Day Automation: Rapid Logging

When it comes to capturing things as they come in to my life, I love the notion of rapid logging as is done in the Bullet Journal Method. The catch for me is that while I adore analog work, it often can't scale to the pace or reusability of digital. This is where I have built up a solution for my daily logging that works digitally.

This is all about my Rapid Log Shortcut, for use with the Agenda app (yes, that's a referral link) and my Agenda Daily Log Shortcut. The basic conceit of this Shortcut is that it appends provided input to note in Agenda titled as EEEE MMMM d, yyyy (i.e. Wednesday June 29, 2022).

The Shortcut asks for input, and multiple lines of input can be provided. Lines of text are each added as bullet list items to the Agenda Daily Log titled as today’s date, each with a timestamp to represent when they were entered.

If, however, a line of inputted text begins with a dash and a space (- ), it is given special treatment, treated as a task:

  • It will be created as a Reminder (in a list chosen by an import question for this Shortcut)
  • It will be shown as a checklist item in the Agenda note instead of a bullet list item
  • The Agenda checklist item’s text will link to the Reminder

Additionally, for these task items, text can be entered inline when being asked for input by the Shortcut to add treatment to the Reminder created:

  • Adding @flagged in this line will flag the task created in Reminders, and indicate the checklist item in Agenda with an orange diamond emoji (the actual @flagged text will not be included in Agenda nor in the Reminder title)
  • Adding tags inline as #tag1 #tag2 (no spaces allowed in a single tag) will add those tags to the Reminder created (this text will not be reflected in Agenda)

Certainly, the overall construct of this Shortcut could be fairly easily manipulated to have tasks created in OmniFocus or other task managers, but I wanted this to work out of the box for anyone using Agenda (and if you aren't, there's that referral link again). And yes, in the end, what this Shortcut produces is markdown, which could be sent to another note manager if you prefer. The key is having a predictable and always correct destination for the content, which is why I use today's formatted date as a title.

I'd love to hear what you think and if this is useful!

HeyScottyJ @heyscottyj