I’ve spent a good part of the year to date wondering on how I will write using different app or techniques and I’ve said it before and I guess after some review I am going to go back to using Google Docs for blogging and writing.
There are many reasons, but the big one is I can use the gabriel google add on to post directly to my blog. This of course, depends on the fact that the support for this add on will continue to be supported and allow me to post to github pages using jekyll.
I have tried lots of different ways to write and they all have some flaw:
Marxico - you can use it to create and export but you can’t use it to open files. It does sync to evernote, but I use google keep now for my notes anyway.
Calmly Writer - this was actually a pretty good solution I thought but it doesn’t work well with YAML front matter. This is something that the gabriel plugin takes care of but if I need to create it myself it doesn’t really format right.
Caret Markdown Editor - I really liked using this app but it doesn’t work well across all my devices and I want to have one system in place for writing and not ten.
Caret Text Editor for Chrome - Some days, this is my first choice as it’s just text and you can write markdown fairly easy but then you lose keyboard shortcuts when writing and I love me some keyboard shortcuts.
Stackedit - This is very similar to Marxico, but allows me to post to github from the app. But I was having issues getting it to post regularly so I discontinued use.
Classeur - I think this app is from the folks at stackedit and I think stackedit is going away over time and this will be the replacement. It’s got lots of neat stuff but if I’m going to have to use another method to post because I can’t get the app to post regularly than I might as well use plain old text to write.
All the other markdown text editors I have tried to work with have some flaw or another and after a while it gets old trying to get something that works reliably and so far the Google Docs and gabriel method is working for me.
A bonus is that I can add an image and it gets uploaded at the same time so I don’t have to upload an image and to github first as all images I included will be posted at the same time I publish the post.
Like this: (NOTE: )
(incidentally, I uploaded this photo to google maps and it’s been viewed over 3000 times)
I can stop writing on Google Docs and fine up any other device to continue my writing and that’s something a lot of other methods can’t compete with.
Google docs as a whole lot of other features I will never use like sharing and who knows what I else. It sucks that I don’t have work count at a glance like some other apps do but I suppose I can live without.
And, I don’t have to worry about synchronization and backups if I use Google Docs to write with vs some other device because all my Google stuff is in the cloud.
I still have Ubuntu installed on my Chromebooks and Windows PC’s as well if I have to do some command line tweaking to get things looking the way I want but for my 1000 posts project all I need to do is write and add an image and some links and hit publish again and again and again and Google Docs looks like it’s up for the task.
(incidentally, I uploaded this photo to google maps and it’s been viewed over 3000 times)
That’s it. I want add images and links easily and be able to write and export to a text file which this app seems to allow me to do with ease.
Once I’m done writing I export the file to the posts folder on my drive and then add/commit/push the changes to github where they get posted to my jekyll site on github automagically.
I will give this a shot for a few days. I do need to have ubuntu installed on my chromebook so I can use git but I could always use an online IDE like cloud 9 if I wanted to, but putting my chrome devices into dev mode is not that big of a deal and once I have crouton installed I can enter the chroot via the command line and I’m good.
So far, of all the writing tools I have tried to publish this blog and others calmly writer might be the best I’ve tried to date. I will give it a day or so but so far so good.
I’m having a heck of a time finding the perfect method on which to write. I know I am concentrating on the tools instead of the content but I don’t want to get a system set up and then have to re-invent the wheel.
I thought I had it yesterday when I thought I could run my favorite markdown editor in a window with Crouton but it seems that then I run it on my Dell Chromebook 13 and it works, but I find that the text via running it in the window makes the text too small at 1920 x 1080 native resolution and too blurry at any other resolution (but the rest of the Chrome OS scales just fine - go figure)
Anyway, so I am back to square one. I did have some trouble with Chromebrew and I’m not sure what I did or what was or was not working but I finally just gave up and uninstalled it.
And even though my idea of using an ubuntu app in a window seemed like a good idea, it seems I am back at square one and I am writing this in a plain old text editor, because I’m sick of programs that come and go and even though markdown specific shortcuts are handy for adding links, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to create a markdown link which is all the markdown I use anyhow.
I have installed Ubuntu via Crouton on my Chrome Devices, and I will use that software to upload and publish my posts to github.
Perhaps this is the best anyway, as it’s all just plain text and this way I have a backup of my writing on more than one machine and as it’s in plain text I will still be able to read and edit on any machine with any OS.
Keeping it Simple
In fact, I am thinking of even simplifying things even further and just writing and working in a cloud IDE like Cloud9 and then I don’t have to worry about syncing my site to different machines and as long as I have an internet connection I can write/update my sites.
