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The .ideas file

Apr 15, 2013

The best way to a good idea is to have lots of ideas. Linus Pauling

If you're a regular Terminal user, chances are you've had a stroke of inspiration while your command prompt was up.

I find plain text in Markdown to be the quickest way to record these spontaneous ideas. Here's one way to do it:

Create a hidden file called .ideas.md in your home directory.

$ touch ~/.ideas.md

Add an alias to your .bash_profile or .zshrc file so you can open the file quickly

alias idea="subl ~/.ideas.md"  # for Sublime Text user

OR

alias idea="vim ~/.ideas.md"  # for Vim users 

Now when you have an idea, just type

$ idea

at the command line to open up the .ideas.md file in your text editor.

What you put in this file is completely up to you. Mine looks something like this:

~/.ideas.md

# Software
    - doomed startup idea 1
    - some feature for an open-source project 
    - doomed startup idea 2
    - ...

# Blog posts
    - the .ideas file
    - stuff about nothing...
    - ...

You can do this for todo lists, schedules, or any other text document that you open regularly.

tagged in terminal tips

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