Apple Music and scrobbling update

Last November, I wrote:

Switching from Rdio to Apple Music might mean scrobbling to my account will be inconsistent, which makes me sad because I’ve been tracking since 2007.

Since then, I add songs, albums, or playlists in Apple Music to my library before I start listening.

With iTunes and Scrobbler 2.1.371, I now see songs played from Apple Music are scrobbled, even if they aren’t in my library (including playlists).2 Yay!

Context: Apple Music and Does it Scrobble? — Florian Eckerstorfer

  1. On OS X El Capitan 10.11.6. 
  2.  Radio…no joy. I don’t use it at the moment. 

Legacy Skype accounts and Two Step Verification

When Microsoft bought Skype, then added two-step verification to Microsoft accounts, I promptly enabled it. But wait. My original Skype login still works—without prompting for two-step verification. 😐

I just found the following reply (dated 2014-10-11) from a Skype Community forum thread:

You can union your Skype account from your Microsoft account but that won’t disable your Skype account. Not having an account joined or TV/Phone account enabled is the only way to eliminate the single authentication of a Skype account from a Microsoft account. You can abandon your old account and clear out personal info from a severed account but you can’t add a second form of authentication to a legacy Skype account.

Crud. If I want my Skype login to be more secure, I’ll need to:

  1. Go to Account Settings in Skype.
  2. Unlink my Microsoft account.
  3. Close my legacy Skype account.

Warning: the linked support page says a lot! 😓

If you have a legacy Skype account, did you change anything? Feel okay using a strong password?

P.S. I rarely use Skype.

PFRs for TaskMator

I feel like sharing some public feedback requests for TaskMator 3.0. 😁

In TaskMator, turning on the Show Badge Number option will display the number of tasks that are not done within the open—or most recently opened—document.

Since saved searches work across the app1, I’d love an additional option in Settings → Advanced, right below the Show Badge Number option.

(1) Apply saved search for badge number

At its current iteration, it’s an unrealistic indicator of my workload for the day to display a super high number (like 299).

Coming from Things, here are their Badge Count settings:

  • None
  • Due Items
  • Due + Today
  • Due + Today + Inbox

In TaskMator, adding the option to select a saved search for your app badge means you have the power to make a more complex saved search!

With the help of a Mac, the current alternative that is “easier” would be to:

  • Duplicate the existing TaskPaper file.
  • Run your desired saved search manually in TaskPaper for each document.
  • Expand everything, copy to clipboard, Go to Home (Shift-CMD-H), Select All (CMD-A), and Paste (CMD-V)
  • Rename the document.
  • On your iOS device, open TaskMator to refresh everything.


Now that I describe that workflow, it sounds ridiculous. I can press a few keyboard shortcuts in rapid, furious succession. After I learn the groove, it’s not a big deal to me.

Short of trying to configure a script to generate/update a daily file, which you’d then sync with your Dropbox folder, this is okay with me.

(2) In the main documents folder, add a right-to-left swipe option to designate a file for the app badge.

This would save time going to Settings → Advanced.

(3) Support latest date-based queries.

I tried some searches in TaskMator that work in TaskPaper 3. No joy. It definitely isn’t the end of the world, so I moved on.

This one is lowest on this list because I have no idea how long the other two requests will take, and I really should keep this simple.

Should. 😉

  1. That is, not document-specific. 

TaskPaper and my iPhone

I wrote a comment in a previous post (Considering TaskPaper 3) to describe how I could add information to my TaskPaper files with Siri using Reminders and Drafts. Check that out. Now, I’ll briefly explain how I’ve worked with my TaskPaper files on my iPhone so far.

My decision to get TaskMator was based on Gabe Weatherhead’s reviews on Macdrifter. I recommend reading them first.🙂

This morning, I also listened to Episode 026 — Old Stock Ale and Task Management from Nerds on Draft (an episode from a year ago), which includes some discussion about TaskPaper and TaskMator. (See show notes.)

Anyway. I haven’t used the alarm feature yet. Filtering by project or tag works well. Same with search from the home screen, which seems fast. I’m also fiddling with saved searches:

(@due or @today or @flag) and not @done

Not @done
not (type = note or @done)

Quick tasks <= 15m
@time <= 15 and not (type = note or @done)

At the moment, I omit the notes in some saved searches because I use often include notes. (In the TaskPaper app, I collapse these quickly. All from my keyboard, loving it.) With the above syntax, that means done tasks aren’t displayed even though the notes under those tasks are technically not marked as done.

