Adjusting My Workflow

I’m in the process of learning ways in which I can use Scrivener to write my blog posts. Unfortunately because I am using the free hosting from WordPress, I am somewhat limited in my options. As it stands, I’ll have to write my posts separately and then ‘cut and paste’ into the WordPress online editor through my web browser. If I were to ‘go pro’, then I believe I could export a post in either Markdown or HTML and send it directly to my blog. Well, I’m just notthat professional… actually I’m not a pro at all, which is why I am using free services and looking for alternatives to paid software to build a workflow with which I can work with on a daily basis.

Now, after such a long introduction, you must be asking yourself; so what? There are several answers to this question.

For one, I’m trying to clean up my computer and get rid of programs which I don’t use or whose trials have expired. In doing so, I have been looking at using free software or making better use of the programs I already have. The sad truth is I’m not rich, so I can’t just go out and buy whatever I want no matter how useful it might be.

(This is true for my music as well. Thanks to having as basement, I have a collection of old CDs which at one point was transferred into iTunes. Well, I don’t listen to those CDs, nor do I tend to add any those songs to my playlists which means they have been taking up space foryears. I just don’t need or want them any more and they need to go. In their place I am gather new music from free services such as NoiseTrade). Which leads me to the second reason for all of this work…

In this wonder age of instant information and access to pretty much any program, provided your willing to look in some questionable places and don’t mind using the electronic version of a five finger discount, you can find pretty much anything you desire for free. Of course this has been a touchy situation for musicians for years and complains and programmers alike have gone to great lengths to try and stop this practice.

As a parent of three boys, two of whom will be teenagers this year, I have a hard time trying to use the old “do as I say and not as I do” method of teaching them right from wrong. So if I want them to be responsible adults, I have to show them now there are ways to meet their needs without stealing and the best way to do so is to practice what I preach.

It doesn’t guarantee they will do the right thing, but if they don’t, it will not because they learned such behavior from me.

Which brings me back to the issue of either free software or using what I already have.

As it happens, I bought Scrivener several years ago and have kept it around mainly for use during the annual NaNoWritMo every November. There were several reason for doing so at the time, I really liked the software, it was on sale, and I thought it would be useful for writing poetry as well as anything else I wanted to write. As too often happens, I have failed to use this resource to its full potential which means I pretty much wasted my money. As it happens, I can’t afford to toss money around in such a way so I really would like to find every possible use for it.

Now I could spend a great deal of time going over all the aspects of Scrivener, but I think it best if you went and looked at their webpage at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

Has it happens, most of the solutions I found make use of similar methods of using a Word Processor to create your post and then pasting it into the WordPress online editor. The main reason for using Scrivener as compared to MSWord, Pages, or any of the free WPs available for Mac, Windows, or Linux is because it gives me a single location to keep all my information instead of having it spread out over dozens of separate documents.

This can be reduced by creating a single folder to hold all of your posts, but there will still be many subfolders depending on how often you post. So if your like me and post every day, your looking at a minimum of 365 separate documents!

I learned the method I’m going to use at http://thaddeushunt.com/writing-scrivener-as-a-complete-blogging-system/

It’s really simple when you think about it and if you already have Scrivener then it makes sense to use it. Which brings me to my final thoughts.

Scrivener costs $45US and is available for both WIN and Mac. It can be downloaded from their website or the Mac App Store.

MarsEdit costs $40US, is specifically designed for blogging but is available only on Mac. It can also be found on their website or the Mac store.

Maybe you noticed something, both of these programs cost money, not as much as some games you could buy, but still a difficult stretch for people on a tight budget, which is why I have spent so much time trying to find free alternatives. As it happens, I have only looked at what is available for Mac and Linux and I am aware there are many more Windows users out there. Thankfully, the one thing I have found is almost universal praise for Windows Live Writer which is part of the Live Essentials bundle. I know there are a number of other free options out there and you can find them fairly easily through a simple Google search.

As it happens, there really aren’t too many options if you have a Mac or Linux computer. Most of what I found was either sadly out of date, no longer being developed, or else it simply didn’t work the way I needed it to. This is one of the times I wish I was a programmer so I could design something useful and free, but wish in one hand….

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to share.


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13 thoughts on “Adjusting My Workflow

  1. Hey Kira!

    Thanks for linking to my post and I am so glad you found some use in it! 🙂 Nice to stumble upon yet another avid fellow NaNo writer that loves Scrivener as well!

    Write on and cheers,

    Tad

  2. One of the NaNo recommendations was Yarny. It’s a web-based word processor, and I think it’s free. The up side is you can access it from any computer because it’s web-based. I stopped using it when I bought Scrivener, but you might find it useful.

    1. A useful resource, thank you.

      My interest is in keeping a local copy of my posts which is one of the reasons I was looking for a desktop editor like MarsEdit, but either less expensive or free.
      As I mentioned, most really aren’t up to par in the Mac and Linux worlds so it’s either pay or piece meal a solution together.

  3. I’ve been looking at this option as well. I’ve used Scrivener for a couple of years now, and I would love to be able to keep track of my posts in another project, and move them over to my blog when I’m ready.

      1. I’m giving it a trial run myself. If things continue to go well I plan on staying with this method. I still want to learn MML and maybe HTML too so I understand what’s going on under the hood, but of course, I don’t have to.

      2. I use a little HTML still when I want to do something fancy on the blog–mostly for sub- and superscripting. These days you can get by without it. But learning cascading style sheets–there’s where the money is.

  4. Here are some ideas for the Mac.

    ecto Cost $19.95
    http://illuminex.com/ecto/

    Blogo Cost $25
    http://www.getblogo.com/

    myWPEdit Cost $9.99
    http://mywpedit.com/

    Like you said there isn’t any that many options for Mac or Linux. You can email publish directly to your WordPress blog.

    Windows Live Writer is a good program for Windows users

    Being a programmer myself, it would be nice to do it. But a lot of time required to do something like that and debugging it, but something that maybe I can do in my spare time.

    Learning HTML would be real beneficial and not that bad to learn. Sort of the universal language when it comes to the web and even a basic knowledge helps out a lot. Especially the new HTML5.

    CSS is a different beast. You can do some awesome stuff with it, but there is a catch. Not all web browsers implement it right or according to the specification. So you might code a page that looks good in say Firefox and then a Internet Explorer user comes along and it looks crappy to them. Drive me nuts at times using it and making sure no matter which web browser a person uses it looks the same.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and the links. It’s a dance to find software which meets your needs and fits your budget.

      I agree about learning HTML, there is never a good reason to not learn something new.

      I’m just glad I;m not a programmer just because it means I miss all of the frustration of finding something should work but doesn’t because a company doesn’t play nice with others.

      Oh, and IE just plain sucks, I can’t understand why anyone would choose to use it when there better alternatives out there for free.

      But that’s just me.

      1. Oh yeah there is that aspect of being a programmer. But then there is the support of the people who use the software which can be draining at times. One of the reasons I got out of it as a career. But I did love finding bugs and fixing them. It was like solving a puzzle which I enjoy doing.

        Oh we can spend hours even days about IE and other browsers talking about their shortcomings. Actually myself I just whatever browser does the job for me at the time. Its like having several different types of screwdrivers. Each one could do the job but I pick the best one for the job at hand 🙂 Same with browsers, each one has its strengths and weaknesses but none of them do what I want all the time. 😛

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