I am struggling to get a dictation shortcut to run on apple ultra watch, trigged by the "action" button

Hello Drafts Community, the orange “action” button on the Apple Ultra watch allows you to set up shortcuts. I created a shortcut on my iPhone that allows to “create Draft with dictation.” I have confirmed this shortcut works on the iphone and then in the iOS watch preferences it allows me to select “shortcuts” and then I can select this particular shortcut but when I click the “action” button on the watch I get this odd error message:
“Create Draft with Dictation” failed … Create draft with Dictation could not run … Sorry, you can’t do that here. Try it on your iPhone instead."

This is especially odd b/c the dictation feature works just fine on the draft app on the watch, I was just trying to shave off one extra step by making the action button trigger the dictation.

Any ideas or troubleshooting would be most appreciated.

Thank you, thank you,


Two things:

  1. Shortcuts on Apple Watch isn’t a complete implementation - so maybe your shortcut contains something it can’t do. (To me this is a serious inhibitor to running shortcuts on the watch.)

  2. What’s wrong with the built in Drafts dictation? There probably is something wrong with it in your use case - but it’s worth discussing here.

Shortcuts does not do a very good job of making it clear what will and won’t work on Apple Watch, but any shortcut action that opens the app will not work. “Create Draft with Dictation” is such an action, as it opens Drafts’ custom dictation interface on the phone (there no equivalent, or even a way to make an equivalent on watchOS).

You are best off using Drafts’ watch face complications to capture on watchOS. It’s currently the most reliable way, and only way that is guaranteed to work if your phone is not present.

You can use Shortcuts’ “Dictate Text” action on watch, and pass that to a draft. Try this example shortcut. I don’t have an Ultra, but this should work if assigned to the button, only if your iPhone is present and available.


This works! Thank you! I really appreciate the time you took to solve this problem and also the other responses from other users. I will work to pay it back. All best!

Thanks - this is really useful