Heck, even if I don’t have internet access I can still use a plain old text editor to write and then I can just use ChromeOS for all my work and this might allow me to concentrate on my site rather than the mechanics of writing.
It’s something to try, that’s for sure.
update - I have decided to keep my old setup where I have ubuntu installed on my computer and then use that to push to github pages. For the writing app, I will use whatever I feel like because as long as it’s plain text there’s a way to open and read at a later date.
I just checked and I managed to get twenty posts written this month. This is a far cry from the the 1000 posts I want to write to see if I can make any money online but it’s a start.
I’m slowly getting into the habit of writing every day and I have to tell you it’s pretty hard sometimes to find the inspiration to. It’s much easier to surf the web than it is to actually add content to it.
I think a reasonable goal for the next month will be to get to 30. That’s a 33 percent increase in writing and should be a doable goal. That would bring me to 1000 posts in about 3 years (or mabye sooner).
I’ve also still sorting out what tool I want to write with and I think I might forgo all the fancy writing tools and even using Google Docs is too complicated. I’m writing this in a plain old text editor and although it’s not the prettiest way to write it does the trick for me just fine.
Lastly, I have given up on Windows for now and have reformatted my drive on my Chromebox to ChromeOS once again as it’s just faster and it does the trick just fine.
This is awesome and makes me fully committed to Chrome OS once again instead of using Windows as my main OS.
After probably switching operating systems a million times I finally figured out my perfect workflow and that’s thanks to using crouton that allows me to run specfic ubuntu apps in a window.
I’ve tried installing crouton a few times, and it installs ubuntu on your chromebook and it works great, but I always just wanted to use ubuntu for mainly two apps - one is for writing and the other is for notes and having another complete OS installed seemed like overkill and the keyboard shortcuts are different and the whole idea of using Chrome OS is for it to be easy to use and if I’m living in the command line on Ubuntu then that’s not particularly easy
I’m giving Windows a chance still for my computing operating system of choice compared to my many years experience with the Mac.
In the past I was always afraid of Windows with the need for drivers and dll files and the dreaded blue screen of death, but I’ve not yet experienced any of that and so far everything just works.
Also, and I am not sure why this is - but Windows 10 is free. I may have installed Windows previously on my computers so perhaps it remembers the registration but when I installed it there was an option for not having a registration and I thought I would check it and see what happens and lo and behold it worked much to my surprise
I’m still a fan of Chromebooks and in some ways running a full OS on my ChromeBox (thanks to reddit) is very much overkill but and I could use ChromeOS very easily and have but there’s something about using real apps as opposed to web apps.
I do have one Chromebook, a Dell Chromebook 13 that I have not turned into a Chrultrabook because I don’t want to mess around with it too much - there’s too much that could go wrong with drivers and stuff so I’m fine using it as is and the odd time I need to use the command line I have chromebrew.
If I could get Caret (or similar) for writing on the Chromebook that would be great, but the closest I have so far is Marxi.co which isn’t too bad but I much prefer using the Caret app. I could have used linux or Ubuntu as my OS of choice and I have but for now it’s Windows and so far all seems to go pretty well. It’s also pretty neat that I managed to install it on a Chromebox a device that did not have this in mind.
So far, my only complaint is that Cortana opens the Microsoft browser instead when searching for stuff but I guess that’s to be expected.
The wife was away on a conference and called me in a panic that her Apple iPhone 7 was stolen when she was at the airport earlier today.
This sucks, to be sure but overall when you consider that all the other things that could go wrong today this is about a one or two. This is a first world problem to be sure.
The first thing I did was fire up Apple’s find my iPhone and see what happened. And there it was - at the airport.
About ten minutes later it got moved to some bar and grill and it was then and there that I knew that it was gone for good
As luck would have it I had her mother’s old iPhone 6 plus here as had planned to sell it on eBay for her but I never got around to it and it’s a good thing because all it took was a trip to the Verizon to get a new sim card and when I picked her up from the airport she had a new (albeit older) iPhone so at least we had a phone to use.
So we have 22 payments left on a phone we don’t own any more but so it goes and it will get paid for over time if not earlier and life will go on.
To whomever found her iPhone and didn’t return it to us by calling the number on the phone when I locked it down: karma’s a bitch - your turn will come.
Today’s lesson was that perhaps insurance on these things are a good idea and the next new phone we get for her will probably get it because these phones are really expensive little computers that easily get lost or stolen.