Pencils and Moleskines 08 by Paul Worthington
Pencils and Moleskines 08 by Paul Worthington. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Keep It Simple

I’ve been spending some time over in the Desk community. Being involved in that community has helped me stay more focused on writing on a more regular basis and in many ways has helped improve my writing.

Today I took a look at some of the feature request posts. I do that occasionally hoping for some insight on what John might be thinking about doing with the app. One of the comments stood out. It struck a nerve with me.

It is only bleedingly obvious to me that the GUI should work like this:
File -> Open
Window shows the registered blogs as folders.
Click on the blog you want to edit
Window shows the most recent posts (options to filter, sort etc)
Click on post
Editor appears with post
That is as far as I know the way every other editor works. Why reinvent the wheel?Thomas Kejser

Screenshot2015-02-1010.22.09.png

Maybe that’s how a blog management system might work. But to me, Desk isn’t just another “me to” content management system editor. It’s a writing tool. Writing is front and center the reason John wrote the app. I don’t think he set out to create a simple desktop front end to a content management system.

This is my workflow for pushing content to my blog.

  • Launch app
  • Write (in Markdown)
  • Add Optional Image
  • Publish

I don’t hit publish until I’m ready. I spell check and grammar check … twice. Then when ready, I publish. If my post includes multiple images I might choose to use Desk for the writing part, push to my blog as a draft, and then upload the image to WordPress and publish from there. I do a lot of things with my images that Desk isn't capable of handling. But I don't want it to.

I think the challenge Thomas is facing is he is publishing too soon. Before he's done with his writing he pushes his post to his blog -- as he's writing it. Why not just finish writing first? Why not just save your edits as a local draft, then when ready, publish? If he took the time — just a few minutes — to check his writing he could make changes immediately. There would be no need (want) for what he’s suggesting.

I think what makes Desk special is what was left out. If John started adding this feature and that feature then Desk would become just yet-another blogging app. There are many of them. You have your choice of the MarsEdit, Blogo, Pixel Pumper etc. Perhaps MarsEdit is a better tool for you. It has a non-trivial amount of knobs to turn but supports slightly fewer publishing platforms than Desk.

I just think that sometimes one must pause to think about what the goal is.

Am I trying to get my thoughts published with as little distraction as possible or am I trying to manage a blog?

NOTE: I apologize if this response seems rude. That’s not my intent.

Published via Desk.

One comment

  1. Thanks for this Khurt. I think what I'm trying to help others do is to simply write more... and execute with as much excellence as they can muster without having to go back and edit the hell out of their post!

    there must be a balance... or at least an effort to practice and become better at it.

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