When writing posts, you convey key components of information to readers through links. In long posts, I'll sometimes end up with over a dozen links. In "Home Page" posts, the number can be much higher.
Keeping track of all of those links, inserting them into the text and gathering them all from the various browser windows can be very time-consuming. Brett Terpstra's Service Tools, mentioned in my last post, have some great methods for dropping links from browser tabs into linked lists in your posts, but I also created some custom markdown link creators in Keyboard Maestro that I use daily that I wanted to share with you today.
Let's take a common workflow for me -- usually a link or written piece by someone will serve as inspiration for a post so, in that case, the fastest way to get that link into my post is to use my Keyboard Maestro macro that quickly swaps to Safari, snags the link and then automatically creates an inline markdown link in Byword. Here's what it looks like:
The second most common scenario is when I have a link already on my clipboard. In this case, there's no need for anything fancy, as long as I'm using Byword to write my post. Byword actually has a built-in hotkey ⌘-K, which will create an inline markdown link template and put the cursor where you need it. Then tab over and paste whatever link you happen to have on your clipboard. Nothing could be more straightforward.
Of course, before I knew about that little gem, I created another Keyboard Maestro macro that opens a small form asking what I am linking and then pastes whatever link is on the clipboard into the inline markdown link. Here's what that one looks like:
The last scenario is when I use Brett Terpstra's service that takes a bunch of tabs in Safari and converts them to reference links in a post. Where this comes in handy (generally saving many minutes) is when doing research for a long post. I'll just keep opening tabs for items related to what I am writing about and, when I'm done, I gather all of those links into Byword as reference links by selecting "md - Links from Safari Tabs".
This dumps all of the links into the current document, with reasonably good names for the references. I usually go in and change the references to something a bit easier to remember when writing but it still saves so much time, I can't imagine not having it. (or maybe I'd have to come up with a Keyboard Maestro script... hm)
Once the references have been created, I can select the text I want to reference, hit my reference link hotkey and voila. Essentially, this macro does the same type of thing as the ⌘-K hotkey, except for reference links.
Anyway, this is all probably pretty customized to my workflow but it may help a few, if only to show that there are some amazing tools out there to take advantage of to make your computer really efficient. The amount of control I have over this MacBook Air with tools like LaunchBar, Keyboard Maestro, Brett's markdown services, TextExpander and OmniFocus is nothing short of mind-boggling sometimes.
Speaking of long posts, in addition to a "beginner's series" for OmniFocus, I'm working on a content workflow post that discusses some of the tools I've started using to manage my myriad streams of data (photos, links, etc). Hopefully they don't suck! Keep your eyes peeled for those because they're sure to be link-heavy and, hopefully, Instapaper-worthy.