Undoubtedly, the biggest thing I was looking forward to with the macOS Monterey update was Shortcuts. It promises to be the final piece in automating the Apple universe. Admittedly, it is a bit hit-and-miss, feeling as if it's still in beta, but most things work well. My favourite part is pinning Shortcuts to the menu bar, and this is my favourite one.

In creating this Shortcut, I took inspiration from Gabrizio Rinaldi’s version that I found via The Birchtree Bark Newsletter. However, I wasn’t happy with just starting the screensaver. This is fine if you are working from home, but I work in an office and regulations dictate my workstation must be locked when I am not at it. This took a bit of work as older versions made for Automator no longer work, but step forward some simple Apple script to save the day.

Grab it

This small shortcut will quit all apps, put the volume down to 0 (no one wants to hear your Mac pinging when you’re at home) and also lock your Mac. You can leave some apps running if you need to by customising the first step in the Shortcut. All you need to do is click on ‘choose’ and select any apps you want to keep running.

You will need to give Shortcuts permission to run scripts. Also make sure this is pinned to the menu bar as if you try to run it from within Shortcuts the last part will not work as the app has been killed halfway through!

You are welcome to add in other automations on the end of this, like Gabrizio did, such as switching off HomeKit enabled lights or putting the heating up a bit for when you get home. I debated playing a sound clip to signal me clocking out, but I might use this a few times a day so I didn’t want to annoy myself! It would be great to see what you do, so let me know.

Update: Slight tweek to make sure the whole script can run.