Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Monday, November 8, 2010

changes to the System

It’s just not in my nature, I guess, to stick with one organizational method for very long. A few months ago, I wrote about my return to Backpack. Well, it only took about two weeks for me to leave Backpack again. There were a couple of reasons. First, I realized that while Backpack works well for me on my Mac — aside from some awkwardness of text entry — it didn’t work so well on my iPhone. The people at 37signals have done almost nothing to accommodate to mobile devices, and the third-party Backpack client, Satchel, is usable but awkward.

And then, second, I discovered something I should have known already: that the app I had abandoned, Notational Velocity, has a fabulous Service: “New Note with Selection.” And even cooler, when you select a passage on a webpage and then invoke the service — which I do with a simple keystroke combination I assigned for the purpose — NV adds the URL also. Fabulous!* And then, because I sync my NV notes with Simplenote, I have these clippings available to me on my iPod — and any other iOS device I might have.** (More about that later.) Once NV can read and sync Simplenote’s tags I’ll be nearing my own private Singularity.

Also, I have been using Remember the Milk as my to-do list and calendar, largely because of its excellent iPhone app — the iPhone seems to me the natural place to manage to-do’s.

This has been my system for about three months now, which for me is a long time. Might I even stick with it? Stay tuned. . . .

* The URL-addition works in Safari and OmniWeb, but not currently in Chrome. Chrome adds the selected text only.

** I can't find it now, but just a few days ago I read a blog post about how iOS devices need their own Services menu. This is very, very true.

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