How to link to a file or web site in the Notes field of Life Balance

Recently we’ve had a number of people write in to ask if you can link a file to the notes field of Life Balance. Yes, you can link to a document, or a web page, or even a “mailto” link.

You need the latest version of Life Balance. You also need to copy the URL for the file to the notes. You can then work with the handy link once it is in notes. On Mac you have to Command Click, but on Windows, you can just click on it. We understand that this feature is perhaps not as obvious as it ought to be. Nevertheless, you can do this, and it actually does work! 

Examples of URLs that work are:

Also on the Mac side of things, you can use Applescript and Automator along with this feature, there is an example Applescript in our documentation that does this.

For example, here is a script that copies the URLs of the selected items in the Finder to the notes field of the selected task in Life Balance:

tell application "Finder"
  set theSelection to selection
  set theURLs to ""
  repeat with theItem in theSelection
    set theURLs to theURLs & "\n" & (URL of theItem)
  end repeat
end tell
tell application "Life Balance"
  tell (selected task of document 1)
    set notes to notes & theURLs
  end tell
end tell

Once you’ve copied a URL to the Life Balance notes, a command-click on the URL will open the corresponding file. The same trick works with web sites:

tell application "Safari"
  set theURL to URL of document 1
end tell
tell application "Life Balance"
  tell (selected task of document 1)
    set notes to notes & "\n" & theURL
  end tell
end tell

Here are some more details on how to make that file: URL, because it’s very useful and rather obscure.

What you want is the following format:

file:///Users/your user name/path to the file

Note that there are THREE slashes at the beginning; two of them are for the file:// construction, and the third indicates the top of your hard drive.

As for the %20 thingy, that’s because you can’t have spaces (and some other characters) in a URL, so %20 means “insert space here”.

Give it try to see if this clever technique extends your use of Life Balance even further! 

Copyright @ 2011, Catherine E. White, permission is granted for this article to be redistributed and shared with others in its entirety as long as links and attribution are maintained. Catherine E. White is president of Llamagraphics, Inc., developer of Life Balance™ software for Mac OS X, Windows, Palm OS and iPhone. Life Balance provides a structure for your goals, projects and tasks that is priority driven, so you can to make better decisions about how to use your discretionary time. To learn more, please visit