Andy Ihnatko is giving MarsEdit a spin, and had some good feedback for me with respect to a specific blogging workflow he’s trying to achieve. In short: he wants something more Twitter-like to dash off thoughts and publish them directly to a blog.
What I really want is a system-wide hotkey. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, tapping it causes a little note card window to pop up. I type a few sentences, maybe click a Twitter-style icon button to drop in a photo or paste in a link (which the app automatically grabs from the frontmost browser window), click the “Post” button, and then I’m back to what I was doing before I had this brilliant idea for a quick post.
This is in line with some other thoughts I’ve had about using MarsEdit for “micro-blogging,” since my friend Manton Reece has been playing with the idea for a forthcoming product.
It’s firmly on my “to do list” to support a feature like this, but I thought I’d put some effort into seeing how closely I can approximate the desired workflow with MarsEdit as it stands today. AppleScript to the rescue?
Click to download: Quick Post.scpt
This script takes advantage of the fact that MarsEdit’s scripting support lets you create a new post and populate it with arbitrary default values. It then uses a somewhat crude AppleScript trick of keeping the script running until the newly created document is closed. Why? Because as its parting gift, it shuts the door on its way out, so to speak, by re-activating whatever app you were using when you invoked the script.
Paired with FastScripts or another keyboard shortcut tool for scripts, you can assign a global hotkey that empowers you to quickly create a new blog post in MarsEdit, send it, and then resume work on whatever it was you were doing previously.