It turns out you can get to OS X Text Edit documents which you have yet to save, but are still open – they are auto-saved in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.TextEdit/data/Library/Autosave Information as .rtf files. Why .rtf files, probably because Text Edit doesn’t know whether you may change your mind and switch that plain text document back to rich text.
This came in very handy, when I needed text which I worked on yesterday, which would be more difficult to reproduce today, which was still open (but unsaved) on a remote Mac with no screen. Don’t get hung up on the no screen part – I use VoiceOver, and someone needed to borrow a monitor so my Mac is headless for a while.
nvALT is my notes tool of choice, especially for making quick transient notes similar to 50 sticky-notes which end up sprouting from one’s monitor bevel like some over-grown bushy hair. I’ve configured nvALT to store it’s notes as individual text files, and since it automatically and immediately saves, I can SSH into my Mac and grab those files later when I realize I need them. So, I’m used to that; thinking about which documents you will need while you’re away from your desk is a thing of the past these days … unless you change your workflow.
Yesterday I unexplainably opened Text Edit, and proceeded to piece together some pretty useful information … which I would need today when working remotely. I’m glad to have been able to get to that information, without having to get into the office, or have someone find an adapter and connect a monitor and unlock my Mac just to save a document. 🙂