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Plain text rocks, but I've been crushing on the list-making iOS app Paperless recently, and because it stores its data in XML files (at least when using Dropbox for sync), it's difficult to mark an item complete in a text editor. However, it's not impossible.

I would not advise the following steps to anyone other than those who are comfortable editing XML files.

To find the XML files, just go to the \Paperless folder in Dropbox. A typical list item will look like this:



<itemName>Cell phone bill</itemName>





To mark as complete, we have to do two things:

  1. Enter a value for <dateCompleted>

  2. Change the value for <itemCompleted>


<dateCompleted>2014-02-06 15:32:11 -0500</dateCompleted>

<itemName>Cell phone bill</itemName>





Above, I've changed the value of <itemCompleted> to YES. I've also entered a date string for <dateCompleted>. If you use TextExpander, use this data math for the snippet:

%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S -0500

The app uses +0000 UTC time, but above I've chosen -0500 because I live in New York. When I re-sync the app with Dropbox, it shows at the bottom: "Completed: Feb 6, 2014, 3:32 PM" so I know I did the date math correctly.

02/06/14; 03:18:44 PM

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After reading this Twitter conversation between @welkpatrick, @epramono and @Pgruneich, I now have a deeper understanding of how launch://?url= works:

Combined with Federico Viticci's Safari Action Menu In Launch Center Pro, it's all starting to come together: I can write a Launch Center Pro action, and use it from within another app entirely, without having to have that action entered in LCP itself.

For example, I have an action in LCP to add an item and optional note to Paperless:

paperless://addItem?itemName=[prompt:Item]&itemNote=[prompt:Note]&toListNamed=[list:Choose a list|List1|List2|List3]

(You can view that URL Scheme documentation here.)

Now, if I've noted something in Drafts and later decide I want to send it to Paperless, I can just tap on the paperlessList action in the Drafts Actions menu to launch LCP with a menu of lists already open. All I have to do is tap on the list to which I want to send the task, and the task and note are imported into Paperless.

If you're in Drafts, tap on this link to import the URL Action. And here is the action itself:

launch://?url={{paperless://addItem?itemName=[[title]]&itemNote=[[body]]&toListNamed=[list:Choose a list|List1|List2|List3]}}

The first line is the task, and any additional lines (if they exist) are added in the note field.

02/06/14; 10:01:02 AM

Last built: Mon, May 12, 2014 at 8:52 AM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM.