Building Family History

I’ve been blogging for over ten years and one of the results is that I have a nice little collection of family stories. I had been copy/pasting them into a Scrivener project and taking advantage of its easy reorganization features to use those stories for small family history projects. Recently I’ve been using Byword [Mac – $11.99, iOS – $2.99 plus $2.99 per platform to add publishing capabilities] as my blog editor. I can post from Byword to just about any blog platform and work from just about anywhere.

Writing workflow . . . Scrivener to Byword to blog.

Since both Byword and Scrivener support Markdown, it recently dawned on me that I should put Scrivener into the center of my blogging workflow. Once I thought about it, the advantages became quite obvious:

  • I can pull research notes and ephemera into Scrivener where they would be easy to reference while I’m writing.
  • I can write in Markdown. I like this for several reasons. First, it allows me to add basic formatting, hyperlinks and even images to my text without taking my fingers off the keyboard. That may sound a little strange these days, but for an old touch-typist like me it means I don’t break my typing rhythm – or train of thought – just to add a link or some formatting. As any old WordStar typist (a popular word-processing app from the ’80s and ’90s) knows, it makes a difference.
  • Because Scrivener syncs with Byword, I can work on my stories just about anywhere and then publish to any of my blogs with just a few keystrokes using Byword’s publishing feature. Even if I begin a story on Byword, as long as I save it into the appropriate project folder in Dropbox, it will be synched back to Scrivener the next time I open the app.
  • The stories in my Scrivener project continue to grow and at any time I can reorganize my story collection and export selected stories for publishing projects.

Thanks to Scrivener and Byword, I can spend my time researching and writing stories and let my tools handle the posting, organizing and saving chores. The result is a family history collection that continues to grow. Now, when inspiration or family events suggest a publishing project, I have those stories in Scrivener just waiting to be selected, exported and published to meet that project’s goal.

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