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Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the mac category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Automated Texty Goodness

Some texty things that crossed my path recently:

Fiendish Master Plan, which I found on 43Folders, is a simple Ruby script that looks at a text file and spits out a set of smaller text files according to category. So, for example, a line in your main text file reading ^monkeyfacts Monkeys enjoy dressing as humans to advertise tea would generate a file called monkeyfacts.txt with your monkey fact safely inside.

Set up a Quicksilver trigger 1 to add text to your main text file, have cron2 run the script for you every so often, use Textpander3 to automate the typing of category headings, dates and commonly used phrases… and you’ve got a seriously efficient note-taking and list-making application at your fingertips.

Being lovely text files, all those notes and lists can easily be repurposed, too.

If you use Markdown, the easy to read format that allows for simple text-to-HTML conversion, you could drop your files onto one of Fletcher Penny’s MarkdownDragAndDrop mini-applications and generate HTML files for the web or PDFs to email. And, with creative use of categories, you could even dump them into a directory on a server running Blosxom to generate a quickfire ideas weblog.

Add an Automator script or two, maybe some Folder Actions, and the only thing left to automate is, you know, thinking.

  1. If you’re unfamiliar with Quicksilver, you might like to read this review I wrote a couple of years ago, or some more gobbledegeek on the topic of triggers.

  2. cron, a Unix thingy for scheduling tasks, is easy to use, but if you don’t like tinkering on the command line, Cronnix offers a nice friendly graphical interface to it.

  3. Textpander expands abbreviations into snippets of text as you type. I use it to generate annoying footnotes like this one, among other things.

Posted at 2pm on 03/05/06 by Jack Mottram to the mac category.
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