Last week, while scanning my daily feeds, I stumbled upon a great article by Steven Johnson.
In it, Steven suggests we should have a “Spark” file to quickly store our fleeting ideas, for later review.
This ensures our “sparks” are saved with minimal hassle, something creative individuals know to be of vital importance. However, the ability to quickly get “stuff out of our head” and save it, can be of great value to anyone.
I personally use a similar method to get rid of those “dancing ghosts inside my head” commonly called ideas, and with Actions it’s instantaneous.
The “Spark” flow
Let’s just create a flow action which opens our “Spark” file. This could be in a Drive folder (as Steven’s) or on your computer, and can be any kind of text or note file.
To open up a file, create a flow with these steps:
• Open Dialog | Hit CMD + SHIFT + G
• Snippet with file’s URL
• Confirm | Hit “return” key
• Open file | Hit CMD + O
Then, to be sure we are ready on the spot, let’s add an
“end” or CMD + down arrow, followed by a carriage return.
But to ensure your computer has time to load the file, let’s add a short Wait as well. So:
• Wait 2 seconds
• Go to page bottom | Hit “End”
• Go to next line | Hit “Return”
This will place your cursor at the bottom of the document, so that you can start capturing your hunch right away.
Now that you have your “bolt in a box”, we just need to close the application and get back where you started.
Add this steps to let the same flow elegantly bring you to the end of the task:
• Wait for input (highlight mode ACTIVE)
• Save | CMD + S
• Quit | CMD + Q
It goes without saying that this method could be used for adding any other important information to any file, links or contacts to a spreadsheet, and many other applications.
This is obviously not the only nor the best solution to keep data, but we’ll see other methods along the way…