Lately I’ve been itching for a way in OS X to quickly create temporary sticky notes but with Markdown support and with decent text processing (regex find-and-replace, etc.) and with the ability to type first and act later (like Drafts for iOS). The default Stickies app doesn’t really fit the bill (and it isn’t pretty).

So I’ve mocked up an OS X app I’m calling Shortform:

I don’t know if I’ll actually write the app (Cocoa learning curve and other pressing needs, etc.), but since the likelihood of someone else writing it is very small, that may have to be what happens. Things of note:

  • Console and reusable actions. In the upper left note, you can see a console at the bottom. It’s a command line for text editing, basically. There’d be built-in commands (like replace or trim or what have you) along with ways to send the text elsewhere (email and web services being the two main ones I’d use). You would also be able to save a sequence of commands into a reusable action.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. Lots of configurable shortcuts — new note, new note with clipboard contents automatically pasted in, shortcuts for custom actions, etc. And a global shortcut to focus the app.
  • Markdown preview. The middle note (with the green header) shows a preview (processed through Markdown to HTML with some CSS). I’m thinking notes could be in either edit mode and preview mode, rather than having two separate windows.

How I think I’d use Shortform:

  • Quick text processing. I often need to do a quick regex on a snippet of text — adding hyphens to the beginning of a list of things, for example.
  • Temporary notes while I’m working on something. Stuff I need to write down but don’t care to keep in a longer-term notebook. That’s how I use Stickies right now.
  • Quick entry for blog posts, etc. I love Drafts on iOS. Type first, then do what you need to do with it. It’s particularly useful with web services — I can type a note, then send it to whichever one of my Vinci notebooks I want.

Anyway, at this point it’s just a mockup. If I do end up building it someday, I’ll let y’all know.