For some time I have been wanting to write for my own blog (and for others). The problem was finding the right time, the right subject and clearing the decks to do some writing all of which were getting in the way. After many starts and failed attempts today is the day.
This first post explores my start up process, what I will be writing on and the tools to get it up and out there.
What’s it all about
Technology plays an important part in my life both at home and in the office this intersection is where I will spend my time writing. Looking at both hardware and software that makes a difference to the time I spend working and playing.
I’ll admit upfront I’m an Apple fanboy but that won’t stop me discussing interesting tech that crosses my path. Camera’s and watches are also passions of mine (and no I don’t own an watch).
Getting this post up required decisions to be made about the hardware and software I’d be using. Fortunately most of the software tools I had already purchased, although barely used. The hardware was a given…
The iPad Pro is one mean device and perfect for writing it is just the right size, the software keyboard is servicable and the pencil is just magic! What brings all this together is iOS9 and split view which in conjuction with the iPad Pro brings a new level of multitasking to my workflow.
I’ll not write too much on these topics as better people than I have already. Federico Vittici of Macstories wrote the following articles which more than adequately cover iOS9 and the iPad Pro.
iPad Pro Review: A New Canvas
iOS 9: Our Complete Overview and First Impressions
As for the software I was lucky enough to have all the suggested apps already installed (yes I impulse buy) on my iPad. Taking some time to play with what I had I determined what was best for me by selecting the more basic apps rather than the more powerful alternatives.
At some point my thoughts need to be organised into a cohesive post and this is where OmniOutliner comes in. I can create a list of headings for my chosen subject and then add bullets point under each of those heading. The Omni products are fantastic and for work I have the whole suite.
Drafts by Agile Tortoise
Drafts is my go to for all little snippets of written ‘stuff’. I can write a quick paragraph on the bus and send it to my writing app of choice for formatting and publishing. Drafts is like a Swiss Army knife for moving little pieces of writing to all manner of services and apps in simple stripped down interface. The automation is where the power lies and this can be as simple or complex as you can create
Byword by Metaclassy
Byword is a Markdown writing app that allows you to simply write distraction free in Markdown. From Byword you can then publish to a number of mediums you use for blogging. The interface for Byword like Drafts is simple and stripped down with a easy on the eye UI for continuous use in all lighting situations.
From thought to publish the process for me was as follows;
- OmniOutliner for idea creation
- Drafts for rough drafts/passages
- Byword for formatting and final publication
Getting it out there
Choosing a medium to publish to is no easy task there are many options;in the end it came down to convenience, ease of use and what I knew of.
WordPress is the main place for blogs and for no setup costs other than time you can have your own site. As a starting point you can’t go past this service especially if you want to eventually pay for a site. My goal will be to do this but first I’ll need a following.
As an alternative driver of traffic each post will be published on Medium. It’s an interesting service that I know little of. The payoff here is that it’s easy to use, there is no site to maintain and the content uploads nicely from Byword.
Rounding this out I have Twitter account @YouSaidWhatBlog for the site where I’ll post regular updates to those (if any) who follow.
I will look to post every two weeks. I beleive setting schedule that is achievable will ensure I can maintain a steady stream of updates.From time to time I’ll link to other news that I find interesting and want to comment on. In the mean time here is my list of articles waiting to be written
- How I use social meadia
- Thoughts on moving to an iPad Pro
- App reviews
- Workflows for the office