Writing Workflow Resources from WordCamp Seattle

A few resources that I mentioned during my talk today at WordCamp Seattle about my writing workflow. Once the video of my talk is online at WordPress.tv, I’ll share that as well so you can have the complete picture.

Roughly in the order they should’ve been mentioned during my talk:

  • Field Notes – notebooks that I carry everywhere for idea capture
  • OmniFocus – task management application based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done priciples.
  • Evernote – note taking and capture application
  • Dropbox – easily synchronize your plain text drafts (or anything) between computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
  • Markdown – markup language for easy writing for the web
  • Markdown Field Guide – iBook by David Sparks and Eddie Smith with a huge quantity of information about learning Markdown including a bunch of audio interviews and screencasts
  • Byword – Mac, iPhone, iPad text editor with excellent Markdown support
  • MarkdownPad – Windows text editor for Markdown
  • Markdown QuickTags – WordPress plugin for editing Markdown in the WordPress post editor
  • Publish Confirmation Plugin – WordPress plugin to ask you if you’re really sure you wanted to mash that Publish button
  • Editorial Calendar – WordPress plugin for a, um, editorial calendar
  • Dashboard Scheduled Posts – WordPress plugins to show scheduled posts in a widget on the WordPress admin dashboard
  • Sprout Social. – Social media management system that, among other things, allows for queued and scheduled social media updates

Feel free to comment with any questions. A couple of the links above are affilate links and I’ll get a tiny commission if you buy something.

My iPhone Home Screen

A few readers have asked about what I have on my iPhone home screen. Here you go, with links to iTunes pages and explanations below:

Aaron Hockley's iPhone Home Screen

The Dock

Google Voice: I use Google Voice for all of my phone (minimal) and SMS (moderate) needs. Nobody has my actual Verizon cell number. All of my telephony things are Google Voiced.

Gmail: This is a Safari bookmark to the mobile web view of Gmail, my email service of choice. No, I don’t run the actual Gmail app since it’s just a shitty wrapper around the mobile web view. How do I manage notifications? I have my Gmail account configured in the iOS Mail app as well, but the only time I actually use that app is when I use an Email shortcut from another iOS app.

Safari: I hear this whole “web” thing is catching on.

Instacast: I subscribe to a bunch of podcasts and listen while on the go. The corner placement makes it easy to tap this icon quickly.

The Rest

Reeder: A great app for reading RSS feeds which synchronizes with Google Reader. I love the integrations and actively use the ability to send content to Instapaper, Pinboard, and Twitter directly from Reeder.

Google Authenticator: I use two-factor authentication with my Google account; this app provides me with a rotating security token code which is required (in addition to my password) to gain access to my Google resources.

1Password: If you’re trying to manually remember passwords and/or sharing the same password between multiple websites, you’re doing it wrong. 1Password provides a secure storage vault for my passwords along with other bits of information such as frequent flier account numbers, bank information, and other bits that one might carry in their wallet.

Tweetbot: A heavy duty Twitter client with a zillion features. I tweet too much and Tweetbot makes it easy to manage my timeline, @mentions, lists, and searches while on the go.

Elements: I do all of my writing in plain text files synchronized via Dropbox, and Elements is my editor of choice for my iPhone and iPad. The built-in Dropbox integration, TextExpander support, and Markdown preview are lovely.

Calendar: I use the stock iOS calendar app which is synchronized with Google Calendar.

A Folder of Photo Editing Apps: I don’t use these super-often, but the most used are Slow Shutter Cam, Photo Rotate, and Snapseed.

Foursquare: I honestly have no idea why I use Foursquare, but I do.

Camera+: A better camera app than the one provided by iOS, offering the ability to easily control several things while shooting the photo as well as a bunch of editing functions.

Photos: I make pictures. I like to access them.

True HDR: Sometimes I make HDR images with my phone, and TrueHDR does a fine job.

Instagram: My third-favorite social network, behind Twitter and Google+. There is excellent photography shared on Instagram. If you care to follow me, my username is aaronhockley.

App Store: Updates are good.

OmniFocus: How I keep track of the various things related to my day job, photography business, hobbies, and family. It’s a heavy investment but well worth the synchronized powerful system that works on iPhone, iPad, and OS X.

Maps: 90% of my use of the Maps app is for checking traffic. I’d admit that the other 10% is looking for directions except that I’m a guy.

Settings: I mainly go here to muck with WiFi settings.

Overall Notes

I don’t have any badge notifications enabled on my home screen with one exception (below). I don’t want to spend any mental energy focused on little red bubbles. It’s okay that I have notifications. They don’t need to be interruptions. My list of notifications is not my task management system. I’ll get to things when needed. The only exception is Google Voice. A phone call or SMS is probably something that requires a relatively fast response.