Making capturing information into Dynalist easier


#1

I was really excited in August 2017 when I read the announcement about the Inbox feature: “to make capturing information into Dynalist easier. Now we’ve made the first step towards it: capture to your inbox!

I then waited (silently) for what I figured would be the inevitable follow-on step to be able to quickly add to inbox from the mobile app. This makes sense because my mobile phone is with me in the car, on line at the supermarket, etc.: a bigger percentage of my life than spent sitting at my desktop. And these times away from my desktop are the prime unstructured times when I’m going to stumble onto those fleeting thoughts I must capture immediately lest I forget them for a long time. Ultimately I imagined I’d be able to say things like “Hey Siri, remind me to get oil changed”.

Even if there was no Siri integration I’d be quite willing to launch the Dynalist app, hit some new button at the top, then type or speech-to-text my note, and press Done and my note would be added to the Inbox.

I’m surprised these things haven’t happened, but shame on me for not speaking up. I’ll bet I’m not alone in wanting this.

Is there any interest in taking more steps towards the goal of making capturing information into Dynalist easier (from mobile apps)?


#2

There is this: select some text in your browser. Tap share. Tap Dynalist logo.

That text goes in my Inbox. Works in any app that lets you select text.

However it appears you can’t change Inbox from mobile. The needed menu does not exist here.


#3

For Android my app Quick Dynalist offers all the features that you’ve been talking about. Including adding selected text to multiple inboxes, sending text to inbox, Google assistant integration, widgets, shortcuts to an inbox, speech to text, etc.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an iOS equivalent.

But maybe this is still helpful / an inspiration to build something similar for iOS.


#4

Alan & Louis, thanks for your responses. It looks like on iOS I can select pre-existing text and send it to my Inbox but I can’t type new text that will go directly to the Inbox. And maybe the Android Quick Dynalist app gets closer to what I want - but it’s not iOS.

I experimented with the workflow a few times and while sharing text might sound simpler, there are a few extra steps that make it painful:

  1. Launch notepad or some equivalent
  2. Open a new sheet or scroll to an unused part of current sheet
  3. Type the reminder
  4. Drag to select the reminder text
  5. Click share
  6. Click Dynalist
  7. Review text and press “Post”
  8. (Dynalist launches) Reminder text is now in a dynalist window - review it and press “Add”
  9. Go back to notepad and delete the (now unnecessary) reminder text

It would probably be simpler to do it in Dynalist. My workflow for that is:

  1. Launch Dynalist
  2. Scroll to my Inbox (could be a few swipes and clicks depending on where I was last. Also, response time on the iPhone is kindof slow - even on my Xs - I usually have to wait a few beats after each click for the cursor to respond).
  3. Click at end of Inbox (then wait a few beats for cursor to react - about 1.5-3 seconds)
  4. Type my new reminder text
  5. Hopefully I don’t need to return back to my previous location in Dynalist

What I often do instead:

  1. Speak: “Hey Siri, remind me to get an oil change”
  2. Siri tells me it added it to my reminders (i.e. the iOS Reminders App)
  3. I have an IFTTT Applet that automatically sends new reminders to my email
  4. Some time in the future when I’m at my desktop, I copy the text from my email to Dynalist and delete the email

What would be best:

  1. Speak: “Hey Siri, Dynalist add get an oil change”

or:

  1. Launch Dynalist
  2. Click an “Add to Inbox” button on top of Dynalist page
  3. Type or speech-to-text my reminder
  4. Click OK
    (this would be much faster than scrolling around dynalist to get to my Inbox and back)

If there was an appropriate integration point I’d be happy to create an iOS Shortcut script to make it all work together.

Is there already some way to do this that I’m not aware of? If not, do Dynalist folks have a similar vision of a frictionless, streamlined path from my brain to my Dynalist? Thanks!


#5

There are notions that it’s possible with Siri and IFTTT to script adding something directly to your inbox.


#6

Thanks Alan, I can now confirm that those notions are true.

I’ve created a working IFTTT applet “If Any new reminder, then Make a web request” where “any new reminder” is checking for new reminders in the iOS Reminders App. If it sees a new reminder, then it makes a web request via the IFTTT Webhooks service. The latter is documented in the link you posted (which uses the Dynalist API described here: https://apidocs.dynalist.io/#send-to-inbox).

The net result is I say “Hey Siri, remind me to get an oil change”, and somewhere between 15 minutes and an hour later it gets added to my Inbox. That delay is unfortunate but I can overlook it because my goal was to have a frictionless way to record the nagging idea that popped into my head so that I can immediately move on without worrying about it.

For what it’s worth, the delay is entirely on the part of IFTTT. The Dynalist API is very fast. Once IFTTT awakens from its slumber and makes the Web request, Dynalist immediately adds it and displays it in the Inbox.