MFC Deck and the MFC Deck Autocuts shortcut make it easy to automate the running of multiple shortcuts at the same time. Each shortcut can be configured with its own input, schedule and frequency settings.
Table of Contents
- System Requirements
- Controlling When and How Often Shortcuts Run
- Automatic Folder
Configuring a set of shortcuts to run automatically with MFC Deck and MFC Deck Autocuts is a three step process:
- Create a Deck
- Populate Deck with Cards
- Create Personal Automations
Create a Deck
To create a deck that will automatically run all of its cards, do the following:
- Open MFC Deck.
- Go to the Decks list.
- Tap the + button to create a new deck.
- Enter the name of the deck.
- Configure any other options for the deck like layout, icon, and color.
- Tap Done.
The newly created deck will contain the cards that will run your shortcuts automatically when triggered by a Personal Automation.
Populate Deck with Cards
To create and configure new cards, follow these steps:
- Go to the deck in MFC Deck.
- Tap the + button to create a new card.
- Add a name for the card.
- Verify that Shortcut is chosen in the Action section.
- Tap Choose Shortcut.
- Select the shortcut to execute when the card is run.
- If the shortcut you want to run is not present, refresh the list of shortcuts in MFC Deck by long-pressing on the Action Menu and choosing Update Shortcuts.
- Set any input you want to send to the shortcut.
- You may have multiple cards in the deck that run the same shortcut.
- Each card would be differentiated by what input it sends to the same shortcut.
- Choose whether the shortcut will save its result or not.
- If the shortcut will be updating how the card looks, enable Save Result.
- If you just want to run the shortcut, disable Save Result.
- Configure the Availability settings for the card to control when and how often the shortcut will run.
- Enable Allow Automatic Running in the Advanced section.
- Ensure that the card is not marked as hidden.
- Configure additional options for the card.
- Tap Done.
- Repeat steps 2-13 for additional shortcuts that you want to run automatically.
Create Personal Automations
Next, we will create a personal automation to run the deck’s cards automatically without any user intervention.
Here is a list of the Personal Automation triggers that can run shortcut actions automatically in Shortcuts on iOS 14:
- Time of Day
- Apple Watch Workout
- App Open or Close
- Airplane Mode
- Do Not Disturb
- Low Power Mode
- Battery Level
As an example, we’re going to define a Personal Automation that runs every time the user opens a set of six applications: News, Calendar, Mail, Messages, Notes, and Safari.
- Open Shortcuts.
- Tap Automation.
- Tap the + button.
- Tap Create Personal Automation.
- Tap App.
- Tap Is Opened.
- Tap Choose to bring up the list of apps.
- Select the apps that will trigger the automation and tap Done. For instance:
- News, Calendar, Mail, Messages, Notes, and Safari.
- Tap Next.
- Add a Text action.
- Enter the name of the deck you created earlier.
- Add a Run Shortcut action.
- Set MFC Deck Autocuts as the shortcut to run.
- Confirm that the text action is being used as the input to the Run Shortcut action.
- Tap Next.
- Disable Ask Before Running. Tap Don’t Ask in the confirmation dialog that appears.
- Tap Done.
When you open on the apps you added in step 8, the following things will occur:
- A notification banner will appear saying “Running your automations.”
- MFC Deck Autocuts will retrieve all the cards in the selected deck.
- Only those cards that are not hidden and have the Allow Automatic Running toggle enabled will be processed.
- The Availability settings will be evaluated for each card.
- If the card passes the availability test, its action (e.g. shortcut) will be run in the background.
- The remaining cards will be evaluated in the order they appear in the deck until all the cards have been processed.
Controlling When and How Often Shortcuts Run
By setting the Availability settings for each card, you can control how often your shortcuts run. This is useful when you do not want your shortcuts to run every single time your personal automation runs.
You can configure the following Availability settings when editing a card:
- Schedule: The days on which the card can run. Specify:
- Every Day: The card will run every day of the week.
- Weekdays: The card will run Monday through Friday.
