Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).
We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.
As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.
Text selection on iOS is still a pain in the ass. Some apps fix it up with extra buttons above the virtual keyboard, but Thoughts 2, an iPhone notes app, adds extra buttons to the text selection itself. This makes it easy to expand and contract the selection one character at a time which – given the fickle nature of text fields in iOS – should help a lot.
Ever been surfing the web and find a nice bit of text you want to save? You can highlight the text with your cursor, copy, and paste into an app like Text Edit or Notes, sure, but maybe you just want a quick and easy way to put the bit of text aside to use later.
There’s no need to bother with opening an app and pasting in the text in OS X. Text clipping has been around for quite a while, but it’s a feature that we rarely use, for one reason or another.
Liquid looks set to be a fixture on my Mac. It’s an app which lets you carry out transformations and operations on any selected text, which doesn’t sound like much unless you write for a living, or just have to wrangle lots of letters. It’s actually been around for quite a while (the current version is 4.3), but I figured that if I hadn’t heard of it yet, then maybe you hadn’t either.
Changing a sentence to ALL CAPS on my Mac is dead easy: I just select the words, right click and choose Transformations from the contextual menu. If I want to do anything fancier, like weird Markdown footnotes, or adding bullet points to the start of every line, I can just write an Automator workflow and save it as a System Service.
But on iOS? In the immortal words of Run DMC, “it’s tricky”. Or was tricky: now we can use the $5 TextTool to do it for us.
In case you missed it, OS X Mavericks came out yesterday and it’s free. If you’ve downloaded the latest operating system from our fine friends in Cupertino, then you’ll be able to check out this neat little tip.
We all love emoji, right? Those cute little emoticons came into vogue for iOS a while back, and then were rolled into Apple’s mobile operating system as a special keyboard. They’re also avaialable in OS X Mavericks, and you can pull them up with very little effort, in almost any app.
This one’s pretty nerdy, but if you use Markdown to write anything with links in it (web articles, e-mails and so on) then you’re going to love it. It lets you use “lazy” reference links in Markdown to keep your text nice and tidy, but it does it without the references. Reference links without references? What? Wait…
One of the worst things, in my opinion, is how modern autocorrect fixes words that I’ve misspelled into correctly spelled but inappropriate words. What’s worse is the way Mac OS X arrogantly assumes that I must mean the word that makes no sense in context, because it is closest to the typo I just made.
For me, it’s far better to just see the red line of doom; that way< i can right click and choose the right word, or just type it again. I mean, it's typing; it shouldn't be that big a deal to do it twice.
If you're like me and want to turn this "feature" off, here's how.