Summarize All Your Evernote To-dos

Summarize All Your Evernote To-dos

Putting to-dos in Evernote is great for ad hoc task management, but once you’ve put them in there, how do you find them again? A saved search is a great place to start, but there’s still a lot of clicking to find exactly what you need.

This script creates a note that neatly summarizes all of your notes with to-dos, as well as the individual to-do items. One click takes you from the summary to the relevant note. It’s also handily divided up so that you can skim your to-do items by notebook, note, and tag.

Surely not a replacement for a full to-do manager, but it’ll get you most of the way there.

One note: This requires the free AsObjC Runner application to handle some of the text processing.

Written on November 15, 2012

Windows 8 is the closest I've ever come to going Microsoft

I got my wife a surprise present yesterday: a new Asus laptop running Windows 8.

I was a little iffy on whether Windows 8 was a good idea, given the reviews that have said it’s a bit disjoined going from the new fancy Windows 8 layout to the old Windows world. My wife’s hardly a geek, but I figured I could downgrade if she hated it.

As it turns out, she loved it, and I’m also extremely impressed.

The new interface is easy on the eyes, easy to work with, and takes some of the best elements of elegant websites and brings them to the desktop. There’s literally nothing there not to like, especially given that you can back into regular old Windows for those times you need unrestricted access to the filesystem, multiple windows, or to run some creaky open source application.

My one criticism is that the gestures and metaphors for working with the interface are unintuitive with a mouse/trackpad. With touch they make perfect sense, but with a trackpad there’s a learning curve. In other words, watch the tutorial video before you get started.

Honestly, this makes me really think about whether it’s time to jump ship to Microsoft. Okay, I’m not TOTALLY serious, but with Apple moving farther away from my ideal for the Mac, a $500 laptop with an amazing and innovative user experience and a full suite of applications… there’s a lot to like there.

Apple has to step up their game, both on Mac and iOS, if they want to stay ahead of Microsoft. Who’d have known that Redmond would get back into the game with truly innovative and new ideas of how a computer ought to work.

Written on October 29, 2012

Trying comments again

I disabled comments some time ago due to an unreasonable amount of comment spam. I’ve missed the interaction, and I know that when people run into issues with my little scripts they like to have a way to get in touch. So I’ve enabled comments through Disqus, which claims to have pretty good spam filtering.

If you happen to be a comment spammer, please do us all a favor and take up a more useful profession. Perhaps wrestling great white sharks.

Written on October 26, 2012

Markdownify Evernote

Markdownify Evernote

Take your current Evernote note and convert it from Markdown into beautiful rich text. If your note happens to have attachments, they’re maintained (albeit moved to the bottom of the note). 

To use it, you’ll have to install Markdown or Multimarkdown. It looks in the usual places for the commands, whether installed through a package manager or manually.

Cautionary Note: If your note is already in rich text you can get some weird results. To prevent disaster, the original rich text of your note is copied to the clipboard, so you can paste in as an undo.

Written on October 26, 2012

Insert Snippets from Evernote - use Evernote like TextExpander

Insert Snippets from Evernote - use Evernote like TextExpander

This script lets you create boilerplate snippets in Evernote and paste them into any app you want. Kind of like TextExpander. I use it for AppleScript methods, boilerplate emails, email signatures, conference call dial-in info, and more.

Here’s how it works: Create a notebook named “Snippets,” and then add your snippets/boilerplate to it. Finally, tag the snippets with the name of any applications you want to use it with, or tag it as “Default Snippet” if you want it to appear in every application.

Example: my AppleScript snippets are tagged AppleScript Editor; my HTML snippets are tagged with BBEdit, Espresso, and TextEdit; my boilerplate thank you and business inquiry emails are tagged with Safari, Mail and Sparrow (I have a lot of email accounts);and my address and phone number snippet is tagged Default Snippet for easy insertion into any app or website.

When you fire off the script, it will let you choose from all the snippets tagged with the name of the current application or that are tagged universally. Pick one and it’ll paste right in.

I use this script all the time, and it saves me hours every week. Get it, use your favorite utility to put a keyboard shortcut on it, and get some time back.

Written on October 23, 2012

Nik's Picks: Clean My Mac

Nik's Picks: Clean My Mac

I picked up Clean My Mac by MacPaw as part of the current MacHeist bundle. I’m geeky enough to be able to navigate my Library folders for rogue launch items and caches, but I gave Clean My Mac a shot at my painfully slow MacBook.

I expected a typical log-and-cache cleaner, but was instead greeted by an attractively designed and very full-featured utility. In addition to my logs and caches, Clean My Mac made it easy for me to find launchagents, web plugins, and orphaned preference files. After reviewing and customizing what it was going to clear out, I clicked “Clean” and quickly got 30-some gigs of hard drive back, and dropped a few thousand unnecessary files. (5+ years of cruft; I’m an upgrader, not a clean-installer.)

My MacBook’s got “teh snappy” [sic] back, and I even found a DirecTV launchagent that was keeping it from automatically going to sleep.

Sure, I could have cleaned this all manually, but Clean My Mac was thorough and quick.

As with all such apps, back up first, go through the cleaning list carefully and make sure you don’t over-clean.

Written on October 23, 2012