As a part of trying to live a more paperless life, I'm determined to take notes electronically when I'm sitting at my computer, instead of jotting them down on scraps of paper and then putting them into a document later.
When a phone call comes in, I want to be able to start typing my notes about the call right away so that I'm not distracted as I'm switching over to my text editor, opening a new document, saving the document someplace to make sure I don't lose what I'm typing, and THEN being ready to actually take notes.
I've been using the OS X productivity app Alfred more and more lately, and so I decided to create a simple Alfred workflow that would let me get a phone call notes file up in front of me, ready to edit, with minimal typing.
I wanted to make sure that the resulting notes file was named in some reasonable way that I could find again later, and so part of creating the workflow was figuring out how to take a free-form description of the call that I'd be typing in as it started, and turn that into a filesystem-friendly name (sometimes known as a slug). I ended up using a simple Perl script to do that for me.
The Alfred workflow, then, is just a keyword and a script run:
The keyword definition requires an argument:
And the script run makes a call to the Perl script:
Once the workflow is saved, I can activate it with my Alfred hotkey and then initiate the notes file with the "cn" keyword:
And voilà, up comes a text file in my default text editor, with some basic header info, ready for my typing:
I'm sure there are a lot of other ways to do this, but I had fun playing around with what I could make Alfred do, and doing a bit of Perl scripting after being so immersed in PHP lately. The script itself works fine independent of Alfred, so you might be able to adapt it for your own productivity tools and workflow.
If you have a better way or a completely different way of thinking about taking notes on phone calls, let me know!