Micro.blog

pratik
pratik

I’m still looking for a faster way to write on my Blot blog. I think the friction in typing it in Bear/iA Writer and then moving it to Dropbox with all the proper tags is keeping me from writing more often on there.

Burk
Burk

@pratik One possibility: Drafts with a TextExpander script to create new post skeleton with metadata, then use Drafts actions to move into dropbox folder as file.

pratik
pratik

@Burk I already have a "template" in iA Writer that I use to start a post. But yeah, the moving to Dropbox always makes me use a laptop/desktop to do it right. I have tried Drafts before but have always been intimidated by it.

chadgmoore
chadgmoore

@pratik When I was using a laptop and Blot, I would use Typora and save what I was writing to the drafts folder of Blot. I liked tabbing over to the Finder to drag and drop as the “publish” step. I also used TextEdpander to do the front matter of the post, if needed.

pratik
pratik

@cm That's what I do on my laptop except with iA Writer. I had documented it here. But forgot how onerous it can be to reopen your laptop after you have shut it down after work. I still find the steps that you have listed or what I do as as slower way.

humdrum
humdrum

@pratik +1 for Drafts. I use prompts to add tags and permalink and the date is added automatically so I don't have to ever see or worry about the header detail while composing.

pratik
pratik

@kordumb I may have to revisit it. It's subscription-based now, right? I always subscribe to Bear for my note-taking so lets see.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@kordumb How do you have this setup in Drafts? I’ve got a basic action to upload to Dropbox but that’s it.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@Burk I have not thought about using TextExpander for this.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Drafts is subscription based now but well worth it my opinion. It’s $1.99/month or $19.99/year. All my Blog posts to Blot are done in Drafts. I have a Workspace in Drafts for blog posts that filters notes based on tags, and selects a specific action group for writing.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Drafts can definitely be overwhelming at first. I think it’s best to start using Drafts for a couple of things, like posting to Blot

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik I don’t know if you upload a bunch of photos to Blot but I use Drafts and Shortcuts to upload images. I run an action in Drafts that runs a shortcut which resizes & uploads an image to my Blot asset folder, copied the file name, then pastes a Markdown image link in Drafts

skoobz
skoobz

@pratik That friction is what pushed me away. I believe there's a way to wire it into MicroPub, which would then make the Micro.blog app a potential client of sorts, but it seems like you may need some kind of server access to pull that off.

humdrum
humdrum

@jmreekes Here's one of the actions I use. You'll need to update the path, but it should work out of the box, although you'll probably want to tweak to your own folder/header/date format configurations. I use a separate action for microposts that adds metadata and prefills a tag. Permalink prompt is also used for the file name along with the date. It could probably be automated based on the draft, but I like to mess around with my permalinks. // @pratik

jmreekes
jmreekes

@kordumb Thanks.

humdrum
humdrum

@pratik Pro sub is required to edit actions, but if you settle on the actions and tweak them to satisfaction during the trial, I think you could probably get away without the sub...

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Here that resizes and uploads the image. You may need to re-do the path to your asset/image folder. This is the Drafts action that calls the shortcut. The shortcut works best with one image at a time. I’ve tried to create one to work with multiple images at a time but can never figure out how to get Shortcuts to create more than one image link

pratik
pratik

@kordumb This looks great. I don't mind springing for a pro sub if it cuts back on the friction. I quite liked writing in Bear but it's the post-writing that was frustrating for me.

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes I do upload photos but then have found myself linking to the photo on Flickr. But if you can, please share the action.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Here is the Shortcut. You may need to change the path in the Dropbox step. This is the Drafts action that calls & runs the shortcut.

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Thanks a lot. One at a time works for the most part.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik The Drafts action got messed up. This is the correct link. The shortcut can be run from the Shortcuts app but I prefer to do it from Drafts because the Drafts action pastes the link by itself.

pratik
pratik

@sku_b Yeah, ideally that would be great but I understand that it's a non-platform-based system for blogging so Drafts action seem like the way to go for now.

pratik
pratik

@kordumb Can't edit the Action without a pro sub but looking at it, it looks perfect for me. It just might be worth to go Pro and test it out to see its effect on my blogging :) Thanks for sharing.

