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Mac keyboard shortcuts using non-Latin layout (#3986)

I think you know that your app have a problem: some shortcuts won’t work in notes, if user switches to non-latin keyboard layout.


I don't know how exactly you define those shortcuts in your app, but some time ago I've got a little chat with tapbots team regarding one of their products which had a similar problem.

They use a script to avoid sandbox. It used  a layout-dependend code, smth like this:

-- sigh, thanks sandboxing
tell application "System Events"
keystroke "v" using {command down}
end tell

They have changed it to

-- sigh, thanks sandboxing
tell application "System Events"
key code 9 using {command down}
end tell

and everything is ok now.
May be you'll look into this problem with notes, it's rather tiresome to change layout every time you need to use a shortcut. Thanks.

TheBrain Development Update
enkidu wrote: Hi zenrain,

long time no speak.

I am trying (but obviously failing) to give an extremely succint list of usability improvements to make TheBrain more useful to a much wider user base - ultimately guaranteeing the products durability, hence justifying our investment in it ;-)

enkidu you're right. That's why I quit using theBrain since the 8th version.

Your observations are correct and right to the point. Cheers!

P.S. I still love TheBrain concept and I'm looking forward for the new beta. [smile]
An old bug
Hello. I'm not sure if there is any use to write about these things, but I want to point out an old bug in TheBrain and make a suggestion.

I'm using OSX and I'm from Russia. Most of my email are in Russian. Unfortunately if I drag email from Mail to TheBrain, it can't read Russian email titles. Instead TheBrain makes it "Unknown title"

That's the original email title


And that's how TheBrain reads it


And a suggestion. TheBrain is a great tool in many ways, and I store a lot of information inside it. And I usually put some files, emails and text clippings in TheBrain and sort them out later, making neccesary connections and notes.

But, at least in OSX it is inconvinient to drag files and emails into TheBrain window. It would be much better just to drag them onto TheBrain dock icon and drop them. Now we have quick thoughts, so let them be just quick thoughts.

Some time ago I even wrote a little TheBrain helper doing exactly that.

It seats in the dock


Allowing me to drop any content right on its icon. Depending on the kind of content it is treated differently


You can do with the content you are dropping on the icon almost everything.


By the way, my helper reads Russian email titles correctly and I can't see why TheBrain can't do the same.

And one more thing :-) You've made types as tool panel. That's great. Why can't you add to that panes a tag like functionality? I mean it would be great to assign a thought type just clicking on the checkbox


All above is just my personal opinion. And I still really want to believe that someday TheBrain will become scriptable. Or at least there will be some kind of API, or something.

AppleScript for OmniFocus
No, I'm not using TheBrain as GTD system. I found that inconvenient, its much simplier to do that in OmniFocus.

TheBrain is my reference system. All my documents and project descriptions are there.

The thought process, as you put it, looks like that:

  • I create a task in OmniFocus, on the go, and its first task "Open the project..."
  • I create a thought for a project in TheBrain linking it to the OF.
  • In TB I do all the work, collecting all the docs I need for the project there.
So all my documents are in TB and all the actions are in OF. For example, I have in OF action which was created from email "Services - workout a new strategy for... by...". And there is a lot of documents and references which I need to do the work. All of them are under "Services - workout a new strategy for..." thought.

When I review my tasks for today, all I need to get all the documents an info concerning the task in question is just click "Find in TheBrain" button.

The particular task will be done and mark complete in OF, but the thought will remain in its place in TB for future refs.

That is all. 

Quote: What I have been doing is getting the appropriate documents and linking them (thought URL) over to OmniFocus (the other way around).

You mean that you create a task in OF from the existing thought in TB, right? And you keep you docs in TB, but your tasks in OF?

If that is true, I do the same, but from the other end.

Quote: I have also been toying with putting the Brain on my own site (Export) so I can get to the data remotely.

Why? There is a WebBrain, why do you need this?
AppleScript for OmniFocus

First of all I should say I really like TheBrain. It has plenty of amazing features.

But I feel that TheBrain lacks some functions, which makes it not as satisfactory as it may be. In fact, it seems to me that TheBrain has stagnated.

Not that there are no fresh and good ideas – look at http://thebrain.uservoice.com/forums/4597-thebrain

The problem is that there is no progress in development. I’ve paid for all TheBrain versions since 4.x, but I didn’t get anything new and really useful since 5.x.

