AppleScript to Insert Markdown Link for Current Safari Tab via TextExpander

Here’s a simple AppleScript which can be used with a TextExpander snippet, or as a Service via the macOS Automator app, that when invoked will insert the title and URL of the frontmost Safari tab, formatted as a Markdown link. Continue reading “AppleScript to Insert Markdown Link for Current Safari Tab via TextExpander”


Advanced Text Manipulation via Custom KeyBindings in macOS

After working in the awesome Atom text editor for some time now, and getting spoiled with the awesome keyboard-focused text manipulation tools available, I wanted to find something for working in nvALT to solve a couple of tedious and incessant activities:

  1. Moving chunks of text up and down in the document
  2. Moving a chunk of text to the end of a document

The first need is mostly for organizing information, primarily task/to-do lists.

The second is to bump completed tasks to the end of the text document.

Initially, I expected to find some sort of macOS Service I could assign a keyboard shortcut to. But then I stumbled across Brett Terpstra’s post on custom KeyBindings in macOS. Continue reading “Advanced Text Manipulation via Custom KeyBindings in macOS”

Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts

As a followup to my earlier post about how to create a macOS Service (or a Text Expander snippet) to quickly append a text file using Hazel, Automator and Shell Scripts, here’s a way to instead prepend text to a text file using the same tools.

prepend text automator screenshot

Why would you want to do this?

My core interest in setting this up is for plain-text journaling. In a way, I am cobbling together the functionality I find extraordinarily useful in the iOS app Drafts for use on macOS.

I like to capture ideas, thoughts, errands, links, apps, articles, tasks and todos quickly, and I use a plain-text document system I’ve put together over the years. These automation setups remove friction in doing so, which make it more likely I will maintain the behavior.

With this setup and the companion append text automation setup, I can hit a keyboard combo, have a small window pop up where I type what I want to capture, hit OK and the automation goes and appends it to the right .txt file, in the right location, behind the scenes.

I will be writing about my plain-text journaling system in a future post. For now, read on to learn how to set this journaling automation up for yourself.

Continue reading “Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts”

Yearly Recaps: A Monthly, Contextual, Plain-Text Journaling System

While I regularly maintain a daily journal, and do so in plain text (while also keeping a concurrent journal in the Momento app on my iPhone for the search and tagging features), often I find that I never actually read any of the old entries. Which is fine, as I mostly just like the habit of recording the information. Recently, I developed a system that is proving to be immensely useful. Continue reading “Yearly Recaps: A Monthly, Contextual, Plain-Text Journaling System”

Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts

I love the Drafts app for the iPhone, and I love automating stuff. The downside to using Drafts is that the workflows I’ve set up aren’t possible with any software on the Mac. I cobbled together some methods to achieve at least the one most common task I have, appending info to a master plain-text log file on Dropbox. Here’s how I did it.

[UPDATE 2017-12-30: here’s the companion article on prepending text files]

Continue reading “Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts”

Advanced Tips for Drafts App

Often advanced features in my favorite apps are tough to explain because they are so open to customization. Examples usually help. Here are some handy Drafts tips I’ve either discovered or created that might give you some idea on how to take advantage of Dropbox actions, URL Actions, and email actions.

– Use date stamps to create a scratchpad text dump file

– Log your tweets

– Log your Google searches

– Log everything!

– Use IFTTT and email action to subscribe in Google Reader

– Use date stamps for an auto-created monthly journal text file

– Use bookmarklets to log webpages or send to Reminders Continue reading “Advanced Tips for Drafts App”