I take minutes in two conference calls every week. Every call starts at the same time -- I look up the number in my calendar, dial the phone, then launch a Vim instance. I've written a few Vim macros to make taking minutes easier. After the call, I mail the minutes to the participants of the call.
I do this twice a week, every week.
Weren't computers supposed to automate some of these details for me?
Think of all the application-related bookkeeping I have to do to make this work. I need to manage my email, my calendar (in my Personal Analog Assistant, so no automation there), and a text editor (in a terminal window, so there's another application). The steps are:
- Remember meeting
- Look up phone number
- Dial phone
- Open terminal
chdirto appropriate directory for minutes
- Open Vim
- Take minutes
- Close Vim and terminal
- Find mail template for minutes
- Insert contents of minutes (another filesystem navigation)
- Resend mail
I'm not looking for a solution for this particular problem. I can solve it now; I could write a cron job to launch all of these applications at the right time and manage their interactions (and now that I've annoyed myself by listsing all of the steps and seeing exactly how much busywork I'm wasting to babysit my computer I might do that), but why should I have to?
Where's the user interface that can let me group all of these individual steps into a task? I don't want to think "I need to type something, so I need to open Vim, then save it somewhere, then open that in another application." I just want to think "Oh, it's time to take minutes for the meeting." Put in terms that programmers might understand, I want a declarative UI, not a procedural UI.
I have all of the apps I need. Now please, someone, let me put them together in the context of what I want to do, not how I need to do it.