Using Workflow to Record Voice Memos

The Workflow app on your iPhone and iPad allows you to string together actions to create a custom process. In this example, we'll use two actions to record a quick voice memo and save it to your iCloud Drive. You can put this workflow process on your Home screen for quick access.

Video Transcript
Workflow is an app that you get in the iOS App Store for iPhone or iPad. It was created by a third party company but was recently purchased by Apple which means we're probably are going to see some really interesting things happening in Workflow.

What it does is it allows you to tie together various actions, sometimes in other apps, and kind of make your own kind of mini app out of various different actions. There are other apps that do this as well. You may be familiar with the If This, Then That app that's available on the web. There is an app for it as well. Workflow is kind of like that. Let's go and take a look and create something really simple in it. There's a bunch of demos and it walks you through some stuff when you download and first install it.

Some I'm going to create a Workflow here that's going to allow me to quickly record a voice memo and then save it to my iCloud Drive. So the idea being that I get an idea while I'm walking around or doing something and I want to just quickly leave, not a regular voice memo in the Voice Memo app that I always forget is there, but I want it to actually have it put a file somewhere where later on I can see that file and play it and hear what I had to say.

So I've got selected at the top Normal for normal workflow. Now I'm going to choose an action to add and the way I'm going to do it here in vertical mode on my iPhone is I'm going to swipe to the right a little bit to reveal these actions. I'm going to find the one I want which is Record Audio. I can select it and see the little description but I can drag it to the right. I'm going to select it and then drag it to the right and add it to the list. I see I have some options there. The Audio Quality and normal is fine this is going to be just for voice recordings. It's going to Start Recording on tap. I can change that to be immediately. Let's do that. Finish Recording on tap. Other options has after amount of time. So I can add that there.

Now I want to add something else. I don't want it to just record the audio. I want it to do something with it. I'm going to swipe a little bit to go over here and I'm going to look at some of the options for saving documents. I'm going to hit Save File, drag that to the right and put it there. You can see I can choose what service to save it to. It actually has Dropbox and Box as options there in addition to iCloud Drive. I can also tap on Ask Where to Save. I'm going to say no. Don't even ask where to save it. I just want this to be automatic and give it a Destination Path there which is going to put it in the Workflow folder that it's going to create in my iCloud Drive. Overwrite If File Exists. I'm going to say no. Don't do that. It's going to automatically put a date stamp on it so I can do as many of these as I want.

So before I hit the Done button in the upper right I'm going to hit the little Settings button underneath the Done button there. I'm going to give it a better name and I'm going to hit Done. I'm can give it an icon. It basically is to choose a color but I could also choose all sorts of other things here. So if I took the time I could find one that, you know, was good for just a quick voice memo kind of thing. Let me do this one right there. Color like that. I can hit Done. Then I can, from here, go to Add to Home Screen. What that would do is add an icon to the home screen. It's going to do that by kind of adding a Safari shortcut. I can also, after I hit Done, I can go back and Edit it. I can look at it here just inside of the Workflow interface. So I can hit this and it should work.

I'll hit the Play button. This is a quick voice memo here. Hit Stop and you can see I've got that file there. Done. Now if I go look inside of the iCloud Drive I can find it. So if I switch over to the iCloud Drive app I'll find it right there as an audio recording in the Workflow folder. The great thing is, of course, being iCloud Drive it's also in the Workflow folder on my Mac. So if that's where I want them to end up it works out really well. I can go back into it and add this home screen and you can see it's going to go through a little process here and I tap Add to Home Screen. Now you can see I've got that quick voicemail there at the bottom. I tap that and it will run and instantly record what it is I'm saying. I tap to finish and now you can see that it is going to be in iCloud Drive.

You can see it added it there and it will be there on my other devices as well. So it's a handy little app that you can create inside of Workflow and of course there are tons of other things you can do. Just take the time to explore all the different actions and check back often because Apple is going to be updating this and adding new things and new connections to other apps and services as well.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Using Workflow to Record Voice Memos”

    5/25/17 @ 4:12 pm

    Is there something else i can add which asks me to name the recording before saving it? Mike

    5/25/17 @ 4:16 pm

    Mike: Look at the workflow carefully. Under “Save File” you’ll see one of the options is “Ask Where to Save.”

    5/25/17 @ 4:42 pm

    I am using Workflow to do a quick call. But the “Call” event seems to want to confirm the number that I have programmed into the workflow. Is there a way to create flow that can call with one tap?

    5/25/17 @ 5:15 pm

    Gene: Looks like that is just a characteristic of the “Call” action. No way to change it I can see.

    Mike Ross
    5/27/17 @ 9:40 am

    using your example on iphone the workflow folder (with voice memo) did not sync icloud folder on my imac. Do I have to precreate the workflow folder on my iMac. BTW – great demo.

    5/27/17 @ 10:10 am

    Mike: No, the folder should appear by itself. Are you using the same iCloud ID for both? Do you see it in the iCloud Drive app on your iPhone?

    Mike Ross
    5/27/17 @ 11:50 am

    Same icloud id on everything – all other files are syncing. I did get it to sync to dropbox – that works fine.

    Mike Ross
    5/27/17 @ 11:51 am

    yes i do see it and can play it back on icloud drive on iphone

    5/27/17 @ 11:52 am

    Mike: Not sure why that one file is not syncing. Another place to look is — if it is there, at least you know it is going from your iPhone to iCloud, just not from iCloud to your Mac.

    Mike Ross
    6/2/17 @ 7:50 am

    Gary, thanks for your help. I contacted Workflow support and they are aware of the issue for some users and are working to find the cause.

    6/5/17 @ 5:34 am

    This could have a great security application. If something needs recording when danger is present a file could be saved to iCloud. So even if a perpetrator takes your phone the identification has been saved.

    7/4/17 @ 9:48 am

    I am using workflow to help a friend that is blind. he only hear,speak and tap on the phone.
    he likes to give names to his audio notes. is it a possibility of ask the name, translate this name (given by audio) into text, to save the file with this name (appended with date of the day)
    I hope you understand my poor english (I’m french) !
    thanks for an answer

    7/4/17 @ 11:19 am

    roger: Yes, if you look through the task commands in Workflow you should see one called Dictate Text. You should be able to use that one to get the name of the file. Just use this tutorial to get started and experiment a bit. The documentation may be useful too:

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