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Notetaking

  • I am not interested in shelling out money to use productivity apps. This is for two reasons:

    1. Most productivity software has moved to a subscription model. No thanks.
    2. Apple provides these out-of-the-box on iOS and macOS. Seems good!

    If those two items resonate with you, you’ve come to the right place. There’s of course problems with staying with the Apple ecosystem. For example features and bugfixes typically only ship once a year. Sometimes, you get no features at all in a given release cycle! A small trade-off for inexpensive productivity apps.

    I love Obsidian. Especially because you get a lot for free. But, I keep coming back to the Notes App. It is simply too easy to use and frankly more available when I just need a place to jot something down. It also seems that Apple is making incremental steps to improve Notes, especially in the context of Apple Intelligence making its way to iOS users very soon:

    That being said, the true power of the Notes app lies hidden within another another app altogether… Shortcuts! iOS Shortcuts are the key to unlocking more effective productivity across the Apple ecosystem.

    I’m shamelessly re-posting Volkov’s iOS Shortcuts from his piece titled, The Digital Minimalist’s Complete Guide to Information Management in Apple Ecosystem:

    Basic with No Tasks:https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/9f26253a78a7462b87eb29a374e88fe4

    Daily Plan based on Reminders:https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/d980745a1468406cbc11f63df7cbb271

    Daily Plan based on Things 3 (latest version):https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/b28b3936596d44fea7311cc92e59e6d9

    Daily Plan for TickTick (a bit different logic):https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/47d10b291c9747c2b744059289c6ed33

    I recommend taking Volkov’s Shortcuts and editing them to your liking! For example, I like the ‘Basic’ shortcut as a base template. I edited the shortcut to always save a note in a Daily Notes folder and to always default to ISO 8601 date format (e.g. 2024-06-29).

    Probably anecdotal at this point, but I keep my Shortcut on my homescreen over the actual Notes app, so I can always tap right into my Daily Note:

    If you want my fork of Volkov’s daily note shortcut, you’re welcome to have it: https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/d23d9cc51c1b433f9d2299db5bf676c4

  • It would’ve been a typical sibling rivalry, except David happened to be David Rockefeller, grandson of esteemed oil baron John D. Rockefeller. He longed to live up to the Rockefeller name and its outsized legacy of business and philanthropic success.

    “John, of course, had the name,” David wrote. “Of all the children, John was the most like Father in personality; he was hardworking and conscientious.”

    These feelings remained over the next decade, becoming more acute during his military service in World War II. As an intelligence officer stationed in North Africa, he began to realize that others depended on his ability to forge relationships and work well on a team.

    When David returned from overseas, he dedicated himself to knowing–and being more thoughtful with—people. He started keeping meticulous notes on every person he met to become a better listener, colleague, and friend, resulting in a manual system predating the convenience of personal computers.

    David went on to rise through the ranks at Chase Manhattan Bank, eventually becoming its chairman and CEO, all while managing and furthering his busy social obligations as a Rockefeller—a shadow of his former, socially awkward self.

    Via clay.earth for the full post. In case you are interested, you can read more about David Rockefeller’s index cards at WSJ.

    Lady Bird Johnson, WSJ