Blog Clog – Streamlining the Blog Flow

Posted on Posted in Mechanical

As I mentioned before, I have a full-time job. To be more specific, I have a full-time job starting next week. I’ve been using this free time before I start to set up the blog, but concerned parties have already asked how I intend to keep a blogging schedule between this and our other blog.

That’s a fair question. The first part of the answer is that actually my dog, Saucy, runs the other blog (which is really much more humorous than this one because she has a better sense of humor). Still, I have to help to her type up her updates, so the question still stands.

The second part of how I intend to keep up the blog flow involves streamlining my work flow. Below are a couple if helpful apps that work for me:

Working at home: MarsEdit

This blog runs on WordPress and Dr. Sauce’s blog runs on Google’s Blogger. Both of these have easy to use web interfaces (I am partial to WordPress, but the dog likes Blogger since she does simple posts of GIFs and funny pictures). Since I’m responsible for uploads on multiple blogs, I’ve found MarsEdit to be invaluable.

MarsEdit is a Mac app that allows you edit, preview, and post blog entries from the app. It’s a breeze to set up and you can link it to multiple blogs.

There are some real advantages to using MarsEdit, as opposed to the browser-based postings. My favorite:

  • Easy to switch the blog you post to via drop down menu
  • Work offline and store local drafts
  • Ability to use visual (Word-like) or HTML editing
  • Very easy to attach, resize, and automatically upload media
  • An excellent customizable preview

There aee some disadvantages, primarily the lack if a toolbar (all options are selected from menus), but overall it makes working at home much easier.

Working on the go (or in bed or the bathroom or whatever)

I like to draft posts while I’m out of the house (for instance I’m writing this at the dog park). The problem is that writing a text draft on an iPhone or iPad app can sometimes be cumbersome. It also means that I’ll need to reformat things when I get back home if I want to transfer it to MarsEdit or a browser posting system.

To make this simpler, I’ve since switched to writing my on-the-go posts in Markdown. It’s a minimal mark-up language that you can think of it like a very simplified HTML coding. It allows you to write in plain text and quickly mark-up headings, links, bold, italics, lists, and more. I actually use MultiMarkdown, which has a few more options, like footnotes.

To do this, I use Writing Kit on my iPhone and iPad. It syncs with Drop Box and allows you to write Markdown files (saved as .txt), so I’ll have a 95% complete posting web I get home. No need to reformat!

You could really use any plain text editor for Markdown, but Writing Kit’s sync feature and its handy shortcut buttons on the interface makesit my top choice.

Publishing the on-the-go work

When I get home, I usually export my .txt file to another Markdown app to preview it as a complete post and clean up any formatting, add links, etc. Alternatively or subsequently, I copy and paste the text it into MarsEdit’s HTML edit window. Here I usually add any media links and BAM post it to WordPress.1

Voila! With that setup it’s a piece of pizza to work on posts and save drafts either at home or on the go. I can have properly formatted posts written and ready to edit or publish, so it’s much easier to maintain a regular schedule.

If you’ve got a different set-up or other ideas, I’d love to hear them. In the future, hopefully I’ll be able to give some insight into the less mechanical aspects.


  1. Using Markdown with WordPress requires a special plug-in, but it’s free and painless to install from here

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