Adding a Quick Note Feature to Apple Notes

16 Mai 2016
16. Mai 2016

Recently I switched from Evernote to Apple Notes. I like the compact 3-panel view on the Mac and the deep integration of Apple Notes into OS X and iOS. But there are a few Evernote features I really miss. One of them is the „quick note“ function in the menu bar, an elephant icon which opens a small window to add a new note without opening the app. I was able to recreate this feature for Apple Notes with the help of Keyboard Maestro and some AppleScript magic, here is how.

Keyboard Maestro is a versatile and powerful Mac automation tool from Stairways Software. More information and a fully-functional trial version are available on the Keyboard Maestro homepage. Basically three steps are necessary to create the note:

Keyboard Maestro Macro

Custom HTML Prompt

The macro is triggered either by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Cmd-N or from the Keyboard Maestro menu bar item. Step #1 clears a Keyboard Maestro variable called „Text“ (otherwise a previous value would appear in our note input field). Step #2 displays a customized note entry field, which is designed in HTML. This is a relatively new feature of Keyboard Maestro called „Custom HTML Prompt“. The note field mainly consists of a HTML form with a textarea element (name has to be the same as your Keyboard Maestro variable!) and two buttons, „Save Note“ and „Cancel“. In the final step an AppleScript is launched if the „Text“ variable, which now stores our note, is not empty. The note entry field looks like this:

New Note Window

You can even go fancier if you want by adding an additional field for the note title or a select box for the note folder. You can download my version of the macro here.

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  • wadjj

    Looks great, but I cannot get it to work… The text I typed is delivered to the variable „Text“, but it does’t show in the Notes app

    • I have no idea, works fine here (OS X 10.11.4). What do you get if you change the „ignore results“ into „display results in a window“ option at the „Execute AppleScript“ step?

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