Drafts is a digital Hipster PDA

  1. Drafts is an app optimized for taking quick notes and sending them to other places instead of storing them in the long term.
  2. Each Drafts note has a unique ID which can be understood as a digital index card linkable from anywhere.
  3. These notes are temporary, so I’m not keeping them in the system. After I processed one, it can be thrown away.
  4. Notes in Drafts don’t need much organization; everything is on a simple list. When I’m done with a note, it can be trashed or archived.


Posting status updates from Craft

I’m tinkering with Craft, using it as a daily running journal. The outline-like logging format grouped by dates feels natural because I can write things out without much organization. The freeform nature of Craft makes this process relatively quick and easy.

It just occurred to me that I could also publish posts started as a block in my journal. I started writing this post’s idea, then turned it into a subpage inline and fleshed out more; finally, it was published via Ulysses.

Having this freeform block-level editing in Craft makes it an all-in-one tool for drafting out ideas into whatever I want.


Is Reminders App Linkable?:

I just want to share a script which syncs due reminders to the Calendar app and it also links back to the original reminder. So it contains a way to link to specific reminders.

This undocumented x-apple-reminderkit://REMCDReminder/${UUID} URL scheme works on the latest version of iOS and macOS. The ${UUID} part can be found via AppleScript.

The only problem remaining for Hook right now that there no scripting API that I’m aware of to get the currently selected reminder.

Linking from real life objects via QR codes:

I’m using paper based material in my GTD system too, linking to that is really hard.

  1. Hook could generate a QR code to any link, so I can print and attach it to paper based folders for example.
  2. Later Hook could scan QR codes by the Mac’s camera and bring up OmniFocus projects, Pages files, whatever we need.

Maybe it sounds dumb and not something I consider high priority, but I wanted to leave the idea here for consideration.


The readability of GTD list managers

There was a subreddit I saw a couple of days ago on /gtd, where Redditors discussed which GTD app is the most good looking. It reminded me of a problem I wanted to write about for a while now: their list design’s readability. I know OmniFocus, Things, and Reminders well, so I concluded my experience about their typography below:

A lot of people would say it’s Things. It has a friendly UI, but from a readability point of view, it is one of the worst.

In my daily work, I have two problems with Things:

  • It only displays one line per task, which means, if you have longer task titles, you’ll end with a bunch of text clipped out, which is annoying on an iPhone. You have to open each task to see the full title, which is no fun when you quickly want to review your errands list.
  • Things displays every task list grouped by project. If you like me, you’ll usually have one next action per project, so having each project being this prominent is making your lists very noisy.

I stopped using Things because of these issues, and I switched back to OmniFocus, which displays full task titles, and has nicer list readability overall. Apple Reminder is also good at showing lists, which matters the most at the end, so I would go with OmniFocus and Reminders.

Let’s see these apps next to each other. From left to right are OmniFocus, Reminders, and Things.

As you can see, Things overflows the text and group actions by projects which makes the readability of a typical next actions list much worse. It was the main reason I left Things after using it for two years and switched back to OmniFocus.

I also made a switch from OmniFocus to Reminders in December, but that’s a topic of another post.


Remote work is not local work at a distance

Jason Fried wrote a post about doing remote work, with the expectations of local employment. This post resonated with me very well since I had a couple of weird interviews lately. Just a side note: yes, I quit my current job as a Ruby backend developer at TerraCycle about three weeks ago, and I’ll start working as a frontend developer/product designer at Nearcut on March 10th.

There are still companies that refuse to accept that remote work is a viable alternative. They want you to be in the office because “this is what we did before the pandemic, and everything should be back to normal soon.” No, nothing will be like before, and companies should embrace that, not deny it.

Not everyone’s like that. Even big ones consider remote work a viable alternative but don’t have the hiring process and experience to work like that, so they’re relying on old habits.

The enlightened companies coming out of this pandemic will be the ones that figured out the right way to work remotely. They’ll have stopped trying to make remote look like local. They’ll have discovered that remote work means more autonomy, more trust, more uninterrupted stretches of time, smaller teams, more independent, concurrent work (and less dependent, sequenced work).

I’m interested in what COVID-19 will do to remote work because, seriously considering remote work is one of the positive changes of the pandemic that happened in many workplaces. People were forced to work from home. Many companies figured out how to do this successfully, and they don’t want to throw out this knowledge because “everything will be back to normal.”

Jason also writes about native platforms:

Porting things between platforms is common, especially when the new thing is truly brand new (or trying to gain traction). As the Mac gained steam in the late 80s and early 90s, and Windows 3 came out in 1990, a large numbers of Windows/PC developers began to port their software to the Mac. They didn’t write Mac software, they ported Windows software. And you could tell – it was pretty shit. It was nice to have at a time when the Mac wasn’t widely developed, but, it was clearly ported.

When something’s ported, it’s obvious. Obviously not right.

Stuff that’s ported lacks the native sensibilities of the receiving platform. It doesn’t celebrate the advantages, it only meets the lowest possible bar. Everyone knows it. Sometimes we’re simply glad to have it because it’s either that or nothing, but there’s rarely a ringing endorsement of something that’s so obviously moved from A to B without consideration for what makes B, B.

Maybe Basecamp should create a Catalyst version of HEY for Mac from their iOS app, which is quite nice, instead of having a cross-platform Electron thing on the desktop called a “native Mac app.”


Testing Craft for my Zettelkasten with external folders

Yesterday I installed the latest version of Craft. I waited for iCloud sync because I’m very conservative about where I sync my stuff, and Craft only had its sync server.

The update released yesterday makes it possible to add external folders from iCloud Drive or even offline folders. It is a start, although I was expecting full CloudKit sync, not just an external folder.

It still has some issues and bugs related to syncing. I migrated my Zettelkasten from DEVONthink to Craft; it has about 150 notes right now. I installed Craft on all of my devices, and I’m still experiencing sync errors.

It seems like Craft is stuck in a state where it stops updating files from the iCloud Drive folder I set as a space. I have to reload the folder every time I change something, which is annoying.

The app itself is lovely, way better to use for Zettelkastens than DEVONthink on iOS. I like the initial experience, but syncing problems doesn’t make me trust in the app. I saw the developers are responsive and fix stuff quickly, so I’m hopeful. Until then, I keep testing Craft and see how it will change my habit of writing into my Zettelkasten.



Small surprises of Siri Suggestions

Siri’s suggestions are starting to get better on my iPhone. Let’s see the following screenshot from yesterday.

Siri suggestions

I usually write entries to my food log via Drafts and check my sleep patterns in the Health app around noon. These recommendations are spot-on. But I love how Siri recommends Handoff as well.

I was in the middle of reviewing a next action list yesterday in OmniFocus on my iMac, and I had to leave for a couple of minutes. I grabbed my iPhone to continue, and even before starting to search for that specific next action list via Spotlight, my iPhone was already recommending what I wanted to do.

I love small UX surprises like this.




Miután az új csapatban Slacket használunk kommunikációra, így megint felmerült a hivatalos Electronos kliens, amit nem vagyok hajlandó használni – akkor inkább megnyitom Safariban. Szerencsére most jött velem szembe a Shrugs app, ami egy egész pofás natív Slack kliens Macre.

Ezt a screenshotot pedig csak itt hagyom a poszt végén.

Screen Shot 2020 07 07 at 10 08 23