Action Health – A Shortcut for the Ultra

When the Apple Watch Ultra was released, I knew I wanted it. Bigger watch face, insane battery life, the titanium finish, and the Action Button. And it really delivered on three of those things. But the biggest disappointment was the robustness of the Action Button, specifically for me surrounding the single action capability.

The Action Button can do a few things, but only one at a time: start a workout, start a stopwatch, set a waypoint, set a backtrack marker, start a dive, turn on the flashlight, run a shortcut, or do nothing. Rather than have the Action Button be a single function, I wanted it to do multiple things for me.

Shortcuts to the rescue.

I've been tracking – maybe not always successfully – a few different things with shortcuts: my weight, water intake, and caffeine intake. But I also didn't want to lose the ability to quickly start a workout. With a simple shortcut, I can do all these things. It's a simple menu action, with sub-actions inside. Think of it as a menu choice of mini shortcuts. First, you can start a workout form a list of items: upon install, you will be prompted to remove the workouts you don't want to include. It's a tedious process, but you only have to do it once. I also didn't include every workout there, but rather included around 50 of them. The full list is in a comment, so you can quickly add one that is missing. You also can move the items around in the list to have your more frequent workouts near the top of the list.

Weight is an easy one to enter. You're simply prompted for your weight, and then it gets entered – just make sure you set the right units. Logging water and caffeine were influenced based on the existing shortcuts from the gallery. Simple entry based on common units for both ounces of water and milligrams of caffeine. Nothing too complicated, but something I can quickly run from just my watch.

I know it all seems simple. But it's a little improvement to be able to have more control at my wrist. I don't have to reach for my phone for this, which feels a bit more natural to me. I'm finding that with this simple change, I'm using it more. I'm trying to be better on my health journey, and this is one simple step to making it that much better.

The Action Health is available here, and has been submitted as part of Automation April over at MacStories. If you have an idea for a shortcut – no matter how trivial – it's always good to get in on the fun.