Better OmniFocus Task Entry

In keeping with GTD principles, every time a task comes to mind, I have to get it into OmniFocus right away. The longer it stays in my brain, the more likely I am to forget it.

OmniFocus has a quick entry mechanism that allows me to type ^ + Space and enter tasks at lightening speed. There’s one catch, however: OmniFocus has to be open for it to work. Believe it or not, I don’t always have OmniFocus open. Opening it, then entering my tasks introduced a slightly irksome level of friction.

I realized that this was true of OmniFocus’ AppleScript methods, as well: OmniFocus would need to be open in order for them to work. Given that I have some workflows that make use of these methods, this, too, introduced friction.


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Link Mash (July 24, 2014)

The weekly Link Mash is a curated selection of tools, stories, and other links that I found during my travels on the web. All of my links can be found on my Pinboard; you can also find the Link Mash archives here.

This Link Mash was generated by PinPress, a simple tool to generate text templates from Pinboard data.

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Text Expansion: My Up-to-Date Guide

Text Expansion Header


I’ve written before about the power of text expansion. Although it took me a long time to really get into the swing of typing snippets instead of full-blown words/sentences/etc., the cost has been well worth the result.

While listening to a text expansion-laden episode of Mac Power Users the other day, I realized that I have a lot of snippets I’ve collected; it’s high time that I shared these out in a way consistent with my iOS url scheme guide.

The primary thing to note: all of my snippets are from aText; as such, I offer download links that are compatible with aText. I imagine that the basic concepts relate equally well to TextExpander, etc., but your mileage may vary.


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→ Software Is Hard: What It Takes

Today on the MailDeck blog, I wrote about why software development is hard (and what you can do to help).

Having gotten to know Jack Freeman (CTO of Crono, the makers of MailDeck), my stance in the post is stronger than ever. Independent developers work their tails off (often for very little recognition); at the same time, the software-consuming culture of today’s world has incredibly little respect for those efforts.

I recently saw the following review for a very well known iOS game:

Game is to short (minus 2 star) Gameis far too
expensive and my job is too hard to spend my
money on thís (minus 2 stars). 1 star

Helpful, right? Comments like this are (a) useless and (b) artificially deflate an app’s overall score without any tactile evidence. Reading this one reinvigorated my beliefs: we all owe it to developers to not be flippant with their work.

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Specialty Filing with Hazel

A while back, I explained how I use Hazel to automatically file important statements into Evernote. The strategy I use relies on statement PDFs (which are automatically downloaded from my bank, apartment complex, etc.) containing URLs that describe where they came from; with this information, Hazel can automatically figure out which of my many rules to apply.

Recently, I came across a scenario that my current setup didn’t cover: what should happen to statements that are manually saved as PDFs (and thus, don’t carry any information about the URL they were downloaded from) and have generic filenames?


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