What's the quickest/simplest way to add a text note?

I’m trying to figure out quick and easy ways to add text notes on the fly and I’m not seeing anything. Looks like if I want to add a text note I have to actually leave the app I’m in, go to DevonThink, I can then hit the appropriate hotkey (and I wish the app would let me re-map hotkeys to avoid conflicts with other apps, this is one of the few apps that doesn’t permit that), and that then actually puts me into the title field and makes me type a title, THEN I can click over to the text field and start typing. Very cumbersome and inefficient.

Seems this is one more thing I’m missing in my transition from Evernote. There I could hit a hotkey, it would bring up a text entry window, I just start typing, save and I’m done.

Sometimes in the middle of doing one thing an idea occurs to me and I want to capture it in DTPO, but right now the “transactional friction” is a problem. I need to find a way to add such notes as quickly and efficiently as possible with as little interruption to my work as possible.

On my iPhone, I can just launch Drafts, type a note, share it to DTTG and get back to work. I’m trying to find some analogous workflow on my Mac. Was hoping maybe nvAlt would work but I can’t find a simple way to share a new note with DTPO. Again, would love to be able to hit a hotkey, start typing, and then with one or two more keystrokes share with DTPO and get back to work.

Has anyone figured this out?

You define your own hotkey to do this, in Preferences>Sorter. From the manual:

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Fantastic, thanks!

The way to get nvALT to work in this scenario is to index the nvALT data folder in DEVONthink. So notes added to nvALT are also available in DEVONthink.

korm, thank you. That’s an intriguing possibility. I’ve never used nvalt, just installed it and played with it for a minute or two and it didn’t seem to play well with other apps, but this use case scenario would work well.

On an iPhone with 3D Touch, you can press the DTTG icon and choose New Note. This launches DTTG and the New Document Assistant, just as fast as opening Drafts or Evernote. The new note will be filed in the Global Inbox.

thanks Jim, just tried that, works beautifully. Haven’t found a lot of use for the 3d touch functionality but this is great.

You’re welcome. :smiley:

So I’m trying to figure out how to make this work. I selected the folder that has the nvalt notes, selected services/folder actions then added having DT index the folder. As near as I can tell, nothing is happening. I’ve added some test notes, then searched for them in DTPO. No joy. What am I doing wrong?

That’s not indexing-using the Services/Folder Actions will import the documents into the database. You index Finder folders directly from DEVONthink using the File menu>Index command, the navigate to your nvALT folder. It might also be helpful to review the Importing and Indexing section of the DEVONthink manual.

Ah, got it.

Here’s what I’d love to get put in place:

  • first, I find a markdown-enabled text editor that saves simple text files to a user-specified folder. it appears that nvALT saves them in its own container, each note is not identified as a separate file, and thus far I’m not having any success getting those notes into DTPO. I tried indexing the folder and it shows the folder and the container for the notes but doesn’t show any of the notes.

  • then I have a folder where when I save a document into it or move one into it, it invokes the folder services action of importing it into DTPO, runs OCR and deletes it from the original folder. I’m having hit or miss success with this functionality. I put that in place on the nvALT folder and when I create a new note, nothing. If I drag a pdf to that folder, that gets imported into DTPO as expected. But then I had an idea, I tried creating a new folder on my desktop simply for notes to be imported into DTPO, and set up folder services on it per above. Then I created a test note in TextEdit and saved it to that folder. Nothing. So then I saved another new note to a different folder and then moved it into that folder. Nothing.

If I index that folder per the recommendation above, then I get the notes that are in it. But I’d rather have the functionality in place I describe in the prior paragraph. So, a few questions:

first, am I missing something regarding the folder services action?

second, is anyone aware of a markdown-enabled text editor that saves notes as simple text files into a user-specified folder and doesn’t hold them in some proprietary container?

No. Not exactly correct. You can configure nvALT to save into a container or to save as individual files. See nvALT > Preferences > Notes > Storage And you can define what file type to use. If you configure nvALT to sync with Simplenote then you have your iOS and macOS solution in place. And as soon as you index the folder in DEVONthink then you’re done.

I’ve indexed notes from Simplenote/nvALT like this for a decade and it has always worked flawlessly.

Ok, somehow missed that option in nvALT. Set that up, setup indexing, and that works beautifully.

Then I tried creating another folder, pointed nvALT to that one but first setup the folder action rule to import/ocr/delete from that folder, then created a test note and verified it was placed in that folder. Nothing went into DTPO.

I’m fine using the indexing methodology, but is it ok to then move notes in DTPO to the appropriate folder? I verified that I can, just making sure that doesn’t “break” anything. I don’t want to keep them all in a special “nvALT” folder in DTPO, I want them residing in the appropriate folder for both organization and AI purposes.

I appreciate your help!

That’s not how indexing works. If you index a folder then the documents are in that folder in the file system and nowhere else. You can move an indexed file to a different group in your database, but be careful. It’s super easy to lose track of the fact that you did that.

Instead of all these machinations why not just use DEVONthink to Go to create notes, as Jim pointed out? That will get you the complete flexibility to create notes on iOS and put them wherever you wish, either in DEVONthink to Go or back on the desktop. That’s the only tool built to do what it seems you want to accomplish.

(But, perhaps the use case we’re trying to solution here is not entirely clear.)

yeah, I may just end up doing that. I was trying to avoid it for a few reasons:

  • not all the notes I make using such a note editor end up in DTPO, so it would be great to have one editor I could use for multiple work flows.

  • using the sorter’s note editor is a bit awkward, the notes editor pops up on the side of the monitor and the formatting/aesthetics aren’t great for me. I’d rather be able to use a hot key and have something pop up front and center with a UI a bit more suited to the purpose than the sorter’s editor. And ideally something where I can set things like font sizes and other defaults in preferences to be kinder to my eyes.

But perhaps this is just what I’ve gotta do.

question: how come when I set the folder action rule and then save an item to that folder I don’t get anything moved into DTPO but if I drag and drop something into it from elsewhere, I do?

This is more an Apple question, as we have no control over Folder Actions Dispatcher. However, it’s likely because saving a file is a different process than receiving a dropped file.

Or your folder action script is either broken, or needs a permission for macOS from you (very common on Mojave) and fails silently because folder actions do not open an UI for requesting permissions.