I thought I would go into more detail from my post on My Automation and Workflows, specifically on how I use the tools I have to keep a running log of what I’m doing during the day. For me to consider any of this a successful solution, it has to work across the main devices I’m using at any given time:

  • My iPhone 4S, which is always on me
  • My iPad Mini Retina, now my “everyday carry” computer
  • My desktop iMac at work or Macbook Pro at home

Dropbox and TextExpander Touch are two essential components for making this work: Dropbox keeps the files in sync, and TextExpander Touch allows me to share snippets with LCP and Drafts to generate new log files based on the date.

Part One: Launch Center Pro

daily-notes-workflow-1Every weekday morning at 0825, LCP prompts me to run my Start Daily Notes action, which does the following:

launch://x-callback-url/dropbox/new?text=Daily-Notes-<ddate data-preserve-html-node="true">&path=%2FApps%2FEditorial&name=Daily-Notes-<ddate data-preserve-html-node="true">.markdown&success={{editorial://open/Daily-Notes-<ddate data-preserve-html-node="true">.markdown?root=dropbox}}

When run, this creates a new file in my Dropbox/Apps/Editorial folder called Daily-Notes-'today's date'.markdown, where today’s date is formatted like so: 04-Mar-2014.
Once the file has successfully been created, it launches Editorial and prompts Editorial to open the file. At the moment, this doesn’t work as it should – as far as I can tell, the action is happening too quickly and Editorial can’t yet open the file because it hasn’t been finished being created yet. I’ve asked Contrast, the makers of LCP to consider adding a delay between actions as a feature request.

Part Two: Editing in Editorial/Byword

If I’m in front of a Mac, I edit the file in Byword. If I’m working on my iPad I use Editorial.
I do own Byword for iOS (I purchased it before Editorial was around), but the integrated browser and ability to run custom actions within Editorial make it more useful to me in my daily role as an IT admin.

Part Three: Appending in Drafts

02Something that I’ve added in the last couple of days is the ability to append to my Daily Notes file with Drafts.
If I’m away from my desk and don’t have my iPad on me, or if I just want to quickly add something to my Daily Notes file, I can use the following Custom Dropbox Action in Drafts to append to it:

  • Name: ┬áDaily Append
  • Path: /Apps/Editorial/
  • File: Predefined / Daily-Notes-<<ddate>>
  • Ext: markdown
  • Write: Append
  • Template: [[draft]]

Because I have Drafts syncing set up, anything I’ve set up on my iPad I can also run from my iPhone.
Both actions for LCP and Drafts require that TextExpander Touch Snippets have been shared amongst other apps…
And also up-to-date with Launch Center Pro and Drafts.

Part Four: Editorial to Day One

05At the end of the day I run a custom workflow from Editorial to pipe my daily notes through to my Day One journal, which is also synced across my devices via Dropbox.
The original author of the Editorial workflow is unfortunately uncredited.
At the end of the day, I have a relatively semi-automated daily journal that I can make amendments to and reflect upon (which, next to having a searchable database of what I’ve been doing, is probably the most important part of this task).