Press ESC to close

Workflows

Finder Catalog Numbers

Stick with me, folks. This is going to get super nerdy and may take a while to explain. It’s also going to cover some of my favorite topics: a custom-built Mac app, a small server-side script, Keyboard Maestro, the command line, and URL schemes.

Let’s talk about the stuff you need to do and the files, supporting documents, and reference material you need to accomplish those tasks.

Roundabout Syncing

I don’t mean for this blog post to only be more complaining. It’s just my dumb solution to a Finder bug I’ve been running into for years. And also a great example of how a little bit of automation can go a long way. (And an even better example of how unique the macOS ecosystem is that tools like this can exist – and how scared I am that (despite assurances) we seem to be headed in a direction where powerful and clever apps are not wanted.)

Anyway, something must have broken in Finder around when Apple integrated iCloud Drive into macOS Sierra in 2016. That’s when I noticed that the files on my Desktop would stop appearing on…my Desktop.

Talking to OmniFocus

But one significant change I have made is to my morning routine. And it was made possible by OmniFocus’ version 3.4 update last year. I’m sorry that I’m just now getting around to writing about this new workflow because it’s a lot of fun. And it just might be my favorite new feature Omni has ever shipped. As a user, it’s wowing me with the possibilities. And as an Apple developer, I’m amazed at how well done it is.

Dot Dee Tee

Inline with my affinity for backing up and owning my data, one component of that strategy is avoiding proprietary file formats and databases whenever possible and reasonable. That’s why I prefer plain text (and more recently .textbundle) for all of my notes, and why I’m so meticulous about how I organize my family’s photo archives.

It gives me the agility to move from app to app or even (heaven forbid, it may eventually happen) to a new platform as my needs change. If you own your own data, there’s no lock-in.

So along those lines, here’s a very tiny optimization (is that the right word for this?) that I’ve been doing for years that helps keep my reference material organized and more easily searchable and filterable.

(Oh, and also a quick story about how I effed up someone else’s data.)

The App That Never Was

While using one of my favorite iOS Shortcuts the other day, it occurred to me how much things have changed in six years.

I say six years ago specifically because it was in 2014 that I made an iOS app called Upshot.

Sadly, Upshot never saw the light of day because I couldn’t get it past App Review for very dumb reasons. Lucky for you though, after I show the ridiculously simple Shortcut that I now use instead, this gives me the opportunity to tell you my very favorite App Store rejection story.