A quick look at the Trunk Notes web server

Trunk Notes is great for viewing and editing a personal wiki on your iPhone and iPad. One feature that really makes it stand out from other note taking apps is its built in web server.

For creating or editing longer notes or quickly copying/pasting information on your computer the Wi-Fi Sharing feature really helps. It activates the web server that comes with Trunk Notes and allows you to use Trunk Notes from your web browser. All you need is Trunk Notes running on your iPhone or iPad and a computer with a browser on the same wi-fi network.

Start by putting Trunk Notes into Wi-Fi Sharing mode. Tap the action button on the toolbar and choose Wi-Fi Sharing:

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Trunk Notes will tell you the address on which it can be contacted. Here the address is http://192.168.1.102:10000

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You can now go to your web browser and type in this complete address:

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By default Trunk Notes comes configured with a username and password. If you haven’t changed then in the Settings app on your iOS device then enter the defaults – trunk and password.

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You should now see your Trunk Notes HomePage in your browser.

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You can browse your wiki just like you do on your iOS device. Here is a quick overview of what’s being shown to you:

  1. This is the name of the current page being displayed. Notice that the page name is surrounded by [[ ]]. [[ ]] in Trunk Notes is used to explicitly indicate a link to another page. Note that you don’t need to use this but some people think it makes what is a link clearer.
  2. Click here to always return to your home page
  3. If you want to edit the text on a page click the Edit button
  4. For a quick listing of all the pages in your wiki click All Pages
  5. This allows you to search your wiki and create page. More about this in a moment…
  6. Export HTML creates a zipped copy of your wiki which you can save to your computer, uncompress and browse in a web browser. You can even upload the HTML pages in here directly to your website
  7. Backup creates a zipped copy of your wiki but just the raw text of each note. So rather than the formatted displayed version of each page you will get the Markdown source code
  8. Upload gives you the ability to upload text files to your wiki and restore a backup you have taken previously
  9. A quick overview of any tags that this page might have. In this example the page has no tags
  10. The page content itself. The same styles that appear on your iPhone/iPad will appear in your browser

Editing a page

When you click Edit you will be taken to the edit view.

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The edit view is split into three main sections.

The first section is the list of tags which you can apply to a page. Simply tick or untick those tags which you want a page to have. You must click Save for these to take affect.

The second section is the page text. This is the same Markdown text you see on your iPhone/iPad. A toolbar at the top can help you with bold, italics, adding links and creating lists.

The last section is a preview of how the page will look when viewed. This updates in realtime as you edit the text at the top. One caveat here is that the parsers on the device and in the web browser work slightly differently so the preview may not match exactly how the page will look – but it should be pretty close.

If you want to cancel any changes you have made then do so by clicking Cancel.

Searching

You can very quickly search your entire wiki by typing some text in the search field and clicking Search or pressing the return key.

In this example I have searched for the work prawn.

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Trunk Notes tries to make it as clear as possible what has been matched.

First comes any pages which have the exact title entered. Since I don’t have a page called Prawn I am given the opportunity to create one.

Next comes any pages whose titles start with the word prawn. Here I have one match PrawnPeaTomatoCurry. You can see when that page was last edited and how popular that page is.

Finally comes any pages which have the string prawn anywhere in their content or title. The pages are listed in order of most recently edited – the top match being one I had for dinner about an hour ago, very tasty! You can also see that the top two recipes featuring prawns are AsparagusMintLemonRisotto and SpicyPrawnCurry. The OnePanPrawnAndTomatoCurry wasn’t that great.

I hope now that you can see how powerful the Trunk Notes Wi-Fi Sharing mode can be. I often edit quite large pages using this and capture snippets of useful text from web pages. If you fit Trunk Notes Wi-Fi Sharing mode into your work flow let me know in the comments!

 

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