- Weekends: The card will run on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Custom: Choose the days the card will run.
- Time: What time during the day the card can run. Choose from:
- All-day: The card action can run anytime during the scheduled days.
- Time Frame: Choose a starting and end time. The card action will only run between those times.
- Rate Limiter: Choose how often a card can run. You can choose to delay runs in days, hours, minutes, or seconds. If you try to run a card before the timer has elapsed, nothing will happen.
NOTE: Being able to set the Availability settings for cards is an MFC Deck Premium feature.
Here are some examples of how you can use MFC Deck, MFC Deck Autocuts, and Personal Automations:
Create a Personal Automation that runs at sunrise. Configure a deck called Morning that has several shortcuts that you want to run when at the beginning of the day. Sample cards and shortcuts can do the following:
- Display the weather conditions in various locations around the world.
- Run a morning routine shortcut that updates you on today’s calendar and tasks.
- Backup your shortcuts to iCloud Drive once a day.
- Set your Apple Watch Face.
- Run shortcuts that update widgets on your iOS Home Screen.
- Set the current and default decks in MFC Deck.
Afternoon and Evening Routines
Create two additional Personal Automations that execute the cards in additional decks at a set time in the afternoon and when the sun goes down.
For more precisely timed automations, create Personal Automations that run every hour during the day. Configure the availability for the deck’s cards so that they can run once every 59 minutes. This will ensure when the hourly automation runs, the card’s shortcut action will be ready to run again.
Create a CarPlay personal automation that runs different shortcuts depending on the day of the week and the time of day:
- Commute: One card runs only on the weekdays in the morning hour to calculate directions automatically to work and start playing the next podcast episode.
- Return Home: One card runs only in the afternoon on weekdays to get you back home.
- Weekend: This card works only on weekends and prompts you on where you are going.
While you can program a shortcut to implement these use cases, it’s much easier with MFC Deck and MFC Deck Autocuts.
Automatic Folder: Automating Shortcuts Without MFC Deck and MFC Deck Autocuts
If you wanted to run a set of shortcuts automatically without the use of MFC Deck, you can use the Automatic Folder shortcut.
Given the name of a folder in Shortcuts, you can set up a Personal Automation that runs the shortcut. At the appropriate time, every shortcut in the folder will be executed. You can also configure the Automatic Folder shortcut to only run after a set number of minutes have past.
When you install Automatic Folder for the first time, you’ll be asked to configure the following options:
- Folder: The Shortcuts folder containing the shortcuts you want to run. Default is
- Repeat Delay: The time in minutes to wait before the shortcuts in the folder can run again. Default is
- Preferences Location: Automatic Folder needs to store the date it last ran. Choose to store this preference on iCloud Drive, DataJar, or Toolbox Pro.
- Preference Name: The name of the file or variable name to store the last run date preference. If you plan to use multiple copies of the Automatic Folder shortcut, choose a different name here for each folder you are monitoring.
Benefits Over MFC Deck
With Automatic Folder, you don’t need a separate app to manage this. Just add your shortcuts, configure Automatic Folder’s settings, and set up the Personal Automation.
Limitations With Automatic Folder
There are several limitations to using Automatic Folder over MFC Deck.
MFC Deck provides built-in scheduling for running shortcuts in an easy-to-use interface. You will have to implement scheduling in each of your shortcuts if you use Automatic Folder.
Rate limiting happens on the Automatic Folder shortcut itself and not on each shortcut contained in the folder. To get per-shortcut rate limiting, you must use MFC Deck and MFC Decks Autocuts or create your own rate limiting system within each shortcut.
MFC Deck lets you set the order of cards that will be run. With Automatic Folder, the order of shortcut execution is alphabetical because the Get My Shortcuts action currently returns the list of shortcuts in the selected folder sorted alphabetically.
You cannot configure the input parameters to the shortcuts as you can in MFC Deck. The input parameters must be baked into the shortcut or passed to them via an embedded Run Shortcut action.
MFC Deck Shortcuts Gallery