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.

Speaking About WordPress Writing at WordCamp Seattle

WordCamp SeattleI’m excited to announce that I’ll be in Seattle on June 8th to speak at WordCamp Seattle, a conference for writers, designers, developers, and others using the WordPress platform.

First, if you’re anywhere in the Pacific Northwest and use WordPress and haven’t yet purchased a ticket for the event, go do that now because it’s on the way to being a sold-out event. Then come back here, and read more about the fact that I’m speaking about

Writing Workflow for WordPress

Having blogged for over 12 years, a majority of that time with WordPress, and having written thousands of articles for a variety of websites, I’ve figured out some tips, tricks, and methods for ensuring a relatively frictionless writing process that produces pleasing results.

This talk will be aimed at intermediate and advanced users who are already familiar with WordPress basics such as posts vs. pages, installing a plugin, adding images, and other fundamentals.

My talk will encompass a look at how I write articles for the online world. From a process standpoint, this flow will include:

  • capturing and prioritizing ideas
  • drafting articles
  • preparing an article for publication (proofing, adding media, etc)
  • post-publishing promotion and followup

I also plan to dive into specific tools for the process, including:

  • writing in Markdown (why, how to learn, and tools)
  • managing scheduled posts (plugins that help)
  • a system for ensuring steps in the publishing process aren’t overlooked
  • a quick look at article promotion tools that don’t involve spamming or sleaze

Attendees should walk away with several ideas for increasing the efficiency of their writing and publishing process using a WordPress platform.

Interesting Links Roundup: July 10th

As I wander the web I find interesting things. I share:

What have you seen lately that’s interesting?

That Creative Twitch

One of the hallways inside San Francisco City HallWhen I don’t get to create, I get twitchy.

A day in which I don’t make a photograph, write a blog post, create some video, or engage in another act of creation is a day in which I feel I’ve failed and landed in a bad place.

Wednesday was such a day. After a frustrating day of computer problems and meetings, I had dinner with my family and then Jennifer and I went to an adults-only event at the local science museum. It was a lot of fun, but by the time we arrived home around 10pm I was tired and didn’t have the energy or time to make something. I checked a couple things quickly on the computer and got ready for bed.

And then I realized something was bothering me. After a couple minutes I identified the lack of much creativity as being that thing.

I grabbed my iPad off the nightstand, opened Byword, and wrote this post. And then that twitch was gone. I made something.

What happens when your creativity isn’t able to spill out?

Interesting Links Roundup: April 16th

As I wander the web I find interesting things. I share:

What have you seen lately that’s interesting?

Consolidating Social Outlet Overload: Interesting… from Aaron

Decorative metal along the edge of a roofline on the Seattle waterfrontLast week I mused about spreading content widely vs. attempting to reduce fragmentation, and it ties into a related topic: how do you keep track of interesting things that someone does, regardless of their, and your, platforms of choice? I publish here, on Google+, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram regularly. Most of the time I’m sharing different content with different audiences. How can someone keep track of the best stuff without following me everywhere?

I don’t have a magical solution for everyone. But I now have a practical solution for keeping up with the “best of the best” things that I write, photograph, curate, and share. I’m announcing the creation of Interesting… from Aaron. Enter your email address to get started:

Interesting… from Aaron is a once-weekly message that will contain:

  • My favorite photo I’ve created that week
  • Some not-published-elsewhere thoughts on an interesting observation or learning
  • Links to any interesting things I’ve written that week
  • Links to a few interesting things that other folks have written

The best of the things I’ve created or seen (photography, internet/tech, media, wackiness) distilled into one easy message each week.