Ben Crowder

Blog: #quick-entry

2 posts :: tag feed :: about the blog :: archive

Quill intro

Another entry in the eternally long series talking about my personal productivity tools.

Quill is a quick entry app for macOS and is effectively a desktop version of Gate. It’s an Electron app for now. The name comes from quills being used to write.

Overview

Not much to show here, actually. It looks like this (and the minimalism is very much intended):

quill.png

There’s a textbox for writing and a word counter at top.

Once a payload is written, all the subsequent functionality is controlled via keyboard shortcuts: an app-wide prefix (ctrl+l — that’s an L) followed by the destination. v goes to Vinci, l goes to Liszt, j goes to my journal in Vinci, and b goes to my blog in Slash. (On my laptop, I prefer this to the buttons I used in Gate.)

The payload and action are then sent to an API in Gate, which does the actual sending to the destination systems.

How I use Quill

I leave it open all the time and use a global keyboard shortcut (configured in Hammerspoon) to bring it to the front.

Beyond the integration with my other systems, I often use Quill as a temporary scratchpad for drafting documents — emails, Slack chats, etc. — usually because the type size is larger. I also use it as a scratchpad for copy-pasting rich text into plain text.

The future

I’d like to move off Electron at some point, probably to a native Swift app.


Reply via email or via office hours

Gate intro

Yet another entry in the seemingly endless series talking about my personal productivity tools.

Gate is a small quick entry app for my phone. It’s a Go web app, and the name comes from it being a gateway to my other apps. I used to use Drafts, but when it switched to a subscription model I decided to do my own thing (which worked out well for me, since I was able to make other customizations I’d long been wanting to make).

Overview

The main screen looks like this:

gate-1.png

Just a textbox and some basic controls at the bottom. When I tap the Submit button, it opens up a dialog with options for where to send the contents of the textbox (the payload):

gate-2.png

Red buttons go to Liszt, blue to Vinci, green to Slash. And this is why I have the text-based payloads in all those apps.

How I use Gate

I have it saved as a PWA to the homescreen on my phone, nestled safely in my dock. I use it all the time. (I suppose I could use it from my laptop web browser as well, but I have Quill for that use case, so I never do.)

The future

I’m happy with the app itself. There are, however, some recent bugs with text controls in PWAs in iOS Safari where the keyboard either won’t come up or can’t be dismissed, but that’s out of my control. Hoping those get fixed soon (they didn’t crop up until sometime in the last year or so, I think).


Reply via email or via office hours