Month: August 2019

In my latest post, I mentioned I was removing Your Daily Lex from my podcast list because it’s been two years since the last episode and it’s reasonable to assume the show had ended.

Not two days after posting that blog post, I hear on “Upgrade” that “Your Daily Lex” had started again.

What are the chances?

So over a year ago I listed out all my subscribed podcasts. It’s been over a year, and there has been some changes.

In case anyone is looking for new shows to listen to…

Too New to Judge

  • 7am – I want to try getting into some daily local news podcast (not tech news). However, I have yet to listen to a single episode.
  • Adapt – I’m trying to use my iPad more, so I look to this for inspiration
  • Awaken Your Inner Witch – long story; a friend told me to listen to this
  • Baby Geniuses – I want to listen to more podcasts made by women, but I haven’t started this yet
  • Shameless – same as above

Must Listen

  • Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP) – my love for this show is still going strong
  • Automators – I have to take notes while listening to this show. Usually after an episode, I spend an entire weekend playing with some sort of automation or another
  • Cortex – there are two people I would listen to pretty much any podcast they are involved in, John Siracusa and CGP Grey. This is one of the latter’s.
  • Hello Internet – Remember what I said about CGP Grey (above)?
  • Mac Power User – the show dynamic has changed since Katie left; it’s a different show, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing
  • Mnmltek Podcast – this is a strange addition to the list because there doesn’t seem to be any new episodes since a year ago, but I really enjoyed this show and would definitely have this on my “Must Listen” when/if it restarts again
  • Radio Free Burrito dot Com – very irregular episodes, so if Will Wheaton publishes another episode, it’s a must listen for me
  • Robot or Not? – if you’re a Siracusa fan, this is a must listen
  • Trigger Point – my podcast, I need to listen to it to make sure the audio went through fine and that the artwork was showing up properly, but you should listen because it’s a great show (but then, I’m biased)

Regulars

  • Clockwise – a short 30 minute show to get a taste of what tech topic is trending currently
  • Everything is Alive – this show is so whimsical, and just brings a smile to my face
  • Focused – I’m a sucker for productivity podcasts
  • The Sword and Laser – this show recommends so many good books, and then I listen to those (audiobooks) and get behind on my podcasts…
  • Timetable – to hear about the behind-the-scene about micro.blog

Pick and Choose by Episodes

  • Back to Work – I’m so behind on my list of episodes that I don’t really end up listening to this much, but I still enjoy it enough to keep it on my subscribed list
  • Do Go On – A little bit of Aussie humour with trivia worthy information
  • The Flop House – I definitely haven’t heard enough episodes to get the inside jokes
  • ID10T with Chris Hardwick – when I recognise the name of the actor Chris is interviewing I’d download the episode to listen
  • The Incomparable – I listen when they talk about movies or tv shows I’ve watched, I definitely listen during Hugo season, or any book recommendation episodes
  • Micro Monday
  • iMore Show
  • The Pen Addict – This was on my Regular Listen list last year; it’s not that I don’t like pens anymore, it’s just that I don’t buy as much pen and inks anymore and this show is too dangerous for my wallet
  • Reconcilable Differences – same situation as Back to Work
  • The Rebound – I hardly ever listen to this anymore, but it’s not yet on my Rotating Out list. There’s nothing wrong with this show, but I have so many tech shows on my plate that by the time I get to this show I’m sick of the topics they’re covering
  • Rocket – same as above
  • The Talk Show with John Gruber – mainly for the WWDC shows
  • Upgrade

Naively Optimistic

If I ever get the time…

Rotating Out

  • The Adventure Zone – Myke Hurley keeps raving on about this show, but I should just give up on trying to listen to RPG games on podcast – I have way too many podcasts already
  • Canvas – I never did get around to listening to this, and now it’s ended, and the topics – unfortunately – are not evergreen, so I’m more likely to listen to Adapt or Automators
  • Dice Hard – If listening to people play tabletop RPG on podcast is hard, listening to people describe boardgames via audio only is near impossible
  • Download – too many tech podcasts
  • Neon Decay – same as Twin Cities by Night
  • The Obligatory RPG Show
  • Query (Ended)
  • Subnet (Ended) – this was a very good idea, too bad it ended
  • TED Radio Hour – what was I thinking?
  • Twin Cities by Night – I was looking for podcasts of Vampire the Masquerade play sessions (tabletop RPG), this was one of them. TLDR, I ended up watching Geek and Sundry’s “Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night” instead.
  • Your Daily Lex – I think this one has ended
Does anybody else have this problem: I can’t decide on a domain name or constantly wanting to change my domain name…
Ah great, the heater in the office isn’t working today and it’s 11 degrees right now. Everyone is wearing scarves and coats at their desks atm.
Edit: I’ve updated the workflow because I realised there was an actual book links field that I could use instead of trying to extract the book ID to build the link.

I also realise that my workflow was built using iOS 13’s Shortcuts app, so a lot of people won’t be able to use it. I will build one using iOS 12 asap and will post a link to that as soon as that’s done.

Lastly, you might find that the workflow doesn’t populate some start/finish dates. This is not an error with the workflow, instead, it seems that Goodreads doesn’t provide the dates for some of the books. The date fields are just missing, I’m not sure why. I’ve tried re-adding the dates on some of my books but they still don’t show up, although the modify dates changed, so I know something has been recorded. I will keep looking into this and will report back if I find anything.


So I forgot where I’d read it, but I saw that some people were creating a “read/reading” page1; listing all the books they’ve read/reading this year.

I’ve also created my own page, but – being the nerd that I am – I decided to create a Shortcuts workflow to help me create and maintain this list.

I use Goodreads to keep track of my books and I thought I would use Goodreads’ API to help gather the books I’ve read/currently reading, and create a markdown list with all the pertinent information (ie. title, author, date started, date finished, rating, and whether this is a re-reading of a book).

I can then prepend that list to my previously mentioned page.

I know my workflow is not very polished – my method of processing XML files probably needs work – but for now it does the job.

Installing the workflow

You can download the Shortcuts workflow here.

When you first import the script, it’ll ask you for your Goodreads ID and your API key.

You can find your Goodreads ID by going to your bookshelf after you’ve logged into Goodreads and looking at the URL; it should be the string of numbers and letters between “list/” and “?”.
eg. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/USERNAME?shelf=read

The workflow would ask that you save your Goodreads ID in a dictionary that the workflow would then refer to.

To get a Goodreads API key, you’d need to register here. It’s free and doesn’t require more than your name and your application name (I just used “Shortcuts”).

I save my API key in a text file in my Shortcuts folder and reference it in the script.

How to use the workflow

Now for how to use the workflow.

When you run it, it’ll ask for which bookshelf you want to list. I’ve put in two options, read and currently-reading. You can add any other bookshelf you currently use.2

Then the script will ask for the number of books you want to list.

When I ran the script the first time, I entered in 200 – I knew I’ve only read about 30 books this year, but I wanted to create pages for previous years as well.

For on going maintenance of my books list, I’d probably run the script once a month and then only need to request info on 1 to 2 books.

The script would then produce a markdown list with the requested books (sorted by read date) and copy them to the clipboard. I would then paste them into my reading page.

Final words

As I’ve mentioned, my workflow is not the most polished, but I hope it helped some people. If you customised it in any quirky way or figured out a more elegant way to deal with XML files, please comment and let me know. I would love to see how people use this.


  1. So if you have a “read/reading page”, please let me know so I can retroactively add links to your page. 
  2. Remember that the shelf name uses “-” in place of spaces and is all lower case, ie. Currently Reading is rendered as currently-reading 
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