The Tools In My Writing Workflow

I’ve been a technology nut for as long as personal technology has been around. I’ve been using computers since before there was the internet. I remember the early days of surfing the web with Netscape Navigator and soon after using AOL “You’ve Got Mail”.

Having a long relationship with technology and a desire to start writing what better subject to write about than technology. My stories focus on Apple news, iOS, macOS, apps and personal privacy on the internet. I write on Medium here where I’m a top writer in the privacy category as well as my personal blog here.

Here are the apps I use and what I use them for.

My Writing Hardware

I do my writing on a late 2013 21.5 inch iMac running macOS Sierra with a second monitor. The second monitor allows me to have my writing app, preview app and outline all open and viewable at the same time.

How I Capture Ideas

My ideas for things to write about usually come to me while reading or listening to the work of others.

My capture process works like this. I follow 36 tech related news sites and blog RSS feeds. These come together in Inoreader and I process them in Reeder on my iPhone or my Mac. As I go through my feed I save all the articles that I want to read to Pocket for reading later. If an article sparks an idea I’ll save it to a Todoist project I have for writing ideas. A couple of times a week I review my ideas and select the ones that I want to write about. Those ideas then get moved to a different Todoist project where I schedule them for writing and posting to Medium and my blog. Of course, not all my ideas end up being something I write about. At some point, those get deleted.

My Writing Process

My writing process works this way. I start my article as a mind map in MindNode 2 so I have a good outline for what I want to write about. I do my writing in Ulysses and write in markdown. While I’m writing I also have a Marked 2 window open so I can preview my writing as I write. Once I’ve completed my article I proof it in Marked 2 which allows me to check spelling and grammar, readability statistics, word count, time to read, the over-use of words and verification of external links. After that, I also run the article through Grammarly for a second check.

Once all that’s done I’m ready to publish my article. One of Ulysses features is the ability to publish directly to Medium and WordPress blogs. It’s a quick and easy process.

I encourage anyone who struggles to get their ideas out of their head and onto some sort of medium to create a cohesive process.

Links To The Eight Apps In My Writing Workflow