December 4, 2018

My publishing workflow

Last week, community member @sku_b asked a question about using Shortcuts and Drafts to publish blog posts. A few other users tagged me in reply, knowing that I do all my drafting, editing, and publishing (for the main blog and for micro posts) on my phone, and asked me to share my workflow.

To be honest, I don’t have a very robust setup, and it’s perhaps a little too cumbersome and not as streamlined as it could or should be, but the system I have works for me. I’ll share it here, with the caveat that it could be a lot easier, better, and perhaps more robust.

Post templates

I have three different kinds of posts that I regularly publish: micro posts, weekend reading link posts, and regular blog posts. (My marginalia, travel and mixtape posts all use the regular blog template.)

Screenshot of Drafts actions

For each type of post, I have a different template setup in Drafts, and I use an action to trigger the appropriate template for the kind of post that I’m writing. Each template includes the headers required for Blot to ensure I have the right filename, slug, and summary. In the case when I begin writing in Drafts before I know if I’m going to post on the blog, I simply merge the template with the appropriate draft when I’m ready to publish.

Screenshot of Drafts action details

Saving images

Uploading is done from my camera roll using a simple variation to the Save to Dropbox shortcut that I’ve updated to allow me to add my own alt text and filename. (All my images for my blog are saved in my assets’ folder and have the same path structure.) I simply select the images I want to upload, run the shortcut, follow the prompts, and then I’m left with text on my clipboard that allows me to paste the images anywhere in the blog post that I seem appropriate.

Publishing to Blot

When I’m ready to publish, I trigger the appropriate action in Drafts and the blog post gets published to appropriate place. My actions are all just variations on the standard Save to Dropbox action, with the appropriate file path and filename. Micro posts get published into the /micro folder, marginalia posts into /marginalia, and so on and so forth. From there, Blot takes care of the rest, and I start thinking about what I’m going to write next.

Screenshot of Drafts action details

Screenshot of Drafts action details