Content Creation on the Road

I’ve been working through how I create blog posts, journal entries, and notes about travel that I want to have easier access than gmail. I could create folders on my laptop to store the notes and stuff; but then how would I reach it from my phone. The main thing always is integration. You want the same stuff on the phone as on your laptop. You need some things.

  1. Cloud storage. Some kind of cloud storage that respects the laptop and the phone and that’s sane. I tried for awhile using a Linux virtual machine and I would ssh to it and do my stuff. This is not the same. Its not stateful. So I moved on to Evernote for awhile. Evernote appeared to take care of the cloud storage and sync thing well. Then they decided to raise the ante on the subscriptions and lower things. I would have probably paid but it kinda made me decide to find something else. That leads me to point 2.
  2. Application that can handle your use case. Lets be fair here. My use case is your faux pas. My solution is your problem. My choice of platform is your hatred. To be fair, I moved off from Android to IOS and a MAC laptop not because I love the platforms. A better reason was the security and updates. I get updates to my phone and MAC as they’re released. But the main thing was a killer application that would meet my needs. So what are those application needs? They are the ability to maintain state, the ability to use a cloud solution (point 1 above) and the ability to create files in clear text. Clear text or markdown is the ultimate in portability. i create documents in clear text and use an application to apply markdown to it. if i have to bail on the solution, the files are still just clear text. There are many apps so I won’t go so far as to recommend one. I will suggest that you look at Byword or Ulysses on both IOS and MAC. I use Ulysses because it has this sweet document and library management credo. But if you want to get straight to writing, go for Byword. Remember the other thing; Portability. The apps must exist on all your platforms. This is  a big thing to integration folks.

So when you bring it all together on a Sunday evening after some beers and a bowl of pho and fresh spring rolls, you get a both 1 and 2. You get 1 and 2 in complementary interfaces. My journal and my travel notes and attachments of image or pdf files are all there. I can create a workflow if I want to bring things in to an INBOX then circulate them around to groups or folders. But I don’t. I just create and abandon and cleanup and start it all again.

If you use Android, a similar functionality awaits you with Google Docs. It works just as well and in some ways better. I did this before using Google Docs and it was easy on an Android phone. But I left the platform awhile back for many reasons and not only the application and integration. I left because of security primarily and updates. I could buy a Samsung Galaxy S9 plus but what OS level and when would I get security patches. I travel to foreign lands. This is a big deal. What guarantee do I have that Samsung will release the patches that El Goog makes available. None. Nada. Zip. They can speak to it all each time but when I had a Galaxy S7 stuck on two release past; it does not instill a lot of trust.

I don’t like IOS and MAC. I would prefer to use a Pixel 2 and a chromebook. That crosses over a few boundaries. One is the killer app that will let me do all I want. Making a choice of an app based on an ecosystem may be dumb. But I wanted more. I wanted complementary applications that worked the same way. I wanted security. I wanted to believe that Apple would take care of my iPhone 7 plus and my Macbook 2017 12 inch. And they have. I still don’t like the platform.t

But it works for me. And it works for my choices and my two big reasons. Travel with the devices has been good. I had an iPad Pro 9.7 inch which I left at home. No real need for it.

Give it some thought and choose. It can be daunting to change but not impossible. Or if you keep everything in clear text, a piece of cake!

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.