Pushbullet is the best service I've seen so far that will allow me to push info from my phone to my work computer and vice versa. (I cannot install Command-C at the office.) I installed the Chrome extension and the iPhone app. From the Chrome extension, I can push a note or a list to the iOS app. This in itself is unremarkable -- I use Pushover all the time for that. But the killer feature is that I can send a link to my phone, and the moment I swipe the notification, that URL will open in the Chrome browser. And if I send an address to my iPhone, after I swipe the notification Google Maps will open to that location.

Also, I can quickly send the clipboard contents on my iPhone to the desktop extension. This is a lot faster than emailing text to myself or uploading it to Dropbox via Drafts or Launch Center Pro.


There's an IFTTT channel that allows you to push a note, link, file or address to your iPhone. I haven't played around with this, but there are many shared recipes for the channel, and I imagine you can create a recipe to automatically send images from a feed to your device.

URL Schemes

Pushbullet has URL schemes. Bachya wrote this bookmarklet to send the current page in your iOS web browser to the Pushbullet app:

javascript:window.location='pushbullet://compose?type=link&title=' + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + '&url=' + encodeURIComponent(window.location)

The Only Downside: Google

I've been working to become less reliant on Google -- for example, moving to Fastmail.fm. With Pushbullet, you can only sign in with Google, and you have no choice but to open links and addresses in Google Chrome and Google Maps. Granted, their iOS maps app is my default, and I use Chrome for Mac at work, but I still would prefer to have a choice.

Pushbullet vs. Pushover

I have been using my Pushover command line script to send text to my phone, and after a recent release, now a swipe of a Pushover notification will open a supplementary URL (if available). This is great, because I can execute Drafts actions with a swipe of a notification. For example I can make my message an URL and the Drafts action "launch url" (which is just launch://?url=[[draft]]). This will open a link in Safari for iOS with a single swipe. However, it is definitely less work for me to just open the Pushbullet extension and send a link to my phone that way.

I will continue to use my Pushover script to execute actions in Drafts, but Pushbullet is more convenient if I just want to quickly send text or a link to my phone.

07/11/14; 12:21:20 PM

I am constantly fidgeting with my productivity apps and system. I was engaged to Paperless for many months, but now I am playing with Todo.txt on the command line and on iOS. As a result, I've been thinking about types of lists and the most appropriate apps for each type of list.

1. Actionable Tasks

These lists include only tasks that require a physical (measurable/observable) action to mark as complete. This is what the GTD system is all about. Over the years I have used Omnifocus, TaskPaper, Paperless, and now Todo.txt. I have found that -- for me -- text-file-based apps are the best (TaskPaper, Todo.txt). They both support tags/contexts (the @ sign) and projects (the + sign in Todo.txt; a string followed by a : for TaskPaper). I can open them in any text editor, or I can manipulate the text in supported apps. (Jesse Grosjean removed his TaskPaper app from the iOS App Store, but fortunately Ole Zorn created an excellent TaskPaper module for Editorial.)

1a. Actionable Tasks With "Hard" Due Dates

Some actionable tasks need to be done at a very specific time, or by a very specific time. "Mail the DVD at 8:30am" or "Go to Trader Joe's at 6pm." These I put in Due or Fantastical/iOS Reminders.

2. "Consumption" Lists

These are items that I want to consume: books, movies, music tracks, groceries. None of this is urgent (well, except for food). These items do require checkboxes, because once I've rented/downloaded/borrowed/purchased the item, I don't need to do it again (... except for food). I am still using Paperless for this, because the app provides a note field where I can include all the meta info I need (URLs, for example, or who suggested a particular book). And in Paperless, I can uncheck a grocery item to re-add it to my shopping list.

3. Ideas Lists

I have a list that is more-or-less called, "Things I Need to Remember to Do at Home to Avoid the Wrath of My Wife." Another is "Lunch Ideas." These items should not have checkboxes, because they are reference materials, not one-time (or even recurring) tasks. Right now I have these lists in Listary which pulls notes with a specific tag from Simplenote. You can toggle a setting for a list in Paperless to remove checkboxes and just use the list as a reference. I have also used Carbonfin Outliner with the checkboxes toggled off for these types of lists.

Of course, one can store all these lists in simple text files and store them in a single directory. nvAlt fans do this. But am I either in front of my phone or a work computer, and I cannot sync Dropbox at work. (One can sync an nvAlt folder with Dropbox.) Although I feel too spread out with my various list apps, I do believe that the ultimate test is whether my system supports both "brain dump" and "information access." Can I quickly note down an idea or todo? And can I easily find it later? Part of my problem is that I don't always recall where I put a todo. With this three-part categorical division, I hope I can better recall a todo's location. If it's actionable, it's in Todo.txt or iOS Reminders; if it's about something I want to buy, it's in Paperless; if it's an evergreen list, it's in Listary. We'll see how it goes.

07/11/14; 09:59:17 AM

If you're trying to wrap your head around url schemes, encoding and x-callback-url, listen to this excellent podcast in which the hosts of Pocket Sized Podcast interview Alex Guyot.

Here's the link to the .m4a file.

07/11/14; 08:48:55 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:05 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Friday, July 11, 2014 at 8:48 AM.