Gear Talk
Comments 17

Writing Workflow

When it comes to writing and establishing any sort of workflow, be it photographing or writing, certain applications make the task easier and such is the case of Ulysses III and Daedalus for iOS.

I’ve tried just about all the writing applications in both OS X and iOS. From those, the most notables were Byword and iA Writer two popular applications that continue to do well in Appstore and cause a general hoopla all over the internet and iOS bloggers. I used both extensively but I always felt something was missing especially on the desktop. For me these aforementioned apps lacked the organizational structure I was seeking. I don’t know if its because I’m 41 years old but I like folders and the structure they give outlines, projects, email (imap), you name it, but such structure was exactly what I was missing on the Mac.

When you think about, well at least for me, I don’t do a lot of writing on my iPhone but often times I get my ideas while I have the iPhone on hand and I think that’s generally how most people probably get their work done on the iPhone. You get an idea, jot it down, through the magic of iCloud or Dropbox synchronization, its there on your desktop when you actually sit down and get some writing done.

So googling around I found out an app called Ulysses III for the Mac. A writing tool with a minimal layout geared to do just that, write to your hearts content. I can pickup any post I have in progress can quite easliy and just pump out a few paragraph and boom, I’m out there. If I’m in the mood to write on another post, perhaps some gear review, I jump into folder, pick one, and churn out a couple of more paragraphs and such is life these days for me. But you see what gives me this impetus is actually seeing my folders and there and the drafts within, its like my mind goes “ah, yeah that post,” and boom I instantly read the prior sentence and in mega typing speed I write some more.

Now, while on my iPhone I may read a few post in Daedalus and just peruse my folders and drafts and if I get a further idea perhaps write in it the post itself but to be honest, that rarely happens. I mentioned to a mate on twitter about incorporating another iOS app into the workflow called Drafts. If you’re familiar with the iOS scene then you’ll know there are quite a few app that work with text and can send it to other apps. Well, in that category apps, Drafts is the king and the best in opinion. There is something called x callback url which is basically a way to interact with different and do all sort of request. I’ll let you read it about to though. Well with Drafts ( I’ve had the app for about 2 years already so incorporating it was a no brainer) I can write my post idea and send it to Daedalus to a specific folder and it will generate a name for the post idea which I house in a folder called Notes. I usually expand a text expander snippet with the date formatted like this: 2014-01-14 and a place position cursor command so it actually looks like this:


My post idea automatically formatted here.

I suppose you don’t need those additional apps but if you have them like I did, then its worth integrating into a working workflow, if not, then no worries just get Ulysses for Mac and Daedalus (now free on the app store with in app purchase upgrades) and be done, have a central hub for all your writing and never loose a post draft. What you been on the admin portion of your blogging CMS and looked at Drafts? What a nightmare, I have post draft from 2011 I never got around to develop because I just lost track but with Ulysses I go to my Post : In Progress folder and check out what’s there, if I run out of gas on a post then I delete it and be done with it – next.

So basically, I highly recommend both Ulysses for Mac and the iOS component, Daedalus, again its now free but with in app purchases but its so worth the price of entry. I believe the desktop app is $45 but its work of art. Inserting link is freaking awesome, it writes in markdown natively, previews to match your mood, no silly music embedded (name that app for the Mac). Do yourself a favor, get it, enjoy it and write.


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