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Change is an inevitable part of pretty much every single thing in life. And so, many changes have entered into my life. Here’s a quick run-down of the few changes that have come into my writing life post NaNoWriMo.

As the title suggests, the changes have come into my life in three main areas:

  1. My Writing Habit,
  2. My Desktop Blogging App, and,
  3. My Productivity Management System.

Let me talk about each in turn.

My Writing Habit:

I have started to be more steady, and more regular with my writing. Post NaNoWriMo, I got into a habit of writing pretty much everyday. Even if it was just notes for my journal, or whether I was writing stuff in my moleskine journal – it didn’t matter.

I was writing and that was the most important part.I wanted to retain that good habit of writing every single day. Participating in NaNoWriMo had given me that, and I didn’t want to lose it.

Even if I didn’t have anything “creative” to write out, I still wrote about my thoughts – no matter how silly they were.I have never felt so awesome in my life. Like I was finally getting down to doing the things I was meant to do. Happiness truly resides in following your bliss.

My Blogging App:

I have tried a variety of desktop blogging apps for my Mac. Although the WordPress interface is awesome, it is still not conducive to writing per se.

Regardless of how beautiful the “distraction free” feature may look within the admin interface, writing stuff in my browser still feels weird for me.

Even with a desktop blogging app, I still publish my blogs in the “Draft” format, and then make sure I have everything just right (by seeing the “Preview”).

It just feels super weird writing in my browser. I don’t know why, but I have this thing that any sort of writing I do needs to be in a dedicated writing app.I have tried out several desktop blogging apps.

Long ago, when I was on Windows, I used Windows Live Writer, which was awesome. None of the blogging apps on the Mac have come remotely close to Live Writer. Which, according to me, is a huge shame.

I’ve tried out well praised apps like MarsEdit, and Byword. I’ve even tried out an obscure app like Ecto. And lately, I was even on the beta testing team for Blogo. I’ve even bought all these apps and tried them out in real life. But none of them even came close to what Live Writer is all about.

Recently, though, I discovered an app called Desk, which has come quite close to being what I was looking for in a Mac based desktop blogging system.The prominent features of this awesome app include:

  1. Support for Images, and image alignment: this is the number one reason why all the other apps weren’t up to par. The image management feature with MarsEdit, Ecto, and also Blogo ought to learn a thing or two from this app. Byword also does image support, sorta. But adding an image, resizing it, and aligning it, ought to be a simple matter of drag-and-drop – and this is how it is in Desk. If I have this basic expectation from a mac app, am I asking for too much?
  2. Support for both Markdown and WYSIWYG writing: Most apps do “distraction free” these days. But Markdown support is getting to be a deal-breaker for me. Its no secret that I am totally in love with Markdown.]. Also, I don’t know how much MarsEdit or Ecto support Markdown, but they don’t do “distraction free”, which is still ok. Desk supports both approaches, but in an either / or way. But it is definitely something I can live with.
  3. Support for WordPress Categories and Tags: I was so happily surprised by this one! Blogo promised and promised, but hasn’t delivered. Plus, for some reason, there are many other things in Blogo which raised hopes but didn’t deliver.
  4. Offline Draft Posts Synced via iCloud: Yup! This one was awesome! I liked how I could keep churning out offline posts, which would then be synced via iCloud, so I could pick up where I left off on either my iMac or my MacBook Air.

So yes, I am totally in love with Desk. In fact, I am writing this post in Desk. Some of it I wrote on my iMac, and the rest of it on my MacBook Air. And the whole thing was pretty seamless, if you ask me. Lovely!

My Productivity Management System:

GTD was and is one of my “makes sense” systems. But seeing endless lists of lists can get to be quite tiresome. Again, there are so many awesome apps out there that one single app just doesn’t cut it. So I managed to bring it down to the basics with this system, and downsized my app ambitions for it.

I use a simple combination of LaunchBar options and the built-in Calendar and Reminder apps on my mac to do my GTD. All of it simply syncs over to my iPhone and iPad too, which makes life easy on the go – even adding and checking off tasks and events.

Simple is good.

Off late though, a new buzz about a system called Kanban has managed to catch my eye. [Oh! Woe is Me!].

The fact that it is a visual system is something that excites me. Also, it is a process based system. Plus, it can incorporate a number projects into it. And the biggest plus of the system is that one can limit the number of Work In Process tasks – which is a perfect feature for me.

I can’t multitask. After a lot of weirding out over thousand things, I realized this, and I began focusing on only 2, or at the most 3 projects at a time. But no more. Less is awesome. But more is a big NO.

In any case, I am investigating it. And although it is something that is quite attractive, I will know for sure within a few weeks of trying it out. Meanwhile, I am going to hold back from buying all the kanban apps for mac that are out there. chuckles

I’ve been down that path so many times before, I actually know all the pitfalls now. This time ‘round, I am going to be a bit more aware, that’s all.

And I am going to come up with a system which is on the basic mac setup as well. That way, I don’t have to mess around with apps across my entire system – both my Macs, my iPhone and my iPad. All that app buying sucks big time. If the app is free then it makes sense, but otherwise I want to look for a way which is quite simply built in within the mac ecosystem. Or very, very cheap. Either will do.

Change is the Only Constant

In the end, I completely understand that changing is evolving. In order for me to make any sort of progress, as a writer – as a storyteller – I must embrace the change that comes with time. This is the change that comes with learning, with understanding, with improving, and with practicing my craft.

Embracing that change is the only path towards evolving into a better form, and into a better storyteller-writer.

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