Saved 1Password Searches in iOS

NPW 002 Launch Center Pro Searches 1Password

Problem

When 1Password’s share sheet extension debuted last year with the launch of its iOS 8-compatible app, it nearly obviated the need to copy passwords from a 1Password vault and then paste them into Safari. (Yes, I know that 1Password has a built-in browser, but I still preferred to use Safari the vast majority of the time.) But, even after this advancement and the introduction of Touch ID, there are still times when one’s iCloud password must be entered. The most annoying thing about those “Enter your iCloud password” pop-up boxes is that there is no way to access the share sheet, so 1Password can’t help. Or can it?

Solution

Enter Launch Center Pro. If you’ve never used Launch Center Pro, think of it as something like Alfred for iOS. At its most basic, it can be used as an app launcher, but with a little bit of digging, you can do a lot more on an iPhone/iPad with it, especially if you use some of the other third-party apps that support URL schemes. That’s what allows me to do what I do with Launch Center Pro and 1Password.

Open Launch Center Pro and tap on one of the + icons to create a new action. In the URL field, enter the following:

onepassword://search/{{YOURSEARCHTERM}}

From Skitch

If you create this action using the Action Composer in Launch Center Pro, it will default to providing a keyboard prompt for the search term. That means that every time you launch the action, you’ll need to type in your search term. That’s very useful, but it’s not how I look up my iCloud password. To do that, I have iCloudlg inside the double curly brackets. The lg there stands for login, as in iCloud login. I added those two extra letters so that when I search my 1Password vault for “iCloudlg”, I will only get my iCloud login account. Without that suffix, every account that uses my iCloud e-mail address for the username shows up in the list, and that’s not what I want.

(You might notice in the screenshot that I also use a custom iCloud icon for the action. I simply downloaded the image for that after a quick Google search, saved it to my Camera Roll, and selected it from within Launch Center Pro. This makes the action very easy to identify at a glance.)

So, whenever I need my iCloud password, I simply open Launch Center Pro, trigger the saved Search for iCloudlg action, use Touch ID to unlock 1Password, swipe to the right across the iCloud entry, copy the password, and I’m in business. That sounds like a lot of steps, but the iOS device does most of the work, and it’s a lot easier than manually searching 1Password for “iCloud” every time I need to do so.

Keeping Track of Phone Messages & Conversations

NPW 001 - Line2 plus Evernote

Problem

In the old days (2–3 years ago), we had a landline for our non-profit, and all too often I found myself writing down notes about a voicemail or a phone conversation in a notebook. The obvious downside to that is that those notebooks aren’t searchable (that is, not without significant effort to digitize them). This wasn’t a good long-term plan in my estimation, so I set out to find a better way to do this. And I did.

Solution

We swtiched our phone from a landline to a VoIP service—Line2,to be precise—and I started using Evernote to keep up with messages and conversations. I’d started using Evernote to take notes during phone calls even before we moved away from a landline, but my use of it for this really took off once we started using VoIP. One of the best features of Line2 (and one that I assume is also true of other VoIP providers) is that whenever a voicemail is left, an mp3 copy of the message is automatically e-mailed to you. So I set up a simple rule that automatically forwards those voicemail notification e-mails to my Evernote account. That does three things:

  1. It gives me an archive of the voicemail itself, in case I ever have to go back to it. It’s rare that I have to replay a voicemail, but it has happened.
  2. It gives me an easy place to take notes on my conversation with that person. It also means that if I call someone back and have to leave them a voicemail, I can record that all in the same place.
  3. It makes all of this easily searchable, as Evernote has excellent search capabilities.

This has worked exceptionally well for me over the past couple of years. Having all of these voicemails in Evernote has made me almost fully reliable when it comes to calling someone back, and it has also saved us a considerable amount of money. Our phone bill is now significantly less than it was before making this change. I call that a win-win.