Munish
Munish

@pratik would you consider micro.blog? Also love the way your photos are displayed on your blog, is that done automatically ? Check out craft app. Drop text and photos into it and export in many formats. Works well with iA

pratik
pratik

@Munish my short posts and the photo blog are on two separate blogs at Micro.blog. Blot is for my long form posts. I imported my WP posts from 2003 to Blot last year. I quite like it and it’s also cheaper 😊

frostedechoes
frostedechoes

@pratik We have very similar workflows and preferences. I love Bear and prefer to write in it, even almost wanting to move to Wordpress (which I don’t love) just for the ease of posting from Bear. For now, I copy my Bear text to IA Writer, add some front matter and post to M.b.

pratik
pratik

@frostedechoes I have tried that approach and conceptually I like it but it doesn’t work in practice 😬 Practice being me wanting to blog more often.

skoobz
skoobz

@pratik Drafts works well. It’s how I post to Mb most of the time.

pratik
pratik

@sku_b Do you also use it for micro posts?

skoobz
skoobz

@pratik I do. The action I found has categories, so it has everything I need. I also like that it keeps me from the timeline, which can distract me from my initial intent.

pratik
pratik

@sku_b Ah! Makes sense in terms of categories, etc. Now I'm thinking am I the only one using the native app to post to Micro.blog? 😀

Gaby
Gaby

@pratik I use both iA Writer and Drafts. iA is usually for longer posts and whether or not there will be images in between text. I can do the same on Drafts but it feels hacky. Most of my categories are added via filters I’ve set up in Micro.blog. If the content has said word or emoji, it goes to a specific category

pratik
pratik

@Gaby Your blog is on MB, right?

Gaby
Gaby

@pratik yes, and when I was using blot, it was all thru Drafts.

dustinbucher
dustinbucher

@pratik Have you considered using Ulysses or iCloud to reduce friction? I would be very interested in hearing more about your process.

pratik
pratik

@dustinbucher Blot doesn’t support iCloud yet. Wish it does when Apple allows it. For now, it’s only via Dropbox

gpittman
gpittman

@pratik I love the idea of Blot. The themes are badly coded, though, and I didn’t have the time or inclination to fix an existing one or build one from scratch. So for now, I keep my more serious writing on a WordPress site and other writing here at Micro.blog.

pratik
pratik

@gpittman Moved to Blot from WordPress. It works for most part for me apart from the reasons that this conversation started. I've found a theme that works and David (at Blot) is always more than helpful to make quick fixes.

Burk
Burk

@pratik I would be so thrilled if iCloud drive had the right hooks for David to use. It's the only reason I have dropbox installed.

pratik
pratik

@Burk Same :)

pratik
pratik

@kordumb I edited your action and changed the path name. How do I remove the year and month from the permalink in Drafts? Or add the date in as well?

humdrum
humdrum

@pratik when you edit the Dropbox step, below the Path field you updated should be the Template field where you'll see the header matter written out in the first three lines before [[draft]]. If you remove the two date tags, you'll end up with just the permalink prompt text: "Permalink: [[date|%Y]]/[[date|%m]]/[[permalinktext]]" becomes "Permalink: [[permalinktext]]".

Let me know if this doesn't help.

There are ways to update a blog post from drafts by rewriting files, but there's a bit of configuration needed and is easiest through a separate action. If you want some help setting something like that up let me know.

pratik
pratik

@kordumb Perfect. I was looking to edit in the Permalink prompt 🤦🏽‍♂️I'm sure it will work perfectly for next time. Thanks! Feel free to send any other actions that you use :)

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes I tried this out. I'm guessing this is iOS only coz I'm getting a not supported on this platform on the Mac. I'm on Big Sur 11.1 Not having a Shortcuts app on the Mac is the issue, right?

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Yea, the image shortcut is iOS only, unfortunately. I’m sure there are ways to automate it on the Mac but I wouldn’t know where to start

kaa
kaa

@pratik there was that plugin that @amit made for Blot that removed ALL friction.

