TextBundle, an open format for text-based notes
The TextBundle file format aims to provide a more seamless user experience when exchanging plain text files, like Markdown or Fountain, between sandboxed applications.

Sandboxing is required for all apps available on the Mac and iOS app store, in order to grant users a high level of data security. Sandboxed apps are only permitted access to files explicitly provided by the user - for example Markdown text files. When working with different Markdown applications, sandboxing can cause inconveniences for the user.

An example: Markdown files may contain references to external images. When sending such a file from a Markdown editor to a previewer, users will have to explicitly permit access to every single image file.

This is where TextBundle comes in. TextBundle brings convenience back - by bundling the Markdown text and all referenced images into a single file. Supporting applications can just exchange TextBundles without asking for additional permissions. Beyond being a simple container, TextBundle includes a standard to transfer additional information - to open up new possibilites for future integration.


Software as an endless stream of cards from everywhere
The End of Apps As We Know Them

Lots of people trying to figure out what replaces the "grid of apps" approach to mobile. This article is a pretty good extrapolation of trends we're already seeing - first we had notifications. Then we had notifications you could interact with. Eventually, maybe, you'll get so many notifications you can't deal with all of them - and here PMs start salivating at the idea of being able to apply machine intelligence to the problem of what you need to look at next. (If I didn't invent the phrase "product managed to death" I don't want to know about it.)

What this approach under-emphasizes, I think, is user intent as an unpredictably evolving thing. We'll definitely get better at inferring your intent from your schedule, from your past behavior - but in a deep way user intent will always be impossible to model well. It's arguable how much this matters: most people have a daily routine, a set of boundaries they rarely go beyond. So maybe we'll be uncannily good at this most of the time. Maybe we'll even be able to model people's desire for novelty along different dimensions to keep their stream stimulating (although it's funny that we talk about stream optimization as a solved problem given how primitive efforts are today.)

But what's the UI for expressing intent above the level of a card in this model? Text or voice control, maybe, but that's just a modality. What kinds of intents - or preferences, or states - could be expressed that the system would be able to incorporate into its model? If I want something that isn't "find me X", are we back to a grid of app icons?

Life as an edge case

Simplenote's 3rd-party syncing is broken, and they don't have an OS X desktop app (not that I'd want to give up Notational Velocity anyway.) Wish I hadn't prepaid for a year subscription ...

Quicksilver file tagging module
Add Spotlight comments to a file with QS.

Source of code & ideas for improvments to my homebrew system - which could be said to be "moving slowly", I prefer to compare it to slow but sure geological processes...

Update: above link is broken, but this works, and the 43folders wiki has a lot of stuff to say.

Nokia E70 Preview
Cannot fucking wait. This phone will change my life.

update: user's manual, courtesy the FCC

The Noguchi Filing System
Basically a physical version of a technique programmers use sometimes - bring the most recent stuff to the front. File stuff in categories once it's dead.

According to Wikipedia I've got mind maps all wrong. Mind maps, apparently, are restricted to "radial" structures (essentially unordered outlines). The maps I do are called "concept maps", and can have any structure (a bunch of nodes with an arbitrary set of connections between them.) Anyway, CmapTools builds concept maps.

Java mindmapping software.

how big is a project?
(GTD geeks only)

Schedule meetings with people that don't have Outlook.

"A tool for taking notes on your computer."

aka Post-it notes for the web aka Tornado Notes 2004

via danah

edit a whole wiki as a single self-contained html+js+css page. tough to save your work, though.

43 folders
many tiny, tasty organizational tricks.

getting things done
Stephen Covey for geeks.

"Instiki is a Wiki Clone thatís so easy to setup and so pretty to look at, youíll be wondering whether this is a real wiki at all."

I feel a change coming - as if deep beneath the earth, plates are shifting...

Anybody want a Gmail invite?

update: For real though, I have five invites left, it's getting burdensome.

gmail gems

Yeah, I'm bragging.

features that email clients should have but don't

  • ability to send the same message to a bunch of people, but have it look like you sent to each individual separately

  • ability to annotate emails (every application should allow you to annotate anything, actually, but that's another story...)

ecco rocks
Ecco is an outliner.

desirable features for that information sharing app i'm going to write someday
info available anywhere (via web, i guess)
editable in-place
drag files onto it (w/right mouse button on windows for copy/shortcut options)
drag web links onto it
plug into external datasources
drag entries around, resize them
recently accessed list (bring-to-front)

(or maybe i'll just use the net clipboard [similar])

Nelson Email Organizer
I kind of hope I'll need this someday, frankly.

I don't know about productivity software that asks you to "smoke something strong" in order to get into the right frame of mind to appreciate it.

Similar to remembrance agents, except designed for non-geeks: sixdegrees.

"Remembrance agents are a set of applications that watch over a user's shoulder and suggest information relevant to the current situation. While query-based memory aids help with direct recall, remembrance agents are an augmented associative memory. For example, the word-processor version of the RA continuously updates a list of documents relevant to what's being typed or read in an emacs buffer. These suggested documents can be any text files that might be relevant to what you are currently writing or reading. They might be old emails related to the mail you are currently reading, or abstracts from papers and newspaper articles that discuss the topic of your writing."

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One Acre Fund


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