Simplenote: Embed Ideas and Tips

I was reading an internal P2 at work1, and saw a note beautifully embedded in a post. I’d like to share some thoughts on doing this.

Add a tag for quicker reference. When I don’t want to search for these by typing.

Tagged “siteEmbed”, place one note on your WordPress.com site to keep an ephemeral realtime status. I have date and time buttons in my custom keyboard when writing in Drafts for iOS, and a snippet in Alfred for a time stamp (keyword: “fts”). Copy to clipboard, paste in Simplenote.

Your team can display the status of their projects or active to-dos on a single page. Each member embeds their published note. Rather than wading thru the text from other members, you’d only see your own items when editing in Simplenote. Tag: “TeamEmbed”. (I just thought of this.)

Another note can be your Logbook, which could be on another page in your team P2. Each member embeds this published note, too. (Tag: “Logbook”.)

Once a week, the completed items from the previous note — active projects and to-dos — get cut and pasted into this note (Logbook) with dated headings. At the end of the year, those get copied permanently, and a new Logbook page/note is created for the new year.

Keep a team status page (working, ticket queue status, AFK, errands, nap, jog, vacation2). Editing your own status in Simplenote on your phone is quicker than editing the P2 page. And, again, you wouldn’t need to edit the status of your other colleagues.

Wow. That all sounds great! 😎


  1. Automattic. We’re looking for Happiness Engineers — join us
  2. I need to test Markdown image support. I could use Cloudup from my iPhone, then share a photo while on vacation or something. Update: Markdown images won’t auto embed within a Simplenote embed. Not a deal breaker for me, it would’ve been fun. 😄 

GIFs, Cloudup, and Simplenote

I have a handy bookmark of a Cloudup stream with a bunch of GIFs ready to go. In Simplenote, a pinned note contains descriptions and URLs of those GIFs for quick searching.

With several of my colleagues as inspirations1, I’m fairly quick to have a relevant GIF for a Slack channel or P2 thread at work.

Priorities. Don’t hate! 😎

In all seriousness, GIFs are fun, and the visual element might be helpful for subconsciously improving recall detail of certain facts.

Consider the NBC TV series, Chuck. Flashing images, then Chuck knows Kung Fu.

Perhaps the connection of a GIF with a lengthy conversation can be recalled in greater detail when thinking about the GIF.

I said “perhaps”.


  1. Thanks in alphabetical order: James, Cat, Kevin, Watkis, and many other Automatticians I missed. 

Simplenote revisions, you SAVED us!

Last week, I created a new item to document notes, ideas, and tasks for the move to our new place. I’ve shared it with Amy so she can refer and add to it.1

Yesterday, she got distracted, selected all the text by accident, and typed some gibberish — wiping out all the text about our new place.

(I estimate the damage was worth writing and brainstorming for a couple of hours.)

Fortunately, Simplenote — like most excellent products and services — includes revision history.

Yay! 🙂


  1. I think it’s time to split things up into separate notes. 

How I organize my life with Simplenote

I meant to blog about something geeky and exciting. After starting to re–organize my slew of notes in Simplenote1, I decided to write about this instead.

Let’s call this a very tiny weekly review. 😉

(No, come back! Phew. Thank you.)

Simplenote feels like the perfect fit, and it doesn’t hurt that the guys that started it are super rad. (Hi Mike and Fred!)

So, I love the speed and flexibility of plain text, as well as Markdown. I’m also really glad WordPress.com finally supports Markdown, too.

Here are a few ideas on how I use Simplenote:

  • Agenda notes for coworkers, family, friends.
  • Tasks (personal or shared).
  • Blog post drafts.
  • Inventory.
  • Tracking data that doesn’t need to be displayed in pretty graphs.
  • Health notes, so you can discuss issues to your doctor, dentist, or optometrist with a shred confidence.
  • Restaurants. (A whitelist. These dishes are delectable! Or, a blacklist. That place was not good.)
  • Business hours of places you frequent (e.g. stores, malls, mechanic).
  • Late–night sparks of inspiration.

I also love how you can use other apps with Simplenote, like:

  • nvALT for Mac, which I previously used.
  • Listary for iOS, which Amy and I use to share a few todo lists.

Things is still my main task manager. When talking with my coworkers, in the flow of typing within Simplenote, I sometimes slip the word “TODO” inline with the note, which I can quickly find later and import to Things with more context.

Pro tip: Date everything. You never know if you’ll need it later, and you can always cull or delete later.

Brett Kelly raves about Drafts for iOS (which I finally bought last month and still use), and it feels like Simplenote opens and works just as fast.

If you’re curious about “embedding” images and files, I’d suggest uploading them to your favorite file sharing or hosting service — like Cloudup! — and paste the link into your note.

Is your brain percolating? Do you have any other ideas to get the most out of Simplenote? I’d love to hear them. 🙂


  1. The Simplenote Mac and iOS apps are gorgeous!