Quick Note Taking System

wow. this is right along the lines I had imagined.

I tried to understand where you introduced the Markdown editor but could not in the HTML prompt. I thought it would be in the html in the action titled "Custom Floating HTML Prompt: Text Mode Form", but that html did not seem to have any markdown related syntax.

This is so useful. Thank you.

On another note - what do you use on any iOS device that you might be using - much needed there also! :slight_smile:

hi. thanks for pulling together this image. I did not quite understand what you meant when you refer to switcher and perhaps for this reason did not follow the rest either... do explain if you get a chance. are you proposing a whole different workflow as opposed to Napkin's approach of appending to the previously open notes file.

With Napkin I can keep appending to a dailyNotes file. An idea referred to by @JMichaelTX in a post of his.

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When I looked more closely I guess this is better as a different and independent macro. The point I was making that once you have a text editor open it is easy enough to move between that and another app, whatever it is, using switcher, that is command + tab which works much the same as the native Mac switcher using those same shortcuts I think? I find that anyway. I think best think of my actions as an independent macro. I hope that doesn't confuse this thread too much, sorry if it does. I might take it down if that is what happens. I am sure some apps and workflows have impediments I don't understand?

I use Ulysses as my go to text editor and Markup app, it is similar to NValt in some ways. Most of what I do starts there. I haven't been able to find anything faster to open a new sheet than this macro. I sometimes have to open one and date and time it while paying very close attention to what is being said to me. Hence the long press option. I get two headings depending on whether I hold the key down. I can do that while paying close attention to what is being said to me.

That is an interesting idea. No confusion as to the Napkin system at least as far as I am concerned.

What you are doing makes sense. However it does mean some screen switching and would work better if editor window size is small but then it is not the case when we want a bigger window size. May be a smaller window size and one can use the native editor itself to achieve something along the lines of what Napkin does. (I might try this with a smaller window). Thank you for the idea.

As for Ulyssys, I did not like it handles images and much prefer Typora. Although that is a Ulyssys specific issue...

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Ahhh, I don't handle images at all, well not as part of what I really do, or am supposed to be doing!
I can see what you mean regarding Ulysses though regarding images. Thanks that was informative. I will look at Typora one day.
There are several 'long press' versions, similar to mine and posted here prior to mine I found on looking. By @JMichaelTX @DanThomas and others. Worth looking at in this context I think?

Actually, you're right. It's in the Custom HTML Prompt. The Markdown library requires (in this version) an Internet connection to reference the code. It's linked in the <head> section:

	<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://unpkg.com/easymde/dist/easymde.min.css">
	<script src="https://unpkg.com/easymde/dist/easymde.min.js"></script>

That's one issue. Another is that the ````` grows. I prefer it to be fixed and just scroll instead, but that doesn't seem to be an option for this particular library.

But I didn't spend much time with it, so there may be a configuration option I missed. You may prefer a different set of tools on the toolbar, too (which is all explained on the GitHub page.

(I don't use anything similar to Napkin on iOS, sorry.)

Yep, indeed I struggled with that early in the development of Napkin. Why not just pop over to BBEdit and drop some next text in?

So I tried to design a reason, so to speak.

That's where the slug and time stamp come in -- as well as the standardized formatting (which can get sloppy when you drag-and-drop or type or dictate or mix them all together).

It turns out the fomatting is a big comfort to me. I don't worry about whether or not I have the right number of returns at the end of a note I'm appending.

The slug is helpful and more efficient that constantly citing sources and the time stamp is just gravy.

But clearly those aren't compelling arguments for using Napkin instead of an open document in your favorite text editor.

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I see what you mean. I didn't really understand. Formatting can be troubling when you copy and paste I agree. I will look at the thing more carefully. Thanks.

And building on this one - I wonder if Napkin becomes even more powerful if a small window of the favorite editor (or a good editor) can be used in the workflow - instead of the KM9 html prompt. So the snippet and slug etc get auto-filled as YAML content at the top of the small editor window, and when the right button is pressed, the window closes and the typed and copied information gets appended to the dailyNote or be saved as a separate note depending on the slug or file.

I would have tried something like this, but I do not understand the html prompt and further do not know how I might be able to incorporate the html prompts control to then control the editor window.

BTW, the markdown version that you created is almost as good as an editor.

