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iPad Writing Workflow

I've been reading a lot about workflows and ways to be a creator with the iPad, vs. just a consumer of content. Below is the writing workflow I have started using. I thought it could be helpful to others, since there is no shortage of apps and tips out there.

Requirements

I had a few requirements that apps I evaluated needed to satisfy. I write in Markdown, so I needed the app, where I will do my composition, to support both Markdown syntax and Markdown preview. A keyboard with Markdown shortcuts was not a requirement, but was a "nice to have" addition. Export options needed to include both plain text and HTML. Dropbox sync was also a must. Brett Terpstra has put together a truly awesome iOS text editor comparison chart, located here. You can click on the features across the top and it will dim the apps that don't meet that requirement. I work from a few different machines/devices, so Markdown/plain text composition allows me to work with the files no matter what OS I'm dealing with at the time.

T&C runs on Squarespace, which has great iOS and Android apps for publishing. The app's post composer recognizes Markdown natively, but I prefer to write and preview elsewhere, and let the Squarespace app handle the publishing step.

Apps

  • Reeder
  • Instapaper
  • WriteUp
  • Squarespace

I read RSS feeds through Reeder, sometimes saving longer reads in Instapaper. If I'm creating a link post, these two apps are integral to consuming the info, which I then add my thoughts to via T&C.

WriteUp is an app that met all of my text composition needs on the iPad. I use Byword on the Mac, and they also offer an iOS app, but I find WriteUp to be perfect for my needs so far. It has Markdown keyboard shortcuts, which are really nice to have. I write, proof and preview the post in WriteUp. This syncs to Dropbox for long term storage of the plain text. When the post is complete, WriteUp exports the plain text to the clipboard and I paste it into the composition window in the Squarespace app. I'm able to tweak post settings, add tags and finally, publish.

That's pretty much it.