Zettelkasten Forum

Saved search and keyboard shortcuts

edited April 2018 in The Archive

Just a few notes of my experience in case it's of any help to anyone else…

I've been using The Archive for a few weeks now and initially thought I wouldn't have a use for Saved Searched. That's changing.

I've now got four saved searches that work really well with how I use The Archive and keep notes generally. They are each assigned a keyboard shortcut (⌘1, ⌘2, ⌘3, and ⌘4) for ease of use:

  1. All notes. The search string is blank here and it simply shows all notes. This is useful if The Archive is the active app but is minimised or hidden and if there is a different search active.
  2. Inbox. Searches for a tag of #inbox which I use to 'file' notes I don't yet know what I want to do with.
  3. Flagged. If I'm working on something and it's incomplete or I know I should return to it I tag it #flag (in the area of the note that needs revisiting rather than at the top where I usually put tags).
  4. Attachments. By searching for the string ](media/ I can easily see all my files with links to documents I've put into the media folder.

As an aside related to the attachment search, I've set up an Automator service and Keyboard Maestro macro that I use as follows:

  • Right click on a pdf that I want to add to The Archive and select my Automator 'reduce pdf filesize' service
  • The Automator service puts a copy into a local directory I've called Media-archive (this enables me to keep a full-size version in case I ever need it)
  • Moves the file into The Archive's media directory
  • Reduces the filesize with the Quartz filter
  • Keyboard Maestro 'watches' the media folder for new files being added, spots the new file and formats a markdown file link with the filename and puts it into the clipboard ready to be pasted into an Archive file.

The Archive is quickly becoming indispensible to me.


  • Whoah, totally missed this post! If you want to share your Automator workflow and KM macro, you're welcome to attach files to your post, maybe in a new thread! I'll add a link to the KM index then: https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/213/the-archive-keyboard-maestro-macros

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • I do a similar thing to your PDF automation, Dan, specifically to include images of my sketches inline in my text files.

    I keep a paper logbook, one of those unlined pocket-sized Moleskine cahiers things that's with me all the time. Throughout the day, I make notes in it, and occasionally sketches. I like paper and pen, just something a little more spiritual about it. But I also want it digitized and searchable, so at the end of the day I transcribe it into a txt journal file.

    My workflow for getting the sketches into the digital journal file is roughly to make an image, transfer it to my /Assets/ folder, and write a markdown image snippet.

    I use Scanner Pro to make the image on my iPhone. It lets me control the crop, makes a nice black and white (not grayscale) image, seems to correct the distortion of the notebook page, and seems to work better (than the camera app) with Marked for preserving image rotation. I have a workflow in Scanner Pro that uploads the image to an /Inbox/ folder in Dropbox where I dump all files for immediate use.

    When that shows up on my MacBook, I have an Automator service that:
    1. Moves the file to /Assets/
    2. Prompts me for a filename (I usually make it descriptive, as well as including the cahier serial number that I write in the beginning of the book)
    3. Copies that path and filename to the Clipboard
    4. Opens The Archive.

    Then, a text expander snippet creates the image markdown and prompts me for the alt/figcaption text.

    I usually get a little of the surrounding text in the image, and somehow that makes it a little more charming and trustworthy when you see that same text in the file's text itself.

    Kind of an edge case, I guess, but it pleases me a lot. I don't think I could automate it more, as some of the manual aspects are needed for me to explicitly think about (like the Inbox staging location, and the file name prompt.) This has made my journaling process a lot more functional and complete for me.

    Here's a throwaway example of how it comes out when rendered in Marked:

    Silly example

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