Tag Archives: notes

Get a URL while you type with Keyboard Maestro

Difficulty: Basic

Don’t you hate having to switch between your text editor and your web browser to get a URL? Although the process is straightforward, it’s annoying and boring.

  • switch applications
  • highlight the URL
  • copy
  • switch back to your text editor
  • paste

Here’s a Keyboard Maestro macro that makes the entire process simple and fun and it will work from any text editor.

Get a URL super quick
Get a URL super quick

I used Safari for this, but you can use whatever browser you like as long as you know the keyboard shortcut to highlight the URL bar.

  1. While you type, press the keyboard shortcut you created
  2. The macro will open Safari
  3. I placed a pause here in case your computer is slow
  4. ⌘L will highlight the URL bar
  5. ⌘C to copy it
  6. Activate Last Application will activate the last application you were using, i.e., your text editor
  7. ⌘V to paste

Easy! I hope you find it useful.

File Important Notes Quickly With Keyboard Maestro

Difficulty: Normal

Have you ever been working and wanted to remember something for later, but found switching applications tedious?

Here’s a fun Keyboard Maestro script that allows you to highlight text anywhere and have it saved to the file of your choosing for later processing. Your computer will speak to you and tell you the process is complete!

I started this macro with a User Prompt. It asks the user to choose which file you’d like to save the text to. Of course, you need to create these files, store them in one place. If you ever move them, you’ll have to change the path in your script.

Append Text to Chosen File
Append Text to Chosen File

You can create as many files as you want or you can skip this step entirely if you plan to save all your text to the same file.

Sorting Where the Text Will Be Saved
Sorting Where the Text Will Be Saved

Since I have placed a drop down menu in the user prompt, we will need an If Then Macro to sort the 2 options. If the user has chosen the ‘Notes’ file, then we proceed with this action:

  1. If the variable, ‘Choose File’ (created in the User Prompt) contains ‘Notes’, then store the highlighted text to a Clipboard I created named ‘Temporary’.
  2. Use the ‘Append Text to File’ macro,  and in the text area, simply add a return carriage by hitting the return key. This will ensure the highlighted text gets placed on its own line. Before moving on, make sure you choose the correct file path from the file path chooser.
  3. Use the ‘Append Named Clipboard ‘Temporary’ to File’ macro, choosing your file path once again.

There are some settings here; feel free to make any adjustments to your text. I prefer plain text for its portability.

Confirming the Text Was Saved
Confirming the Text Was Saved

Lastly, we have three macros to confirm it executed properly.

  1. We quit TextEdit (or whatever application you prefer) if it is open.
  2. The computer will now speak the words: “Text was appended to your Notes files”.
  3. Finally, we reopen TextEdit and the Notes file and see the result. You can remove this step once you see for yourself that indeed it worked for you. Note: we must close the file and reopen in order to see the results. The changes do not dynamically update themselves live. Although the changes were made, a refresh of the file will allow you to see them.

Lastly, we repeat the same steps again, and place them into the ‘otherwise execute the following options:’, or the ‘Else’ section of the Else If script step. However this time, you make a few small changes:

  • change the file path to the To Dos file you created
  • change the message the computer speaks from ‘Notes’ to ‘To Do’

Variations: As already mentioned, you can skip the whole If Then step, simplifying the process, but all your text goes to the same file. You could then duplicate this macro, change the file path and direct your text elsewhere; one keyboard shortcut for every file. You could also add a radio button to the User Prompt, asking whether this information is deemed important. Then you could add an If Then script step to apply a series of asterisks before the text is placed, in an effort to emphasize your notes later.

I hope you find this as useful as I do. With the addition of the ‘Speak Text’ macro, working on my Mac became even more fun.


Is the Moleskine Evernote Edition any good?

I just received my new Moleskine Evernote Edition in the mail today. I’ve been using Moleskine notebooks for years and have been looking forward to this item for a while now.

Here’s what it looks like:

Moleskine Evernote Edition
Moleskine Evernote Edition

Scribbling notes is as easy as any other notebook. From the iOS Evernote app, you can capture the page and store it in our Evernote account. You can even add little stickers (provided by Evernote, which are tucked away in the back folder) to each page which tells Evernote which folder you want your page to be stored into — that’s very cool.

Here’s what a document capture looks like within the new iOS 7 Evernote app:

Evernote iOS app document capture
Evernote iOS app document capture

The pages are supposed to be designed to allow better screen captures. As you can see, it does a good job. Then Evernote uses its OCR technology to scan the page so you can search your notes by keyword. That’s the best part: you scan your pages and never worry about having to file anything in the right place because as long as you remember something from it, Evernote will find it. As convenience goes, I give it top marks.



Fast Calculations with Keyboard Maestro

Difficulty Level: Basic

When I’m on the field taking notes, I use Apple’s Notes app on my iPhone 5. iCloud keeps my data on the phone and on the Mac in sync. It’s easy; it’s convenient. But it’s certainly not the prettiest.

But this post isn’t about note taking. It’s about accuracy and convenience. Often, I have many calculations to make. I’ve made mistakes in the past. Now, I still make mistakes, but not with my calculations.

Here’s what I used to do:

  • use the iPhone to take my notes on site
  • go to the office and open Notes on the Mac
  • with Notes open on the Mac, open the calculator on the iPhone
  • hope I tapped all the numbers correctly, get the value, and type them into the Notes app on the Mac

Very slow, boring and error-prone…

Here’s what I do now:

  • use the iPhone to take my notes on site
  • go to the office and open Notes on the Mac
  • highlight the calculation and hit a keyboard shortcut, and voilà, done!

Much faster, 100% accurate and fun…

Here’s how to do it:

Using Keyboard Maestro, you can call your macro whatever you prefer. For the hot key, I use the letter M because it’s short for Math. Whatever works to help you remember…

Keyboard Maestro Perform Calculation Script

For example, let’s say the calculation (the highlighted text) is:  239*57

  1. copy the highlighted text onto the system clipboard
  2. choose Filter Clipboard with Calculate, then Filter System Clipboard, with Calculate, which will simply calculate the highlighted text
  3. I type the Right Arrow which simply unhighlights the text and goes to the end of the text, ready for…
  4. the Return key, which sends it to the next line
  5. finally, I paste. The answer is already stored in the System Clipboard, so performing a routine paste will spit out the answer: 13623

You can easily modify steps 3-5 to your needs. You may not want to keep the original calculation; you may only need the answer. Tailor it to your needs. Apply formatting! Whatever you need. The end result will be accurate and fun to perform.