Miscellaneous Productivity Boosters from 2012


There are a few different timesaving apps or tricks I’ve been meaning to post about for a while now. Here they all are in one end-of-year lump!

OmniFocus & text files

If you work a lot with both OmniFocus and text files, at some point you’ve probably wished that you could easily transition information between the two. Rob Trew’s Applescripts TaskPaper to OmniFocus importer and OmniFocus to TaskPaper exporter are a great help (and work with any text copied to the clipboard from anywhere). I find them most useful when working with meeting notes I take using my iPhone1 and also with projects I’ve outlined in text. There are also a lot of other useful scripts on that page.

Instapaper to OmniFocus

It might not be very obvious, but each Instapaper folder in your account, including the default one, has a unique RSS feed associated with it. Using an IFTTT recipe you can send all new saved links automatically via email directly to OmniFocus if you’re using the Mail.app OmniFocus rule on a mac (see this 2020hindsight post if you’re having trouble setting this up). They appear as new actions. If you like you can specify a specific project and context for Instapaper links sent this way. As you can see I send them to a project called Instapaper, context “Tech”.

Deliveries

I get a lot of deliveries, both at home and in the office. It’s nice to keep track of where they are and when they’re arriving in one place. For me that one place is Deliveries Status Touch and the accompanying dashboard widget. You can forward emails to their online service to have the delivery automatically show up.

Pastebot

Pastebot is really a pretty simple app, by Tapbots, the makers of Tweetbot. It keeps a log of things you copy to the clipboard on your iPhone, which you can then manipulate in various ways. Even handier, there’s a sync companion for the Mac which allows you to effortlessly pop clipboard contents between your phone and your computer.

BetterTouchTool and a useful Caps Lock key

BetterTouchTool is a fantastic free app which allows you to assign keyboard and mouse shortcuts for almost anything you can think of on your Mac. I’ve used it for years but I’ve recently extended its usefulness by repurposing my Caps Lock key into a “Hyper Modifier” (⌘⇧⌥⌃: Command, Shift, Option and Control). You can read how to do that in Brett Terpstra’s post A Useful Caps Lock Key. So, for example, I can launch nvALT simply by pressing Caps Lock + N.


  1. I now use the Squarespace Note app instead of drafts, because it’s fantastic.