Originally Posted by whpalmer4
Yes, I realize that 5 seconds here and there adds up if you do it often enough, but I'm optimistic that they've still got ideas for things that will save bigger numbers of seconds, whereas making it too easy for me to beautify my notes will encourage me to do that instead of completing the associated actions and projects :-)
There is a common misperception that the styling of note content is somehow petty or superficial, resulting in a waste of time that is better spent doing your tasks. But I contend that in many cases, improving the organization and legibility of your notes will greatly increase your productivity, especially if you adopt a common set of sensible styles used through your content.
The styling I apply to my notes (and I use a lot
of notes) takes no more than a few seconds to apply and makes it much easier for me to digest the information later, especially if I don't come back to the item for a while. These styles include a fixed-width font for code snippets (like many on this forum, I use OmniFocus in a software development environment), a light sprinkling of bold text for headings, and an occasional indentation. Yeah, I like it to look pretty too, but I'm doing this more for practical reasons than aesthetics.
I can apply all those styles now and do the TextEdit-switheroo for indentions, but it'd certainly be better with a built-in formatting ruler. Others have also asked for a means to create lists and basic outlines in their notes; the list formatting options in OS X's standard text formatting ruler might satisfy those requests.
Now, I understand that every feature request must be prioritized against a bevy of other feature requests. Some are clearly more pressing than others. And this text formatting ruler one is likely somewhere in the bottom half of that list. That's fine.
But I'm hoping that maybe it'd be a relatively simple thing for the Omni folks to fully adopt Mac OS X's NSTextView for the notes field (things always look simple from the outside, don't they? :-).
From here, it looks like they're using a subclass of NSTextView already since we have text completion with F5/Esc and emacs key bindings. The notes field even starts to respond to a columnar selection (option-click) by changing to the typical crosshairs cursor, but doesn't actually select more than a single row of text.
OmniOutliner, too, shows these behaviors. And it also has a text formatting ruler that looks suspiciously like the standard NSTextView ruler.
OmniOutliner Pro ruler:
TextEdit's ruler in Leopard:
I know things are rarely free in the software development world, but I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, this would be a piece of cake addition. And if that's the case, then the cost-to-benefit ratio swings way in our favor, even if you're only going to use the formatting ruler to make your notes look pretty. ;-)