A long time ago, I blogged elsewhere about Flock’s shelf feature and how it made my life easier. The feature is a little drag-and-drop area where you can dump images and snippets from web pages for later use in blog posts (or, I suppose, just as reminders). I never used it much for assembling blog posts, but as a quickie spot to take notes, it actually helped me out. When I just wanted to jot down a quick thought that I wasn’t ready to flesh out into a blog post yet, I’d add a note to the shelf. I found that doing this actually prompted me to blog more because it reduced friction; I felt like I could write a quick note without committing to trying to write a whole blog post just yet. Not too long after I developed this workflow, the shelf changed, and the ability to add a typed note was removed (you could only drag things).
This week, wanting to take some notes about a book I’ve been reading, I found myself missing the feature again. Now that we’ve released 1.0, I think the feature has probably reached something close to its final form, so I felt comfortable writing a little addon to include the functionality I wanted. It adds menu items under the Tools menu and to the main context (right-click) menu inviting you to create a note. Selecting the item pops up a simple two-field dialog box that includes the note text and an optional title (the first 30 characters of your note are used if you specify no title). This gets added to the shelf (we call it the web clipboard now, though), and you can get to it later when needed. The web clipboard doesn’t allow you to edit notes once you’ve added them, but you can otherwise use these notes as you would any other web clipboard item (blog them, stick them in folders, delete them, reorder them). You can enter HTML if inclined, and it’ll render in the preview and in blog posts, though if you do this and don’t specify a title, the item itself in the web clipboard sidebar gets some weird formatting.
So there. Friction-free note-taking right there in your browser. Hope somebody besides me finds this useful. This won’t work in Firefox, unfortunately, as Firefox doesn’t have the web clipboard feature.
Blogged with Flock