Two upgrades to that version and perhaps to Napkin itself can be

  1. to have the slug be in the text box itself (listed as such on the top -- slug: "text for slug that was used last time"). So that no mouse is needed to edit it.
  2. to have a key stroke like say cmd-enter to append / save and quit napkin.

Just ideas. :slight_smile:

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This goes back to personal preferences. I don't want to open or switch to another program to take a quick note. I just want to invoke an input dialog, jot the note, hit OK and the dialog disappears and I'm right back in the app I'm focused on, e.g., a PDF reader. Some will just prefer to use the app switcher and switch focus to a favorite text editor.

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Agreed. I certainly prefer this approach to switching between programs. I'm capturing a lot more notes this way than I used to, in fact.

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RE: 1

The time stamp records when the note is written to disk (since no other event has more primary significance) but you could write a macro to drop in a slug or anything else in the text box. The text box, that is, is subject to macro expansion.

The point of the slug, though, is to identify subsections of the master file larger than the note itself. When I go through Web sites looking for news items, I may collect half a dozen from one site and three from another, so I would change the slug just twice.

RE: 2

If you visit the Napkin thread, you'll see exactly how to do that in the discussion. And there's even a version with Control + Option + Hyphen to Save a note.

I'm not going to roll that into the current version because Webkit (which is the technology behind the Custom HTML Prompt) requires that Control + Option hotkey combo so it's far too easy to introduce a conflict with a similar Keyboard Maestro macro in someone else's system.

But if you want it, that discussion shows you how to do it. Just make sure you don't have an existing macro with the same trigger.

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I will work on this. Thank you!

Thank you all for this workflow. I have implemented @BKammer's quick note system, but have one detail when appending to an existing text file. I want to make sure that the next text always appends to the bottom/end of the existing text document.

The way it is now, the macro appends the text from whatever point the cursor was last left in. Any way to simulate the Command + Down Arrow keystroke as part of the text being appended?

Hey Matt,

I'm not sure how that is happening if you don't have your note's text document open in a text editor while using the macro. If you don't have the actual note open in a text editor, the macro should always append to the bottom of the note's text document. If you've got the note's text document open and are actively editing it, and you're leaving the cursor at different points in the document, all while sometimes invoking the quick note macro and using it to also append to the document, then I can see how you might encounter problems.

The quick note macro is designed so that you can create or append to a note without opening the note's text document itself in a text editor (e.g., TextEdit). I made it that way because I didn't want to have to open or switch into the text editing app while taking notes (i.e., to manually insert the note directly into the note's text document via TextEdit). Operated in that way, with the actual note unopened, the macro automatically appends to the end of the note's text document, and I never have to leave the main app I am working with, or if I'm just noting down thoughts during a conversation, I don't have to open the text editing app or switch to it in order to take a note.

So, if you've got the actual note's text document open (e.g., in TextEdit) while you are taking notes via my macro, you are not using the macro consistent with its design and proper functioning, and it may insert text in a place you don't want it to, or it might not register the text entry at all. Further, if you're just going to have the text editor open while you take notes, you might as well enter the notes directly into the text editor where you want them rather than use the macro.

Bottom line: adding some elements to the macro to switch you into the text editor document and then scroll to the bottom of the document is surplusage which defeats the purpose of the macro and makes it something that is cumbersome and unpredictable rather than quick, reliable, and truly convenient. But if that's what you want to do, it's easy to insert an "Activate specific app" action followed by a keystroke like command-arrow down to get to the bottom of the document.

Try Drafts.

I am using the note system as designed - for quick note creation - and it works great. So thanks for that.

In addition, I had an idea to adapt it slightly for another purpose. It involves appending text to a text file I may or may not open throughout the day, and I would want to ensure the text is always appended to the end of the file. I thought you or someone else here may have a suggestion as to how to implement that. If so, great. If not, I'll keep plugging away and see what I come up with.

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Keyboard Maestro includes an Action called Append Text To A File. Try adding that to your Macro or a version of your Macro designed for that specific text file.

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@NaOH - Thanks. The quick note system already uses the Append Text To A File action. If you're curious, this is the other use case I'm working on. It's a translation macro to assist in learning a foreign language.

@BKammer just tried it, very cool!
Thanks for creating this

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