Cloud integration is a great thing, really, but I use it primarily as a backup. Personally, I don’t need web-based TheBrain application. What I need is ability to work with TheBrain on any device and any OS.

It means TheBrain go native. It means there should be native Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android versions that could be synchronized via cloud. TheBrain should be scriptable and support third party plugins.

Java was a good choice some years ago, but it’s a hindrance now, especially after Oracle buying it.

That’s my opinion, I well may be wrong and I still like the software and thank Harlan and others for it J

I’ve made some scripts to improve TheBrain integration with OSX.

Here is one of them, for those who use OmniFocus.

TheBrain could be used as a GTD tool, but it lacks OSX integration and I personally find the way to manage tasks in TheBrain a little cumbersome. On the other hand, OmniFocus is a great tool for GTD and project management, but it lacks TheBrain’s ability to store information and make connections.

So I make a script which somewhat brings them together J

You can find a little screencast and links to download the script below.

Keep in mind that this particular script was never tested on any other machine except mine (MBP Retina) and was never intended for distribution, so if you decide to use it, you do it on your own risk etc.

TheBrain is not scriptable, so for the script to work you should enable access to assistive devices (System Preferences --> Universal Access).

Then go the “~/Library/Scripts/Applications/OmniFocus” folder (if it doesn’t exist, create one) and place all the files there.

Open OmniFocus, click “Customize Toolbar…” and place “Script:Add to TheBrain” and “Script:Find in TheBrain” icons wherever you want.

You may need to run manually OmniBrain.app once to make your Mac GateKeeper to allow it (ctrl – LMB, Open).

download the script (the script is big because of icons... I'm not a designer and they may be ugly, but I prefer ugly icons than no icons )

TheBrain forgets how to open attachments (Linux)
I think it's not a problem to squash that bug, but please do it, it's rather annoying.

1. I want to open an attachment from TheBrain:
TheBrain asks me what application I want to use. That's OK.

2. I fill in the line with the appropriate command:
I hit Enter and the attachment opens as it should be.

3. If I want to open attachment of that kind again, TheBrain presents me with the form in which the name of application I used to open the attachment with is already present:

4. But if I close TheBrain and start it again, it completely forgets about everything:
There is no way to set note's Date Format in Linux

There are no "OK" or "Close" buttons and new settings are just cancelled every time you try to modify them.
Link to thought in note
I don't know if somebody mentioned it before, but you can't create a link if text in your note is bold or italic.

I mean if I create a thought named "the thought" and after that select words "the thought" in a note, the link will be created without problems. But if the selected words "the thought" are bold, you'll get "No Thought matching..." message.

Another thing. If I have two thoughts named "business", and try to make a link from a note, link will be made for the last created "business" thought. I can't choose the thought I need.

I think this feature is not quite usable at the moment. Sometimes I can create links from notes and sometimes PB just refuse to do it.
Custom tabs layout reset to default after PB restart
I like to keep my Tags tab always open, like this:

If I close and launch again the last PB beta (, my custom layout resets to default:

Regards, Ivan
Forward nav button inactive in full screen Notes mode
When Notes is in full-screen mode (click twice on the "Notes" tab), it is convenient to be able to use navigation arrows (to check related notes on the go, for example).

Unfortunately only the backward arrow is active. You can't get back to your note, you should click twice on the "Notes" tab to exit to the Plex view and than you can use the forward arrow.

Losing Previous Icons for Thought Types?
Moe, thanks for idea. I've rebuilt PB database and icon cache and thought types icons are back now.
Losing Previous Icons for Thought Types?
I've lost all the types icons too 
Plex slow and sluggish
Harlan, hello.

1, 2 - no, I use local hdd only.

3 - thanks, mouse overs much better, the plex stop freezing on mouse over

But still thought activation is jerky. Sometimes thought freeze in mid-flight for a couple of seconds, like this:

PB, Windows 7 32-bit
Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E6300 2.80GHz

5.5 worked faster I think. I used Update tool on mouse over and ESP Sync in 5.5 and everything worked just fine. If you wish I can compare PB 6 and PB 5, but my 5.5 brain backup is outdated and comparison won't be exemplary.

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