Desk – A writing tool

John Saddington worked on his new OS X publishing app, Desk, for about 250 days. I was priveleged to be invited to test the app for a few months so when it was released in the Mac App Store today, I immediately installed a copy.

John designed Desk to remove the distracting clutter from your mind and help you focus on what matters most: Your thoughts. It’s designed to be simple and intuitive, yet powerful and fast. Desk supports a number of publhsing platforms including:

  • WordPress (self-hosted and .com)
  • Blogger / Blogspot
  • Tumblr
  • Squarespace
  • Movable Type
  • Typepad
  • Facebook Notes

1-Desk-App-Screenshot-Platforms

When you first launch Desk, you’ll see how minimal the writing experience is. I was presented with little more than a rectangular window into which I could immediately start writing or drag and drop and image. Desk support both WYSIWYG and Markdown style editing. There is no need to switch between these two choice. Desk uses both of these as the same time.

4-Desk-App-Screenshot-Markdown-WYSIWYG

With Desk I can save a draft locally on my iMac for completion later or store it in iCloud and continue editing from my MacBook Air. iCloud keeps everything in sync and automatically saves my edits.

Most of my blogging is done either via the WordPress web GUI or MarsEdit. While MarsEdit gets the job done the user experience is a bit dated and clunky. In comparison, Desk feels modern and light weight. Feature wise, Desk does everything I can do in MarsEdit.

  • Access, edit, and update existing posts and drafts
  • Drag-and-drop images right into the editor
  • Features for each publishing platform (e.g. Featured images, categories, tags, custom slugs/URLs, etc.)
  • Preview mode with real-time updating

2-Desk-App-Screenshot-Speed

One nifty feature of Desk is that I can chose one platform and configuration as a default. Since WordPress is my main publishing platform and most of my posts are images post, I configured Desk so that publishing is just a single click.

One thing I have been paying attention to recently is the length of my blog posts. In the past some of my post have been long but quite a number are very short; about a sentence or two. While I want to increase the amount of long form content I create I also want to have increase the word count of my image post. I want to write at least 500 word per posts. The Desk editor window displays real-time metadata information such as character count, word count and time to read. Files can be exported as HTML, RTF,PDF and DOCX.

5-Desk-App-Screenshot-Edit-Existing-Posts

John says that Desk is a product that has been more than 10+ years in the making and that he came up with the idea for desk in 2002 while on a road trip down the coast of Florida with his brother. It seems a good idea will persist and persistence can bring ideas to reality.

John-Saddington-2014-Desk-App-1

Silicon Valley’s Dystopian Dream

A divide is growing between the people who wholeheartedly embrace a radically new, radically self-centred vision of human life, and the people who do not. The internal lives of the tech elite, centred on the labour-saving innovations of Silicon Valley, are at odds with semi-atavistic conceptions of how people interact. Traditions and shared values are redundant, inefficient, and must be optimised out of existence. via The tech utopia nobody wants: why the world nerds are creating will be awful by JR Hennessy writing for the theguardian.com

Staying Creative

Voice. When I feel block beginning to set in (and you can feel it approach; it doesn’t tend to just drop down suddenly), I get up from the desk and grab a voice-recorder, then just brainstorm as I pace around. There’s something magical about just talking aloud. Pause and resume often, and you’ll find that your mind manages to fill in the gaps. Matt Gemmell

Good tips on keeping the creative juices flowing.  I’m in need of that right now in both my photography and my writing.  I’ve also noticed that I get a lot of ideas when I’m not sitting at the computer.  My most creative thought time is when I’m in the shower or driving to work.

Posted via Desktop Publishing Machine