Friday, 16 August 2013

There's Writing, Blogging And Note Taking - Part Two

Back to Part One

Other sorts of text entry

When I am out and about with my mobile device, the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S3, I am more likely to want to make quick notes. It is also possible that you might want to make quick notes while sitting in front of the desktop computer. For these types of quick notes then you're going to need an app that is quick and easy to open so that rules out the large page layout applications like Word or Pages. Seeing as I am already using Mou for some of my editing that is the application that I tend to use for making those quick notes. I could also make notes in some of the other text editing applications I have such as Textastic (Mac and iOS) or TextMate (Mac), but I prefer to leave those for the times when I need to do some coding or maybe just some cleaning up of some text.

Create text and send it anywhere

On iOS my preference for these quick notes is the application called Drafts and this is because of its marvellous sharing ability, for keeping those notes all in one place as well as synchronisation through Dropbox so that I still have access whichever platform I am using. Drafts is excellent because of the fact that I can share out from it to numerous networks such as Twitter, Facebook, ADN and various other places including blogging platforms. Of course, Drafts does Markdown extremely well.

 

Android Markdown Editor

I have been looking for a markdown application to use on Android and I wrote an article about my initial searching when I first got the Galaxy S3. I was delighted to find that there was an application called Draft which it seems is trying to emulate the brilliant application Drafts from iOS. It is a work in progress and isn't quite as good as the iOS application, but it is going in the right direction. I have a widget on one of the android screens which allows me to go directly to making a note in Draft, which can be either a text type note with a.txt extension or it can be a specifically Markdown note with a .MD extension. On my home page on the Galaxy I can also get directly into Draft and I can do some of the things that it is possible to do with the application that it is trying to copy, Drafts.

Easily confused

When you get used to the way that one application works and then you're trying to do similar things in a similar application it can be a little bit confusing. With Draft some other things work pretty much the same as they did in the iOS application I was using and then sometimes not quite so. There are a huge number of places that I can share out to which I can get to by using the share icon in the top right-hand corner. Initially it only gives me three different places and none of which I am likely to use S Memo, Messaging and Hang Outs, but if I click on See All there are a huge number of possibilities. So I can share out to just about any of the other applications I have available including email, the Twitter application Carbon, Facebook, Dash, blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress. I could even send it out as a QR code or through the SMS application called What's App.

A work in Progress

The only problem with this within the application Draft is that sometimes it will automatically take the text and put it ready to be used in the other application and sometimes it doesn't. I found that the workaround for this is to always select all of the text before I do the share so that at the very least I will be able to paste it back in again when I get to the share application. This is not too much of a bother so long as I remember to do it.

Sharing with Plain Text or html

When you're not in the editing mode and you tap on the share button you are given two options to start with, share plaintext or share HTML. I just used that button to share some plaintext to Facebook and it takes me to an empty post. That was not quite what I had expected and I would need to do a paste if I had remembered to copy it beforehand. It is also the same if I ask it to share the text as HTML. On the other hand when I want to share out to the Gmail application to send as an email, both ways works out fine and I get the text as expected in the Gmail application and ready to send. So as you see it is a bit hit and miss.

Part Three