Thing in the Menu Bar of your Mac.

Use this bundle shortcut to access all the features of One Thing’s actions in Shortcuts from one menu.

Check out the folder of One Thing Menu Bar shortcuts on the Shortcuts Library.

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