C-Command Software Forum

Filing from iOS - Looking for ideas

Hi all,

I consume a lot of content on my iOS devices. While there are different apps and formats I’m using, I’ll keep this request for ideas focused on content displayed in the browser (web pages, PDFs, etc) – basically something that has a public URI.

Sometimes I feel like archiving the piece I’ve just read into EF. But being on the iOS device I don’t seem to find an easy way to do it. So, I’m wondering if others have been having a similar need and what solutions are they using to address it.

I’ve been thinking about different approaches, but before starting to implement one, I’d definitely appreciate ideas from long time EF users.



I use Instapaper to save the pages and move them into EF the next time I’m at the computer. You could automate that.

You can use this script to automate importing from Instapaper to EagleFiler.

Thanks for the suggestions. It is close to the system I’ve been thinking of. I’ll briefly describe it here so others could use it:

  1. Use a custom tag on Pinboard (e.g. @import-ef)
  2. Use a custom set of tags to indicate the type of import (e.g. @pdf, @webarchive, etc.)
  3. Pinboard offers a simple API that can be used to retrieve bookmarks given a tag
  4. Based on the type of import, coordinate imports in EF
  5. Once a bookmark is imported delete the bookmark


i/ the rest of the tags of a bookmark can be used as tags for the entry
ii/ the note for a bookmark can be used for the entry note

The Pinboard API is returning XML and even if I did quite a bit of AppleScript, I’m not sure I’ll want to do this with AS, so the main part will be in Python. But for creating EF entries, I already have some advanced AS so all I’ll have to figure out is how to pass parameters between the two scripts.

Thanks a lot,


Thanks Michael. I already have some smart AppleScripts for working with EF. I’ll bypass using NNW as I don’t have it on my system and I like to keep things involving as few tools as possible.

It sounds like you’d want to use a custom script, since you want different pages to be imported in different formats, but other users might be interested in using the Import Bookmarks… command to import from Pinboard. EagleFiler will read the XML file directly and import the tags, etc.

alex, did you ever get this system up and running?

Yes, I have this working for quite some time. Here’s how I do it:

  1. bookmark the page on Pinboard; you can use any other online bookmarking systems that give you a) a bookmarklet; b) an API to access your bookmarks
  2. when bookmarking a page that I want to get into my EagleFiler archive, in addition of the normal tags, I use a couple that provide details about how the bookmark will be imported into EagleFiler:
    1. zzarchive: a bookmark that should be imported into EF
    2. zzpdf: import as pdf
    3. zzquote: import only the text selection and the link
    4. zzkeep: after importing the bookmark, preserve it in the bookmark system
    5. a couple of other more esoteric options
  3. on one of my machine I have a cron job triggering a custom AppleScript every couple of hours that is fetching all bookmarks tagged with zzarchive. Based on the “meta-tags” the script nows how to import the bookmark into EF

This has been working reliably since I’ve set it up and I’m quite happy with the setup.

Alex, the need for this surfaced for me again. Have you made your scripts available somewhere?


No, I haven’t published them anywhere as I thought there isn’t much interest for this workflow. It might take me a bit to put together a post and package the scripts, so if it’s urgent for you, please do send me an email (alex at mypopescu dot com)

Two Ideas
I am not enough of a programmer to get either of these to actually work, but maybe someone else can take one of these ideas and run with it.

  1. Using Mail.app rules and AppleScript
    Apple’s mail.app can monitor incoming mail and act on “rules” set up in mail.app’s Preferences, and one of the actions a rule can trigger is to run an AppleScript. Programs on the iPad do not have a “send to EagleFiler” option, obviously, but they do almost all have an option to export by e-mail. So it’s easy to set up a rule that says "If the subject line of the e-mail begins with “EF-”, then trigger AppleScript “Export” … provided you or someone could write an AppleScript that would a) take the body of the e-mail; b) put it into a file; c) save it into the EagleFiler “To Import” folder.

  2. Using Pocket or Evernote and IFTTT
    There is a web utility called IFTTT “If this then that.” ( http://ifttt.com/ ) It can take information from and send information to many different popular programs and web services. EagleFiler is not one of them. Not directly. But it CAN send information to DropBox. So if your EagleFiler Library is in DropBox, or if you can set up a link folder in DropBox to your Import folder, you can theoretically deliver information to EagleFiler. The trigger is the bigger question. Two that look promising are Evernote and Pocket. So you could set up a rule in IFTTT that’s constantly monitoring. Most programs on the iPad will allow you to save items to Evernote or to Pocket, and, again, in theory, it should be possible to use the iPad to save to Pocket or Evernote, at which point IFTTT would automatically pick up the Pocket/Evernote file and save it to the “To Import” folder in DropBox.

I’ve not gotten either of these to work smoothly, if you do, post the details here. Thank you.

I use a workflow that is based around my EF library residing on Dropbox.
I use a piece of software called Printopia to print PDFs (virtual printer to drop config)
and save them to a specified folder on dropbox.

Then, I use a Hazel rule to move the file into EF.

Quick & Simple, Using Dropbox
I use “SendToDropbox” to email anything to my dropbox folder “Attachments,” then put an Automator Action on that folder to move whatever it finds in that folder to the “To Import” folder set up for my main EagleFiler library. Seems to work fine. SendToDropBox saves the content of email as HTML, and save that it includes my email sig, it seems pretty good.

So, just email from within whatever I might be using on my iPhone / iPad (e.g. Reeder, Safari), and boom.