Getting plaintext into Anki fields on macOS: An update

A few years ago, I wrote about my problems with HTML in Anki fields. If you check out that previous post you’ll get the backstory about my objection. The gist is this: If you copy something from the web, Anki tries to maintain the formatting. Basically it just pastes the HTML off the clipboard. Supposedly, Anki offers to strip the formatting with Shift-paste, but I’ve point out to the developer specific examples where this fails.

Automating the handling of bank and financial statements

In my perpetual effort to get out of work, I’ve developed a suite of automation tools to help file statements that I download from banks, credit cards and others. While my setup described here is tuned to my specific needs, any of the ideas should be adaptable for your particular circumstances. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you already have Hazel. None of what follows will be of much use to you without it.

Bulk rename tags in DEVONthink 3

In DEVONthink, I tag a lot. It’s an integral part of my strategy for finding things in my paperless environment. As I wrote about previously hierarchical tags are a big part of my organizational system in DEVONthink. For many years, I tagged subject matter with tags that emmanate from a single tag named topic_, but it was really an unnecessary top-level complication. So, the first item on my to-do list was to get rid of the all tags with a topic_ first level.

More on integrating Hazel and DEVONthink

Since DEVONthink is my primary knowledge-management and repository tool on the macOS desktop, I constantly work with mechanisms for efficiently getting data into and out of it. I previously wrote about using Hazel and DEVONthink together. This post extends those ideas about and looks into options for preprocessing documents in Hazel before importing into DEVONthink as a way of sidestepping some of the limitations of Smart Rules in the latter. I’m going to work from a particular use-case to illustrate some of the options.

Copy Zettel as link in DEVONthink

Following up on my recent article on cleaning up Zettelkasten WikiLinks in DEVONthink, here’s another script to solve the problem of linking notes. Backing up to the problem. In the Zettelkasten (or archive) - Zettel (or notes) are stored as list of Markdown files. But what happens when I want to add a link to another note into one that I’m writing? Since DEVONthink recognizes WikiLinks, I can just start typing but then I have to remember the exact date so that I can pick the item out of the contextual list that DEVONthink offers as links.

Cleaning up Zettelkasten WikiLinks in DEVONthink Pro

Organizing and reorganizing knowledge is one my seemingly endless tasks. For years, I’ve used DEVONthink as my primary knowledge repository. Recently, though I began to lament the fact that while I seemed to be collecting and storing knowledge in a raw form in DEVONthink, that I wasn’t really processing and engaging with it intellectually.1 In other words, I found myself collecting content but not really synthesizing, personalizing and using it. While researching note-taking systems in the search for a better way to process and absord the information I had been collecting, I discovered the Zettelkasten method.

URL-encoding URLs in AppleScript

The AppleScript Safari API is apparently quite finicky and rejects Russian Cyrillic characters when loading URLs. For example, the following URLстоять#Russian throws an error in AppleScript. Instead, Safari requires URL’s of the form whereas Chrome happily consumes whatever comes along. So, we just need to encode the URL thusly: use framework "Foundation" – encode Cyrillic test as "%D0" type strings on urlEncode(input) tell current application's NSString to set rawUrl to stringWithString_(input) – 4 is NSUTF8StringEncoding set theEncodedURL to rawUrl's stringByAddingPercentEscapesUsingEncoding:4 return theEncodedURL as Unicode text end urlEncode When researching Russian words for vocabulary study, I use the URL encoding handler to load the appropriate words into several reference sites in sequential Safari tabs.

Scripting Apple Music on macOS for chorus repetition practice

This is an update to my previous post on automating iTunes on macOS to support chorus repetition practice. You can read the original post for the theory behind the idea; but in short, one way of developing prosody and quality pronunciation in a foreign language is to do mass repetitions in chorus with a recording of a native speaker. Because in macOS 10.15, iTunes is no more, I’ve updated the script to work with the new Music app.

An alternative method for keyboard input switching on macOS

macOS offers a variety of virtual keyboard layouts which are accessible through System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources. Because I spend about half of my time writing in Russian and half in English, rapid switching between keyboard layouts is important. Optionally in the Input Sources preference pane, you can choose to use the Caps lock key to toggle between sources. This almost always works well with the exception of Anki.