An intent-centered desktop
I’ve been thinking about how I use my computer, and why I’m so dissatisfied with the experience. Here’s what I think, in a nutshell:
My computer, as currently set up, is application-centric (or, if I wanted to be really uncharitable, brand-centric). If I want to save a note, I’ve got to load Obsidian. If I want to save a to-do, I go to my browser and open Google Tasks. If I want to write a blog post, I open iA Writer. And so on.
Yuck. That’s a lot of excess cognitive load for no reason.
What I really want is a user-centered desktop. If I want to save a note, I enter a key combination and a window appears for just as long as I need to save it, superimposed on whatever else I’m doing; then it disappears. I want to be able to choose which app I use to save my notes, in the same way I choose my default web browser. But I don’t want to have to associate “notes” (or “tasks” or “posts”) with the name of the application, let alone go and load it.
Some of this is already possible for me, with a little work. Alfred is one of the first things I install on any new computer, and Workflows were designed for this kind of idea.
But at the same time, not every application supports the idea of transient creator interfaces: the floating “create” modal that allows me to save a note or make a change for as long as it’s useful and then disappears. Some apps, like Mem, have made a selling point of providing one - but I wish it was a default, integrated part of the operating system.
A reasonable shortcut might be a simple editor app that provides the create modal for all apps, with different template presets (notes, posts, tasks, etc), that then is designed to sync what you’ve written with other applications, whether directly or in conjunction with Alfred. It could also take command line input.
Does something like this exist? Am I missing something obvious?