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MacBook Pro & Ulysses – a writer’s dream

A story of how this story gets from me to you…

MacBook Pro & Ulysses - a dream

My MacBook Pro is central to my day – every day.

OK, so it may be my phone that I look at first as I blearily open my eyes first thing in the morning, but it’s the MacBook that is my workhorse. Possibly just like you, I have a routine that I kind of trundle through at the desk – you know, the boring stuff like checking the podcast stats, going through emails and checking stats in YouTube Studio – not exciting but stuff that needs doing nonetheless.

After the boring bits are done though, then I get into the meat of the day – and the first thing I always do is write!

Loving it

Oddly, I had never realised just how much I love writing.

To be honest, at school, I was a lazy sod and did everything I could to get out of anything that resembled writing. That was down to a couple of things – firstly being told what to do! That still doesn’t sit well with me, which is why I have probably never worked for anyone. Then of course it was what I was being told to write about that narked me off and also it wasn’t on a Mac.

The other day I wrote a story about being in love with my Mac and I stand by it. As I settle down to write each day, looking at the MacBook/Studio Display combo does bring a bit of happiness to my day and just pushes me to crack on. Looking at it puts me in a creative space.

While we all talk and are amazed at the heavy-duty work that our Macs are capable of sometimes it’s the less intense tasks where the Mac shines – just as it is right now writing this.

Hopefully, you’re enjoying this story  -  if you wanted to say ‘thank you’, the best way is simply to clap, highlight and get involved in the comments. And my promise to you…if you get in touch I will answer! So clap, highlight and comment away…

The workflow of my writing the day’s story and it ending up in your feed on Medium is Mac central – and it all starts with one Mac-only app.

I guess there may be a PC alternative but for Mac, it has to be Ulysses. The day I found it everything started to click into place for creating content quickly. I said it starts with Ulysses – that’s a tiny lie – it actually starts with the idea which sometimes is the hardest part of the whole gig. I’m not bad at coming up with ideas. But once I have the story thread, it’s straight into Ulysses.

Why so good?

From a writing point of view, its standout feature is that it’s distraction-free. No ribbons, no sidebars. The focus is placed purely on the job at hand – writing.

No matter what it is you’re writing – a novel, a blog or a YouTube script this app will see you through. It’s a markdown way of writing so adding bold text, titles, italics, lists and quotes are all keyboard shortcuts – perfect for us Mac boys and girls – we do love a shortcut eh!

I know writing is hardly firing up the performance cores of my MacBook but it’s a hugely important part of my day and that little routine I told you about means that I get the story written first. It’s odd, but I find I focus best when writing in the morning – I just like to know it’s done and posted…and I’ll cover how it gets posted in a bit…

Ulysses is on annual renewal through the App Store, and at £40 for the year, I reckon it’s a total steal! I have no link at all with the company but honestly, if you write anything regularly on a Mac then you need to be using this app.

Job half done

Of course, writing is only part of the story (sorry about the pun!) – I still need to get the story out and on to Medium and this is another major win for Ulysses.

Once I’ve finished writing I set Grammarly to work checking through for typos and any other mistakes yours truly may have made, and then once again the power of Ulysses steps up to the plate. Before it lands at Medium, for proof of ownership, I need to publish it on my website. I’ll add tags and the SEO title in Ulysses at this point – then it’s time to hit publish.

My website is a WordPress site and Ulysses publishes directly to it. The beauty of that and the time it saves me is huge! No copy and pasting or re-formatting which means there’s no room for mistakes to creep in – there is nothing more for me to check.

Once it’s published on my site the job is nearly done.

The final push

Now all that is left for me to do is copy the URL from my site and paste it into Medium.

In Medium it takes me a few moments of formatting. Although the header image comes over, any others I may have added further down the story need to be added in manually. Alt text and any image descriptions are added at this point as well – and that is pretty much it.

Most of my stories are published with Mac O’Clock – so I’ll submit the story to their editors and once they publish it, that is the first part of my day – the writing part, done.

There will normally be many more hours spent on the MacBook after that though. Today for instance I’ll be finishing off editing this week’s video in Premiere Pro and exporting it. The description and chapters for the videos are all made in Notes and the thumbnail will be finished off – and that’s done in a combination of Lightroom & Photoshop. That’s the part of the day when those MacBook performance cores come in handy!

But, the idea behind this story was to let you behind the curtains not so much of my day, but what it takes to get this story out to you.

I’m guessing if you’re reading this you are more than likely a Mac user and if you write on a Mac, you need to check out Ulysses.

Writing on the Mac and Ulysses – a match made in heaven.

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