About me

Maria Conner

Maria Conner

I love technical weblog posts, especially those that can take you through the entire process of building an app, A to Z. After reading thousands of technical blog posts and writing many myself, I’ve decided that it’s time to share a workflow that I hope will help those people who are creating amazing what to blog page more very easily and frequently. The specific tools employed in this workflow are Mac pc OSX based, however, the ideas can be put on any toolchain. Have a look at AlternativeTo.net to come across similar applications for your OS.

Utilize the Natural Planning Method
When I write a complex blog page post, the goal is to create something that saves the reader time and inspires new ideas. Before I get started, I ponder these 2 questions:

When the reader finishes reading my post, what will they have gained? The answer should involve saved time and/or new ideas generated for the reader.
What makes my content different than the thousands of other posts out there solving similar problems? Is it easier to just point to someone else’s post? Sometimes, all you need is a link to another post with some context added in.
If I can come up with acceptable answers to those questions, then it’s ago. The topic goes on “the list.” For me “the list” is an Evernote note called “Writing Ideas.” Right now, it’s a simple list, but I plan to categorize these at some point, probably with a tag-based system. For example, some ideas are better appropriate on my own blog page versus moderate or Google+, yet others should live right here on SendGrid’s blog.

Once I’ve determined I’ll expand the topic right into a blog post, the workflow starts. For my workflow, I favor a modified edition of the 5 phases of the GTD organic planning model (NPM) that i will right now elaborate on.

Define the Purpose
Though I’ve already determined that there surely is enough motivation to create the weblog post, I think it is beneficial to dig deeper into the subsequent question: Why are we (am I) doing this?

We typically define “we” as the stakeholders, such as your audience (make sure to get particular), your company (what carry out they be prepared to gain?), and perhaps co-authors.

For instance, my purpose for composing this weblog post is to greatly help designers convert their software tasks into weblog posts that will subsequently help other designers. This purpose ties into among my reasons at SendGrid as the Hacker in Home, which is to boost and inspire designers’ lives, both internally and externally.

Acknowledge Objectives and Measurements
Now it’s period to visualize what done appears like. Think about it as defining your scope of function. What does success appear to be? What specifically do I’d like the reader to understand?

Why don’t we quantify by considering how exactly success is measured. Could it be 1,000,000 exclusive visitors? 30 downloads? 100 retweets? 10 forks? Generating enough donations or advertisement income for a beer (ideally an IPA)?

Be sure to take into account your start and end dates.

Brainstorm the Possibilities
Once the topic is decided, I find that a mind map is the best tool to expand upon the idea. Note that in many cases, after spending a few minutes mind-mapping an idea, the best conclusion may be to discard the idea.

Though I prefer to use mind mapping for this step, you might prefer index cards, paper, a whiteboard or outlines. Remember, the key here is to let your thoughts go wild without censor. Try not to structure your ideas at this point. Just do a brain dump focusing on the topic.

For digital mind mapping, my current tool of choice is MindNode on Mac OS X and thoughts on iOS. I’m not sure what’s good on Android, so I’d appreciate your suggestions in the comments.