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Thinking in the shell

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My doing project has been a great tool for me, and it’s evolved into a fairly complete time tracking system of sorts. Using the done, finish, and meanwhile commands, you can include time intervals for your entries and see them with --totals in most view and show variations. I’ll need to do a whole post on that to explain it properly, but I wanted to mention something different today.

Using shell aliases, you can actually expand doing to do a lot more. For example, I have an alias called thinking in my ~/.bash_profile which adds random ideas I come up with to an “Ideas” section of my doing file and tags them automatically:

alias thinking="doing now -s Ideas @thinking"

Then I can use:

$ thinking I should write about these doing aliases

And running doing show @thinking gives me:

2014-04-24 10:30 | @thinking I should write about these doing aliases

You can also set up custom views for these lists in ~/.doingrc, perhaps omitting the date or handling notes differently, and call it with doing view [view name]. You could also add the -e switch to the alias to always open up an editor so you can add notes to any idea. You get the idea.

There’s also a -f flag which allows you to specify a different file for the command, so if you want to separate these contexts completely, you can. I like keeping them in one file, in their own section, and then just using doing show ideas (to view a single section) or doing show @thinking (to view all tagged items).

You can alias things like “playing,” “planning,” “reading,” or even reminders like “buy,” “read,” or “remember.” It allows for fairly natural commands that are intuitive and easy to remember, without bothering with the extra flags and switches that would always be the same.

It’s just a handy trick I figured most people hadn’t considered. If you spend time on the command line and are prone to forgetting what you’ve been up to, check out doing.

Recap: Apr 23rd, 2014

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Some posts of interest from the last week:

Sponsor: MultiMarkdown Composer (Apr 17th)
Thanks to my favorite Markdown editor for sponsoring BrettTerpstra.com this week. If you’re interested in sponsorship, see here for more info.
Moviedo, your todo list for movies (Apr 22nd)
A great app for tracking movies you want to see or collecting movies in any kind of list.
Systematic 93 with Alex Enkerli (Apr 22nd)
This was a great chat with ethnographer Alex Enkerli. Check it out.

Recaps are a quick, curated summary of one week’s posts on this site. You can keep up on the site with RSS, or subscribe specifically to the Recaps and get weekly updates in digest format.

Web Excursions for April 23, 2014

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AppleScript to close iCal Alerts
I have been meaning to figure this out. When you get a slew of notifications in OS X 10.8+, you have to dismiss them one at a time by clicking “Close.” I miss Growl’s Option-click-dismiss-all, but this solves the problem in most cases (some notifications refuse to be dismissed for me, and others take multiple executions of the script). Add a hotkey with FastScripts or run it from a launcher for instant notification clearing.
Photo Geotag Tools
Great script from Evan Lovely that lets you run whereisthis photo.jpg and open Google Maps to the location the photo was taken (assuming it has location data). Also available as an Alfred workflow.
Find out what’s keeping your Mac awake
Good tip for those annoying times when your Mac just won’t sleep and you can’t figure out why.
Jeet Grid System
A Sass grid system for web designers which allows for more “human” syntax and less nesting of elements.
Towards a Better App Store
A well-considered list of actionable items for improving Apple’s App Store. Via MacStories.

Systematic 93 with Alex Enkerli

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Systematic logo

I didn’t know what ethnography was until I chatted with Alex Enkerli on this week’s episode of Systematic. It’s a topic I now find fascinating, and one that would have served me well when I was more focused on UX design. We talk about technology appropriation, understanding users and the fact that users innovate products, and not vice versa.

Thanks to Alex for taking the time. Check out the episode at 5by5!

I’m still working my way through all of the great submissions to the Audiodrop, but don’t forget that if you have an interesting job or pursuit that you think is changing things for people around you, I’d love to hear from you.

Moviedo, your todo list for movies

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I got an advance preview of the app Moviedo and I’ve been loving it. It was officially released today. If you love movies and keep lists of movies to watch, movies you’ve loved or any other collection of movies, this app is for you.

Moviedo sources from RottenTomatoes and iTunes and provides you a list of hot movies, as well as a search function that hasn’t failed me yet. From the main feed you can find synopses, ratings, reviews, links to trailers on YouTube and iTunes, and more.

