Geek-Out on Goose Creek

Every so often I do a geek brain dump on the blog. I really don’t suffer the illusion that anybody gives a rat’s acetabulum about my particular computer workflow or preferred digital tools or what I do with them.

But for my own purposes, I do enjoy from time to time perusing the now twelve full years of blog posts as a time machine that looks back–not just at the nature of this place and life in it, but also at my tech evolution in blogging, from PC to Mac, with Photoshop and InDesign and such.

That said, in this week following a major reorganization of my old (and full) hard drive and the new (3TB) initially empty internal hard drive in the MacPro, I consider the software I’ve been using.

 In the latest OS called Mavericks , one useful new feature is that you can create tabs to folders or volumes from within Finder. This has been immensely useful in moving stuff around. If you are not using it on your Mac (running OS10.9) you might want to.

 Circus Ponies Notebook  Stupid name, great tool. Frankly, I’d abandoned it some while ago. But new version 4 came out a few weeks ago. AND (this is major) it plays nice with MS Word that I have to use for SF meeting notes. Typing in Word’s outline format is a hair-pulling frustration. Typing in CPN’s outline is a pleasure. [I’m also using it for blog posts text since it pastes in nicely to WordPress.]

 App Launchers Redux . I went back to QuickSilver (free). Nah. I went back to LaunchBar. Nah. I finally returned to good old Alfred (Pro) and am enjoying the Evernote Workflow that makes EN oh so much more useful now.

 Speaking of Evernote  I’m reorganizing (more than 1k) notes using tags rather than notebooks. New stuff into INBOX, everything else into the trash or into CABINET with two or more tags.

 PopClip  For a couple of bucks, this has saved countless mouse-miles and keystrokes over the past six months. Today I added a clip to APPEND to the current clipboard. I copy a web page title and url using TEMPLATES add-on in Chrome, then select text-Append—more text—append. Wish I could make it skip a line between appends.

 Remind Me Later  A free app I use daily. Hit the hotkey, type “pay state taxes Thursday at 9a” and it goes immediately to my google calendar. A reminder pops up (on the desktop and iPhone) to remind me.

You’ve suffered enough. I owe you a photo with fluffy mindless text. Soon.

UPDATE–this just in: Laverna–a note taking web app billed as Evernote that lives on your own computer. We’ll see.


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A Good Word for WorkFlowy


Geek-moment here. Move on if you’ve come for more snakes, vegetable glamor shots, or endearing stories of marital bliss. That, for another time. This is for that one soul out that suffering anguish for want of this solution.

Outlining is the way I think and organize and brainstorm. I have used Checkvist, OmniOutliner, Ecco Pro, Circus Ponies Notebook, Fargo and other outliners over the past couple of years.

And I’m here to tell you that, for most if not all outlining needs, I seem to have settled for good on WorkFlowy.

Most of my use of this one-thing-well app has been writing out the text for presentations–maybe a half dozen over the past 8-9 months. But the demands bumped up a notch now that I will have to create agendas, meeting notes and minutes in a form that others can readily access.

ANd here I hit a deal-killer glitch. Or so it seemed.

Try as I might to find the right bulleted list-outline format in Word, every time I copied the WorkFlowy text into the word processor, things fell apart, visually.

But at last, with very prompt help from the kind folks at WorkFlowy, I have the answer:

From WorkFlowy, export your outline as “formatted” (vs plain text.) Paste that into an email body–at least it worked with G-mail. I can’t say about others. Google Documents was also suggested but I had less good luck there just bungling around on my own earlier.

Copy the outline from the body of the email. Paste into a new Word document.

The resulting outline is fully capable of promoting-demoting any given outline level (but not expand-collapse), and the document can be formatted with numbering systems.

So I’m happy. I can use my MacBookPro or even my iPad to take notes in WorkFlowy. I will always have my notes as part of my WF file, even on my iPhone. And when ready for approval by others and archiving, I can finish with the notes outline in Word for archiving.

To download your own free personal copy of WorkFlowy to love and cherish for the rest of your outlining life, click this link, and I’ll get some more space to “make lists, not war.”

BTW, the screenshot is of my WorkFlowy (collapsed) outline for the neglected book. Will I ever convince myself there is an audience for such an effort that warrants that use for the time and energies that remain? Dunno.