Anyway, the goal is to narrow the scope of my tasks. I might create two dupes that include notes for more detail.

For adding stuff to my TaskPaper files, I have several actions in Drafts that prepends the chosen draft.

  • TP (Personal)
  • TP (Personal, done)
  • TP (Personal, added)

For the second and third, those are for instances where I only have a single-line draft.1

When ready to clear my “inbox” at the top of the file, and on my iPhone, I can tap each task, and move it to my desired “project”.2 Or, using two fingers—tap and hold the bottom menubar, then proceed tapping the other tasks you’d like to manage—I can add the relevant tags, then move it to the correct project.

I’m not certain if the purpose of Taskmator is to use a one or two huge TaskPaper files. If you enable the badge number, and the most recent file you opened had over 250 tasks, your mind would go numb. I’d like the ability to designate a project for each TaskPaper file, but I imagine using a different setting for separate files would be tough to implement.

Even though I’ve gotten comfortable with Things, I’m pleased with TaskMator!


  1.  See also: My Habit of Noting Timestamps 
  2. Remember: I use “projects”—as labeled with TaskPaper files and apps—as “Areas” to combine a broad group of related items. 

TaskPaper 3: Fold and Focus

Two days at work alongside TaskPaper 3, and I’m digging these two features:

Folding items – You can now fold items, hiding the items indented under them. To fold and item click the blue bullet point to the left of the items text.

Focus projects – You can now truly focus projects instead of just filtering to show a single project. The difference is when you focus a project like this you’ll no longer see all the leading indentation. This means you can create deep levels of subprojects and still edit them comfortably, instead of seeing a bunch of leading whitespace everywhere.

I keep track of my work through our various ticket (email) queues with a few notes under the task for each queue. Having everything neatly folded when I open TaskPaper and makes me happy. I switch to the Today saved search, then working through tasks one at a time, focusing with ease when needed. Super quick, and entirely from the keyboard.

It’s also fast and handy to start a clean ad hoc brain dump without opening a new file or window. (I did this today reviewing some information for an internal P2 thread.) The following takes a couple of seconds.

  1. Start a new line.
  2. Create your heading.
  3. Go In (⌥⌘→), and all the other text disappears.
  4. When you’re done, you can Go Out (⌥⌘←).

No need for the text? Indent the line after the header for speedy folding (⌘.) under that header. When you’re ready to trash that text, fold the branch (⌘.), select the branch (⇧⌘B), then delete (⌃⇧K).

Try the demo!

Workflow: Alfred and DMCA predefs at Automattic

In November 2014, my pal and colleague, Clicky Steve, posted at Transparency Report for Automattic, “Open Sourcing Our DMCA Process“:

[…] we are pleased to announce that today we are open sourcing our DMCA process docs on GitHub – under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

[…] there is also a comprehensive set of detailed ‘predefined replies’ that we use when corresponding with both users and complainants in specific situations.

For awhile, I had these saved as Snippets in Alfred, which meant I couldn’t easily share those with my team.

So, I made an Alfred workflow with the DMCA snippets I use most frequently:

screen shot a8c dmca predefs.png

When using the predefined reply To User → Processed Notice, we’re working with two browser tabs because we create a new ticket to the site owner.

After I confirm the notice is valid and process the takedown request, I do the following:

  1. Copy the text of the DMCA notice from the complainant, then press Control–Tab to switch to the new ticket in the other browser tab.
  2. Clicking in the body of the message, I summon Alfred ( ⌘–Spacebar ), enter the keyword dmca.b.proc, then press Enter.

How’d I save time?

  • Since I have the {clipboard} dynamic placeholder (Alfred) inserted where the complainant’s notice needs to be pasted, it saves me the motion of another copy-paste. Estimate: 5 seconds.
  • I don’t have to navigate through our ticket system snippets by trackpad. Estimate: 5 seconds.

Save ten seconds per notice — I’ll take it!

Assuming I don’t have any blockers for uploading the Alfred workflow to Automattic, I’ll work on sharing it in the near future.🙂