Quickly make a new Evernote Note from selected text on OSX

Published on 08/02/11

As I’ve posted recently, I have started using Evernote for keeping track of all my stuff. I’ll put everything from passwords to files that my client sends to me in Evernote because Evernote makes it dead simple to find what I need later on, and I’ve got access to it from anywhere.

One thing I don’t like, though, about Evernote is how cumbersome it is to create new notes when I am in other apps on OSX. The best-case scenario was to select the text I wanted, copy it to the clipboard, and hit the key command for “Paste to Evernote”. This works alright except that it brings Evernote to the foreground and pulls up the new note dialog box. So the process for getting a new note was to:

  • Select some text
  • Hit Command-Option-C
  • Type in the title of my new Note
  • Close the window
  • Go back to my application I was in originally
  • Find where I was and continue on

It’s the last three steps that kill the flow of getting things done, so I decided to try to create a service in Automator that would make this simpler. The following applescript will take the selection, give a quick dialogue for a note title, and create the note in Evernote. During this process, you never leave the application you’re working in; there’s just a quick dialogue box to give the note a title.

I’m not going to give a tutorial about how to set up the Automator service, but it is pretty simple to do. Just change the title of the notebook in the applescript code below from “Default Notebook” to whatever notebook you want to put your notes into.

on run {input, parameters}
    set dialog_box to (display dialog ¬
        "Note title:" default answer ¬
        "Untitled Note" buttons {"Canel", "Save"} ¬
        default button 2)
    set button_clicked to button returned of dialog_box
    set note_title to text returned of dialog_box
    if button_clicked = "Save" then
        tell application "Evernote" 
            tell notebook "Default Notebook" 
                set new_note to create note with text input as string
                set title of new_note to note_title
            end tell
        end tell
    end if
end run

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