Blogging from Drafts on iOS 8

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Having laid the philosophical groundwork for how I want to blog, let’s talk tools.

I wrote the last post in Drafts. I’ve done all my recent writing in Drafts; it’s good and, more importantly, conveniently available in my pocket.

Writing on a small mobile device is a good encouragement to keep things nice and short; I’ll note that a recent 1,900 word newsletter of mine only hit 1,900 words after it got moved off my phone onto a computer.

The other encouragement to keep things short is time: I’m usually writing on time borrowed from helping out with our baby, which includes moments like this one when I’m currently holding the baby with one arm and typing with the other.

Nearly all my recent writing—not just these posts and my new newsletter, but also some not yet published writing for the Typekit blog—has been done on my iPhone 6. The thing about the new, bigger iPhone screens is that text has room to breathe. More content fits on the screen at once, so I can better see and understand the context around a sentence, and lines have a much more comfortable measure.

One great thing about Drafts 4 is that you can use any font on your phone, including fonts you installed yourself. I’ve been writing in Colfax, from Process Type Foundry. I like it a lot—metrics-wise it’s very similar to Helvetica, but its slight curves make it much more delightful to read, and it works well at text sizes.

For blogging on Tumblr, once I have a draft I like, publishing is super easy. I just use the Tumblr app’s Share extension to send the text of my post from Drafts to a new Tumblr Text post, add a title, flip a couple of settings, and it’s done.

This workflow isn’t perfect. For one thing, I just had to re-type about half this post because syncing between my iPhone and iPad copies of Drafts just doesn’t work right, and when it fails sometimes it loses my work. (In practice this just means I have to write only on my phone.) But for what it allows its pretty great.