Friday, 16 August 2013

There's Writing, Blogging And Note Taking

Part One - Mac text entry

One of the things that we all do with our computers and our mobile devices, portable computers, is that we are creating text documents of one sort or another. There are a lot of different types of writing that we do and therefore we are going to sometimes need to use different tools for different jobs. Over the years with using the Mac and iOS I have been using applications such as SimpleNote, Notational Velocity or NVAlt, Evernote, Mou, Drafts, Scrivener and even Pages. I have absolutely no need whatsoever for Microsoft Word which I regard as a legacy type application. I often get the feeling that people use Word because they know no better, although I suppose if you do need to make a document that is for a presentation and it requires more layouts along with pictures and tables it might be a possibility. Obviously though, being a Mac user I would be more likely to use Pages as it does all that I would need to and looks good while doing it too!

Doing it with Markdown

Whatever sort of writing I do it always starts off as Markdown for me, I just think that sort of way now. I like to know that I will be up to open up the text based files of markdown with any application now or in the future. Keep it simple is a good philosophy to use for many things in life and that includes writing. Can you imagine trying to open a WordPerfect file with the application that you have on your computer now?


So the sort of writing I do mostly is blogging and for the most part I am writing longer articles using dictation in Dragon dictate. I have the workflow for this completely sorted out that I don't really have to think about it too much. I dictate directly into the DragonDictate window because that is the best place for the dictation, then I use a Keyboard Maestro key combination which will select all of the text and open it up in Mou. When I have the text in Mou I do the reading out aloud text editing of the markdown text. I like the dual pane which allows me to see the finished version of the text alongside the markdown. I also add the links to other articles at this point using some Mac OS X services automation.


MarsEdit best blogging tool

The next stage of the game for me is to do a special copy which gives me the HTML of that text so that I can put it into the Mac blogging software that I prefer to use called MarsEdit. Some people would ask why don't just dictate directly into MarsEdit, but I have found that the dictation doesn't work quite so well that way. It worked well for me to have the process separated out into separate stages. It is in MarsEdit that I add the images and video embedding.

Part Two