Then, you can create iCloud-synced lists and add any movie you find to any of your lists. “To watch,” “Wedding movies,” “Brutal documentaries…” whatever kind of collection you need. Tapping a movie in a list gives you all the same information you had before, which helps people like me remember why they added a movie to that list to begin with. Movies in lists can be removed/checked off as you watch them (or decide that maybe it only looked good in certain impaired states).

You can quickly see if a movie is available on iTunes or Netflix, which is great for those of us who only stream movies these days. If you’re like my wife and I and spend a lot of time watching trailers of upcoming movies on your Apple TV, you can also get alerts when movies come out in theaters or become available to rent.

It’s a very flexible database application, specifically geared to movies and with a lot of features to back that up. It doesn’t try to be any more than that, though. It’s everything I want in a movie listing app, and nothing I don’t need.

Moviedo is currently free on the iTunes App Store. If you like movies, I highly recommend checking it out.

It sounds unflattering, but I’m still kind of flattered

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From Gabe at MacDrifter about the Clinkle CEO:

This bit totally sounds like Brett Terpstra:

At one point, multiple sources say, Duplan considered installing a motion detector system on his desk, so he could wave his hand rather than call out to his assistant to let her know he needed something. A source close to the company denies this.

Me? Actually, it really does, except I set up the system so that my wife can summon me from the basement without yelling across floors. It’s kind of the opposite, really. Like he’s a miscreant doppelgänger.

So there, Weatherhead. I took your remark out of context and produced a retort incorporating several multi-syllable words and some German. I think I’m procrastinating on stuff I need to do today…

As a random aside, you can still get Marked 2 for 25% off at MacUpdate Promo. The deal runs for two more days.

I’m close (still) to having the App Store version ready if you prefer to wait, but I keep running into new and unexpected issues with the sandboxing. I’ve received some generous help from the likes of Fletcher Penney, Daniel Jalkut, and others to whom I am grateful. I like the Mac developer community.

Huh, that went from lighthearted pseudo-defensiveness to an ad spiel. I see what I did there.

The Fantastical 2 for iPad winners!

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Here are the winners of the Fantastical 2 for iPad giveaway:

  • Dan Gormley
  • John Atkinson
  • Abhimat Gautam
  • Nicolás Sawicki
  • Martin Packer
  • Raija Mäkelä
  • Spencer Call
  • Gary Fisher
  • Arnd Gongoll
  • Mike Sale

Congratulations! If you didn’t get an email from me already, let me know.

If you missed out, you can still get the introductory price ($9.99US) on Fantastical 2 for iPad on the App Store (before it goes up to $14.99).

Thanks to Flexibits for the contribution!

Recap: Apr 16th, 2014

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Some posts of interest from the last week:

Sponsor: PDFpen for iPad (Apr 10th)
A big thanks to Smile for their continued support of BrettTerpstra.com. If you work with PDFs (or just regularly need to digitally sign them), PDFpen is an amazing tool
A Service for getting sums from selections (Apr 10th)
This one got linked by LifeHacker and others. I didn’t realize it was going to be that handy for everyone else, too.
Sum: PopClip extension (Apr 11th)
The above service gets even more powerful when you stick it in PopClip and add some extra parsing… complete with options for internationalization right from PopClip’s configuration panel.
Fantastical 2 for iPad, review and giveaway (Apr 12th)
You have ONE MORE DAY to sign up for one of 10 free copies of Fantastical 2 for iPad. Giveaway ends at 12pm on the 17th.
doing 0.2.5 (Apr 12th)
A huge update to my doing utility for command line activity tracking. It’s officially out of hand.
SearchLink 2.1.1: blogger friendlier (Apr 13th)
SearchLink got a couple of updates (and a fix) this week, and it’s become an absolutely essential blogging tool for me. I’ve heard other people like it, too.
OTask OmniFocus CLI is back (for now) (Apr 14th)
I patched up the OTask tool for adding OmniFocus tasks from the command line. It has a limited lifespan due to changing libraries, but it works for now!
Systematic 92 with Ryan Irelan (Apr 15th)
I had a really, really fun conversation with Ryan Irelan on Systematic this week. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Recaps are a quick, curated summary of one week’s posts on this site. You can keep up on the site with RSS, or subscribe specifically to the Recaps and get weekly updates in digest format.