Let’s step back in time a bit so you can understand some pain…
As a creator of websites and applications, I spend a significant amount of time listening to the needs of my clients, taking notes and researching solutions. While I’ve love the tangible nature of notepads, they just do not work for me. I can never find anything and my desk just becomes a cluster fuck.
Some 10 years ago I was taking notes using Notepad on Windows. When I switched to the Mac, that application became TextMate. However, I still had the same issue I did with physical copies. I could never find what I needed. Sure, I was shoving things on my desktop or in a client oriented folder in Documents, but it just became too cumbersome to make sure I had it in the right place and could quickly pull it up.
Three years ago I bought an iPhone. This simple little device changed everything for me. My ability to consume information shot through the roof as things became very efficient on the go. Only not everything was that easy. None of my notes were on my phone, so I’d always have to get back to people or lug out my Mac. The built it notes app is shit and Apple should be ashamed of it. Syncing with your email? Really? Come on Apple.
So last fall I was at an iPhone dev meetup and had a discussion with a doctor who was using Evernote. I started asking all sorts of questions and instantly new I was doing it wrong. I downloaded the Mac app and the iPhone app, and gloriously had my notes in sync in both places.
It’s All About Speed and Accessibility Evernote does one thing very well. It captures information, be it text, image or file. The interface is really geared for that. It is not, however, geared for recall or speed. Tags, tags and more tags. Blech.
That’s where Notational Velocity comes in. It’s fast as hell, has no tags and you don’t save – It just happens for you in the background. Creating a note and finding a note are the same action via a single text box.
We’ve made so many assumptions about how something should work, we’ve never taken the time to make sure it was right.
The only downside you may find to Notational Velocity is that you can’t save images or files. However, that’s a plus for me. I rarely use that capability in Evernote and it just clutters up the UI.
But wait there’s more! Now you’re thinking to your self “Wait a minute. Notational Velocity is just a desktop app. There’s no iPhone app.” and you would be right. However, you can sync it with Simplenote!
Simplenote is an iPhone app with offline access and sync to their servers. These two little apps must be cousins as they were made for each other. Together they do a great job keeping your Mac and iPhone in sync. The base application is free, but if you exceed 2000 API requests per day, you’ll spend $8.99/yr for unlimited requests. Honestly, just pay the man. Your time is worth way more than that anyway.
Finding ways to speed up the repetitive tasks I do everyday is very important to me. Saving just 5 minutes per day means I can spend an additional 30 hours per year with my family.
I’m willing to bet I can easily save 30 minutes every day. Can you?
Thomas Hawk shoots an incredible amount of photos. He’s published over 37,000 photos on Flickr. Whispering Secrets I Know I’m Not Supposed to Hear is one of my favorites.
If you are curious how he made this photo, you can watch the interview he did with Marc Silber while he shot it.
Content aware fill in Photoshop CS5 is pure fucking witch craft.
Jimmy Page is on another planet. The sonic energy in this film says so much about why I love Led Zeppelin.
It all starts at about 1:20. Don’t worry, I’ll take you there.
The new features to use variables in forms are great.