I'm writing this blog post in Drafts.app on my Mac. But before I publish it, I'll also probably do some light editing of it on my iPad before bed. And I've been capturing ideas, short thoughts, and building a basic outline on my phone over the past few days as things occur to me or I find myself with a bit of downtime.
I've been a heavy Drafts.app user on iOS for years. But this workflow is relatively new for me and came about with the release of its Mac counterpart two months ago.
Previously, for going on I don't know how many years, all of my long-form writing, which typically means blog posts, has lived exclusively in MarsEdit. (Really long-form stuff like magazine articles and a few aborted attempts at writing a book are done in Scrivener.) The app syncs perfectly with WordPress and allows me to write in Markdown and preview my words in a live, pixel-perfect preview of my blog's template.
But MarsEdit doesn't sync between my desktop and laptop. And there's no iOS counterpart for writing on-the-go. So that forced me to write the whole post from first draft to published version on the same machine. It also meant the outlines for my longer posts and short scribblings lived in other apps - sometimes OmniOutliner, other times Apple Notes, and occasionally OmniFocus and Drafts.app. I didn't have a single unified workspace for all my thoughts.
Drafts for Mac has changed that. With seamless sync, I can begin writing anywhere I want, come to a stopping point, and pick back up later exactly where I left off on any device.
Drafts has become the place "where text is."
I couldn't agree more. Looking through my Drafts Archive section, it's now overflowing not just with short beginnings and snippets that got quickly shuttled off to other apps, but real writing. It's my one place for everything in-progress as well as a history of final outcomes.
As for the specifics of my new blogging workflow, all of my posts are assigned a tag of
blog. (It's currently the only tag I use for anything.) Then, I have two custom Workspaces.
One called "Blog Posts" which only shows drafts tagged
blog, defaults to Markdown syntax highlighting, and automatically switches to my Markdown helper keyboard on iOS.
And then there's another workspace titled "Everything". It doesn't actually show everything. Rather, it's everything that's not tagged with
blog. I've currently got about twenty unfinished posts in some form or another in my Inbox. I don't want those clogging up and crowding all my other notes which tend to be more "action oriented".
These two workspaces let me quickly switch between notes that I might need to do something with or reference and those that stick around longer and require a more focused, creative mood to tackle.
And as an added bonus, the Mac app can now show a live preview of your post rendered in your website's theme, too - just like MarsEdit. (The iOS app has been able to do this for a while as well, but it doesn't let you see the preview and edit text at the same time.)
Anyway, that's all a long way of saying that I couldn't be happier with this new setup. Drafts truly is where all of my text starts.