How do you organize your blog post ideas?

(Ilhan) #1


I’m looking for a way to properly organize all of my blog post ideas. I’ve thus far been capturing them in a Someday/Maybe Project in OmniFocus that on pause.

I thought I might organize them in a Google Sheet, but find that scrolling for large multi-line cells doesn’t work so well in Google Sheets. Do you have any recommendations, tools, or methods you use to organize your blog post and content ideas?

Thank you,

(Wilson Ng) #2

I’ve been using Ulysses on my iPad and my Mac to capture to the Ulysses inbox. Then later, I move them to a group called “Blog ideas” for further development later. I’ll sometimes use tags but usually the first line will give me a good idea of what my blog post ideas are.

Here is @joebuhlig’s sample for his workflow

(Ilhan) #3

This is great, thank you. I didn’t consider Ulysses at first, due to what is, in my opinion, a rather high subscription fee. But it seems to be more or less what I’m looking for.

I have a few websites that I’m organizing blog posts for, so I’m going to adopt Joe’s 1./2./3./4 workflow and add sub-sections to Step 1 (Ideas) for the different websites. I’ll try that out for now and see how it works out.

Thanks again,


(Ilhan) #4

Also, I welcome more suggestions, as I’ve started putting my ideas into the various text files in Ulysses and I’m not sure about how I feel about something that’s not easily exportable.

Is there something that does what Ulysses does, but syncs with Dropbox (or simply a folder of text files on my computer that happen to be in Dropbox)?

I mainly need it on my mac.

There is an app on iOS that does this called 1Writer, but they don’t have a Mac version, unfortunately.

Also, I’ve tried Scrivener, but find the serif fonts ugly and get overwhelmed by all of the options when I go to change them in settings. It is way overkill.

(Wilson Ng) #5

The subscription gives you access to use it on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. No need to buy two or three separate apps.

If you do a lot of blog writing, this price will pay itself ten times over. I’ve switched easily from my Mac mini at the office to an iPad with Bluetooth keyboard when I’m on the road.

When you’re done with the blog, it’s easy to export in a wide verity of formats. You can use the free 14 day trial to see if you like it.

You can use iCloud to manage your text files. I also see a feature to add Dropbox. I’ve been satisfied with the iCloud sync and haven’t had any worries yet,

I’m not affiliated with Ulysses in any way.

(Ilhan) #6

In the end, I’m going to keep it simple and use Google Sheets to write down ideas, notes on the ideas, and maybe some other metadata in separate columns. I can have all of my blogs on the same page and use filters to filter through the different blogs I want to look at.

As for writing, I will probably use Byword for active blog posts. I don’t need to store all of my ideas in the writing app. IIRC Byword can sync with both Dropbox and iCloud, so I can have multiple posts that I’m writing active at the same time.

The only way I think that it would make more sense to have something like Ulysses would be if I was continually gathering snippets of text and ideas for multiple blog posts and wanted to be able to jump from one to the other to scrapbook all of this research. I don’t see that as my workflow though.

(Joe Buhlig) #7

I’ve found that using Ulysses for this has been a nice upgrade. It’s so simple to move things from one group to another and it’s universal across my devices. So I can collect ideas on my phone but do the heavy lifting on my Mac.

Since you can link a DropBox folder to Ulysses, I found that you can build the whole infrastructure in DropBox and then access the files that way. Then it’s just a matter of drag and drop out of DropBox to wherever you want to go.

(Wilson Ng) #8

It’s just text files in Ulysses and exportable .


I’ve done everything from single notes per idea in Evernote and Ulysses to a running list in apple notes to creating a draft per idea on Wordpress.

Collecting seems like the easy part.

Getting around to doing something with those thoughts and links is my problem.

It’s brain crack.

(Wilson Ng) #10

Well, you’ve got the collecting habit down. Now it’s time to get into inbox processing and doing next! :muscle:


Yeah. I think it’s a matter of scheduling time. Hoping and dreaming doesn’t seem like it’s working.

(Ilhan) #12

Since you can link a DropBox folder to Ulysses, I found that you can build the whole infrastructure in DropBox and then access the files that way. Then it’s just a matter of drag and drop out of DropBox to wherever you want to go.

Interesting. I just connected a text file folder from Dropbox of my goals/vision in different life areas and have been easily jumping from text file to text file as I review and refine my long-term vision. This is a lot better than opening up each individual text file from Finder.

I may continue to look at Ulysses as a text file editor in the future, to use in addition to nvALT (that I use I work with my main text file folder right now). In relation to this, @joebuhlig, why do you think it’s more worthwhile to store your text in Ulysses rather than simply use it to edit text files on something like Dropbox? Faster sync through iCloud maybe?

(Ilhan) #13

@KevinR: I’m considering using the “Editorial Calendar” WordPress plugin to plan out my posts for each blog. That way, I will have built-in deadlines to complete each blog post, rather than having them as nebulous ideas that are up in the air. Check it out here: WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin


(Joe Buhlig) #14

It’s primarily due to paid storage. I use DropBox primarily for sharing files with others and that means my free storage limit is always pushing full. I have a 2TB account with iCloud. So it makes sense to put as much in there as I can.

At this point, I’m simply waiting for access to the raw files behind Ulysses. I’ve seen a few things that make me think they’ll enable this. But at the same time, I don’t see the need right now. If I really need the raw files out, I can drag-drop them into DropBox and move them.

(Ilhan) #15

I noticed that Ulysses has a pretty customizable export feature for notes, but it’s true that you’re not exactly accessing the raw files in the file system, like you mentioned.

(Curtis Spendlove) #16

My Mac decided to take a bit of a hiatus, so I haven’t checked it in the recent versions of Ulysses, but I trust Joe. If he hasn’t found a plain-text version of the files they probably aren’t there.

That said, I’m pretty sure even if you choose to not pay the subscription fee you don’t lose read access. You’d still have the ability to export them. Would take a while, though, if you had a lot of sheets.

I use Ulysses as well to organize and write my blog posts. I then copy/paste to VS Code to drop the actual post into Jekyll. I’ve started using Ulysses for my books as well. I really kinda use it for everything that isn’t a coding project.

So far it has been able to handle every export I’ve needed.