Post to Pancake.io with Drafts for iPhone Using Dropbox Actions

Pancake.io is a service that lets you quickly create a web page by saving a text file (formatted in Markdown) in a Dropbox folder. Unlike other “Dropbox blog” services like Calepin and Scriptogr.am, you don’t need to go to a web page to hit a “publish” button after you’ve created your post. (That always seemed to negate the point — after all, if your blog posts are just text files sitting in a Dropbox folder on your computer, going on the web to hit a button seems like an annoyance.) With Pancake.io, literally the moment you save your file and it syncs with Dropbox, your post is live on the web.

Here is an example page that’s installed in the Dropbox/Apps/Pancake.io/ folder. The filename is example.txt and the entire post is written in Markdown. To create the title and the header of the post, you just need to include the following meta info at the very beginning of the text file:

---
title: Example
header: My First Page
---

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Send Your iPhone Clipboard Contents to Dropbox in Three Taps

Before the release of version 4.5 of Drafts for iPhone, I wrote about ways to move text between your iPhone and your desktop or laptop. Now that this awesome app supports URL Callbacks and Action Triggers, you can now use Launch Center Pro to send the contents of your iPhone clipboard to Dropbox even faster than before.

First, follow these instructions to allow URLs to trigger actions. (If you don’t toggle the URL Security button, this trigger won’t work.) And of course, link Drafts to Dropbox in the Drafts settings.

Next, go the Action Composer in Launch Center Pro, tap on Custom URL, and enter the following in the second field (you can name it “Clip to Dropbox” or whatever you like):

drafts://x-callback-url/create?text=[clipboard]&action=Save%20to%20Dropbox&x-success=launchpro%3A

After this is all set up, you can use the following steps to send the (text only) contents of your iPhone clipboard to Dropbox:

  1. Press the home button.
  2. Tap LCP icon.
  3. Tap “Clip to Dropbox” action.

LCP will send the contents of the clipboard to Drafts, which will send it to Dropbox, and then Drafts will send you back to LCP. Then visit the /Apps/Drafts directory in Dropbox to find your note, the title of which will be the date and time, such as 2013-01-10-11-51-14.txt.

Use Drafts URL Actions to Add a Link to Pinboard via Pinbook, Pushpin or Pinner

The newest version of Drafts for iOS now supports URL Actions that make use of URL schemes. URL schemes are essentially special links that allow you to launch an action within another app on your iPhone.

Three useful apps on the iPhone are Pinbook, Pushpin, and Pinner which use URL schemes to add a bookmark to Pinboard. Here’s info on Pushpin’s URL scheme, Pinbook’s URL scheme, and Pinner’s URL scheme.

At most, Drafts lets you break a draft into two parts: the first line [[title]] and the rest [[body]].

Using these apps’ URL schemes, you can import a draft into Pinboard if you put the title in the first line and the URL in your second line of your draft.

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Moving Text Between Your iPhone and a Desktop Computer

Emailing notes to yourself is not the most efficient way to transfer information between your phone and your desktop computer. If I were to do this on my phone, I’d have to perform the following steps:

  1. Select text and copy it to the clipboard.
  2. Tap home screen button.
  3. Tap on Mail.
  4. Hit “compose” button.
  5. Enter my own email in the To: field.
  6. Paste the contents of the clipboard into the body.
  7. Hit “send,” and if I don’t include a Subject line, tap on a dialog box to confirm that I want to send it anyway.
  8. Go to gmail.com on my desktop.
  9. Open the email.
  10. Select the text and copy it to the clipboard.
  11. Do what I want with it.

Thanks to cloud- and WiFi-based solutions, there are more efficient ways to move text. I have outlined a number of solutions to this problem below.

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Add a Task in Drafts for iOS to TaskPaper with One Tap

Drafts for iOS is an excellent app that allows you to quickly jot down a note and then later “process” it by sending it to various apps like Evernote or Twitter. A recent development includes Mail Actions, which triggers an email of the note from a specific agiletortoise.com address. This is useful for a web app like IFTTT which will — with your permission — scan your gmail for emails coming from a specific address (the “trigger” or “if”) and then perform an action (or “that”) on it.

TaskPaper is an app for Mac and iOS that essentially renders a text file containing a todo list into a more usable format. If you place your text file in a Dropfox folder, then the iOS app will sync with the file on your Mac.

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