Taking Screenshots of Ephemeral Mac Notifications

Ever try to get a screenshot on your Mac that includes a notification or a mouse hover menu? You need a timed screenshot for that. I’m using Keyboard Maestro for this but there are lots of ways to get timed screenshots, including the built in Grab application. OSX Daily has an article from 2011 and an even earlier one from 2010 on the topic. Here’s my KM macro that does a little count down and snaps a screenshot to my preferred location.

Personal Training Sprints

I’ve come to grips with the disconnect between my aspirations and my available free time. There’s so many things I want to get better at but so few hours in the day to work on them all. I’m experimenting with a new approach to scheduling my personal improvement by creating small tasks to learn very small amounts throughout the week. These aren’t monumental topics, like quantum mechanics or Facebook privacy settings.

Unpoop Twitter GIFs

Twitter seems to have an uncommon knack of not understanding how people use their service. In an effort to control more of the material published by users, they occasionally crap all over URLs and especially animated GIFs. They will convert animated GIFs to mp4 files which ruins the entire point of an animated image format. If you want to save an animated GIF that Twitter has “optimized”, it’s really a pain.

Battery Management for Terrible No Good Grueling Holiday Travel

Dead batteries in the middle of a flight sure make the trip feel longer. Here’s the stuff I suggest to my friends and family to make batteries last as long as possible. It’s not rocket science. Macbook Reduce the fricking screen brightness! They even put shortcuts on the keyboard to do this. They’re trying to give you a hint. Lowering the screen brightness is the single biggest change to cut power consumption.

Drafts 4 Keyboard Scripts

Unless you’ve been locked in a doomsday cult bunker you’ve probably noticed that the beloved iOS text editor and action app Drafts received a big update. The obvious part of the update is the redesign for iOS 8 and the new action creation process. The second most obvious thing is the iCloud based storage and syncing. But the real meat of this update is the extra keyboard row and the new JavaScript actions.

Working with Files in Alfred

Alfred for Mac is typically thought of a as a file launcher with support for custom actions. But there’s an entire set of built in actions for handling files that are easily overlooked. But these are, by far, my most used features.1 Action files from Finder or Path Finder With any number of files selected in the Finder, hit a user defined key combination to send them into Alfred. Once there, you can manipulate files in pretty much anyway you can in the Finder with a mouse.

Dot Notation for Snippet Expansion Link

I find Zach Holmquist’s syntax for TextExpander snippets both logically satisfying and frustratingly prone toward collisions. It’s the kind of system that makes me smack my forehead for not coming up with it myself, but then I dig in and realize how terrible it would be in a world of dot notation (like URL’s). The syntax is logical: expands to your preferred email address. me.home expands to the home address.

Organizing and Disabling TextExpander Snippets

This may be the single greatest improvement in the iOS TextExpander experience in years. That’s not sarcastic. There is a distinct difference between the snippets I use on my Mac and those I use on my phone. This also gets to a useful recommendation: Organize your TextExpander snippets. I have three categories I use for snippet folders. I have global snippets organized by general function. My “Time” folder contains snippets that have to do with generating date and time text.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Fantastical for iPad

Fantastical for iPad is a nice upgrade from the standard Apple calendar app and a great speed improvement over Readdle’s Calendar app.1 But with all versions of Fantastical, the gestures aren’t obvious and most of the utility is hidden to anyone not willing to accost their iOS screen.2 Here are some things I find useful. Jump to Date To jump to a specific date, tap and hold on the date in the header.

Some URL Actions for February 27th, 2014

MyGeekDaddy has some great URL scheme actions for Editorial, Drafts, Launch Center Pro, OmniFocus, TextTool and a bunch of other apps. Lots of useful stuff and good examples to build off of. If you’re a fan of TextTool, which is a great text service app for iOS, @Win7Guru has several Launch Center Pro groups for quickly triggering a TextTool conversion with the clipboard. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4