# Better work diary actions

In the update at the beginning of this post that shouldn’t have been written, I show how the Launch Center Pro work diary actions should have been built, but I’d like to have a freestanding post describing the actions that I can refer to later. This will be that (somewhat redundant) post.

The LCP actions I use for common entries in my work diary leverage the Drafts action I first described in this post.

This action takes the current time and the contents of the active draft and appends it to a Dropbox file named for the current day. It differs slightly from the original version of the action in that I now use a 24-hour clock for the timestamps.

The diary file that results looks something like this:

07:22
Leaving home

08:05
At site

09:13
Leaving site

09:58
At office


Because it’s in Dropbox, I can refer to it from any device.

My most common entries have to do with travel, so I created a set of Launch Center Pro actions to make those entries with a single tap/swipe. They’re in an LCP group entitled Diary:

Each action is defined in pretty much the same way. Here’s the one for Leaving Home:

The URL is this:

drafts://x-callback-url/create?text=Leaving%20home&action=Work%20diary&x-success=launch%3A


The only difference between the various diary entry actions is the text= part. The x-success portion at the end causes my screen to return to LCP when the action is done.

I switched to these simple actions from my messy Pythonista scripts on the suggestion of David Cross. Had I waited a little longer, I could’ve just copied an action written by Greg Pierce instead of writing them from scratch. Still, it was heartening to see that what I came up with was basically the same as Greg’s example—that meant I’d finally done it right.

I do think, though, that I can improve the actions a bit. Not by editing the URLs, but by customizing the icons. Because they’re all currently using the default icon for Drafts actions, they all look the same except for their titles, which are too small for me if I’m not wearing my reading glasses. I’m going to look around for public domain icons that will make them more distinct.

Update 8/25/14
A few readers have asked about using geofencing to automatically make entries for leaving and arriving at home and work. I thought about doing that as I was making the actions but decided against it. My work diary isn’t meant to be a tool for tracking my life. As popular as that sort of thing is nowadays, I have no interest in it. I use the diary to account for time I can bill my clients and nothing else. You might say that automatically adding entries I can’t bill for doesn’t hurt, but I don’t agree. With my current system, every entry is relevant when I’m generating a bill after a trip; with an automatic system, the great majority of the entries would be irrelevant, and I would waste time sifting through them.