In reply to
pratik
pratik

@kaa It was a web app, right? Used it once. Not sure if it’s still supported coz I think Amit moved off Blot

kaa
kaa

@pratik thats right hmmm that would be a shame, was it hooked up to his site in any way? I would sefinitey have used it if I was using @blot in that way (which I am not).

amit
amit

@pratik I see it is still up here, a subdomain of Blot. But I am not sure if it's still working or if David is maintaining it. It was more of an itch (similar to yours Pratik) that I wanted to address. //@kaa

pratik
pratik

@amit Thanks, Amit. I recall making couple of posts using this but didn’t use it later. Possibly coz I couldn’t save drafts. @kaa

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Do you have idea of why your shortcut would add a “-2” to the image name when I use it? I’ve set it to overwrite image if it already exists.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik I do not. I’ll take a look when I get a chance and see if it’s doing the same thing to me

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Thanks. No rush. I figured out that’s what was happening after much scratching my head at why the photos were not showing up.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik That’s’ odd. It’s not happening to me and I have overwrite if file exists enabled as well.

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Yup. I tried it again and with the iOS photos default names (img_1355, etc.) so those clearly don't exists in my Assets folder. Yet it adds the "-2" to the file name but that's not what it copy-pastes in the Drafts action with the markdown code.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik I looked at the images I uploaded and it is doing the same thing, adding -2 to the image name when it uploads to Dropbox. I have no idea why

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Well, at least we are having the same issue. And the -2 would be fine if it also copied it that way in the markdown code but it excludes it.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik That’s an easy fix in Shortcuts. In the Shortcut Text Field that has the markdown code, add -2 after NAME. It should look

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Yup, for now. That will have to do. Few years later, I'll be wondering why the heck did I suffix my images with -2 😆 Thanks for brainstorming.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik I think I finally figured this out. For some reason Shortcuts is adding the -2 to the file name. The original shortcut was grabbing the file name from the original image. I changed the shortcut so it grabs the file name for the link from the saved file. Here is the updated

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I don’t know why Shortcuts is adding -2 to the image (unless it thinks it’s a duplicate image). The updated shortcut should solve any future issues if Shortcuts messes with the file names again.

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Thanks a lot. I'll try it out and let you know.

pimoore
pimoore

@sku_b Nice, do you have a link for the drafts shortcut?

skoobz
skoobz

@peterimoore Hopefully this works.

pimoore
pimoore

@sku_b Got it, thank you sir! 🙏

pimoore
pimoore

@frostedechoes When you say you add the front matter in iA Writer, are you adding that right within the markdown, or are you referring to the micropub authoring within the app?

frostedechoes
frostedechoes

@peterimoore I add it at the top: Title: A Post Date: 2/3/2021 Tags: #blogpost ——-

IA Writer then doesn’t render that in the output.

frostedechoes
frostedechoes

@peterimoore Being able to put multimarkdown style metadata in the header is a great feature of IA Writer.

pimoore
pimoore

@frostedechoes that’s awesome, my current plan is still to have my main long form blog on Jekyll and short posts with MB, so it’s nice to be able to maintain front matter in both.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Has the updated image upload short been working better for you?

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes For some strange reason, it keeps using the older version of the iOS shortcut although I’ve overwritten it with the new version you sent

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik I decided to start over from scratch. Something in the old & new-old shortcut was causing the shortcut to add -2 (I think it was the IF step). This shortcut does NOT add -2

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik The new-new one converts any selected image to JPEG & adds to a variable , resizes that variable to 1000 x auto-height & adds to a new/final variable, and uploads the final variable to Dropbox without adding -2.

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes Yup. Works perfectly now. Thanks! 🙏🏽

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik I’m trying to work on getting it to upload multiple images and correctly create each markdown link.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik You’re welcome.

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes While you are at it, in the current shortcut, maybe you can add a prompt for the image name? 😬 It's mostly my OCD brain who wants to rename all those IMG_XXX image names in the folder.

jmreekes
jmreekes

@pratik Try this one. It works from Drafts as well

pratik
pratik

@jmreekes You're awesome! 🙌🏽