Time Conversion Action?

I’m working with people in Portugal and while I’m decent at math, my brain is perpetually feeble at converting to 24 hour time and adding (or subtracting) 5 hours. I’ve already missed three phone meetings.

I could create a world clock on my iPhone, but that just tells me current time. It doesn’t do the (stupidly easy) calculation.

Would it make sense to try to solve this via a Drafts action? Can Drafts calculate like the following:

PT-US action: input “XX:YY”, subtract 5 from XX, and convert to 12 hour.
US-PT action: input “XX:YY AM/PM”, add 5 to XX, and convert to 24 hour.

Would it make sense? That is hard to say.

Is it possible? Certainly.

Are you typing these times in Drafts? Are they coming from or going out to another app, like a calendar?

I wasn’t looking for a big vision evaluation. Just wondering whether this is a fit tool for the job. Seems borderline to me, but I can’t think of a more appropriate desktop/mobile solution, other than Shortcuts, which I’d probably front-end via Drafts, anyway.

Mostly typing in, but also coming/going from apps like Calendar.

I would say that given that Portugal and many places in the US switch to and from daylight saving at various points that using some sort of online data source or service would be preferable as those are simplified time difference calculations.

Could you do it in a Drafts action? Yes, and that makes sense if that is the only place you would use it.

Could you move it to Shortcuts and call that from Drafts? Yes, and you could then access it in more places of you can reasonably make a call to Drafts.

Could you use TextExpander, Keyboard, Alfred, etc? Yes, and that would give you easier access across the board.

You can even combine and intermix to very single one of these apps to reuse and share the functionality.

Going back to your calendar app, many calendar apps have built-in support for showing multiple time zones. I have several time zones displayed in my work calendar in Outlook for example as I work in a global organisation.

There are obviously many ways to tackle this from mental and display to calculation and insertion. The solution comes down to evaluating your fundamental need or needs, your skills/knowledge in producing a solution, your access to various tools (availability, cost, platform), and your appetite to do whatever the solution would require to put together.

Hope that helps.


To be clear, I don’t find the calculation difficult. It’s easy peasy, but somewhat error-prone, and I can’t afford my current 3% inaccuracy.

Yes, Alfred would be a natural, but it’s of course desktop-only. I suppose ultimately I’ll do this via shell script, triggered via Alfred on Mac and some combo of Shortcuts + Drafts on iPhone. I’m not ready to give up phone screen real estate to make it its own applet, though I use Drafts (from my home screen) all the time. I could program this into each of them natively, but I’d rather not fork updates, time adjustments, etc.

The daylight savings issue is perilous. They’re about a week before us. Yet more error pitfalls. Render unto Murphy that which is Murphy’s.

This is probably the best solution.

I love simple sites like this that do one thing great. Another is Percentage Calculator