Using Spotlight and Shortcuts to create daily notes in Simplenote

While trialing Obsidian I became fond of a core plugin it had called Daily notes. Activating the plugin adds a button in the interface that creates a new note with a name based on today’s date. It makes keeping a daily log extremely easy.

Since I primarily use Simplenote I wanted the same thing on both iOS and macOS.

My DailyNote Shortcut on iOS

On macOS I was able to do this with a rather simple AppleScript that opens Simplenote, sends a keystroke of CMD+N, types in “Daily note:” followed by the current date. I’ve put the source of this script in a gist if you’d like it.

Saving this script as an application using Script Editor on Mac (I chose the name DailyNote), and then giving this app Accessibility permissions (System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility > +) will allow you to run the app via Spotlight and then voila … a new note in Simplenote with today’s date in the title.

On iOS unfortunately Simplenote hasn’t yet added many options to the Shortcuts library of commands so while I was able to create a quick “New Note” action on my phone I wasn’t able to automate typing in the day’s date. At least not exactly.

What I was able to do (see screenshot) is set a variable for today’s date, copy it to the clipboard, open Simplenote, create a new note, and then I have to manually paste in today’s Date. You can get the Shortcut here. Not ideal but good enough for now.

Thanks to Matthew Cassinelli for his guidance with all things Shortcuts.

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