It is not a big secret that I like Apple products, soft- and hardware. Since 2016 this ecosystem consumed me more and more and I always told, I like to be in the golden cage.
Since a few weeks I am questioning this golden cage. It all started as I wanted to start to again develop more. I picked up my old Thinkpad as I don't own a Macbook anymore, installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu and of course wanted to blog about this as well.
Since my writing software, Ulysses, is an apple exclusive product I cannot use this on my Ubuntu machine. That started all of the questions. In Ulysses I am writing plain Markdown files but they are saved in some Ulysses-only file format and therefore I cannot access them in any other way.
The first thought I had is just as normal using my iPad to write, but when I am sitting in front of my Linux machine I don't want to have my iPad always there and copy stuff back and forth.
What an eye opening experience
After going back and forth I had this one idea. Going back to plain filesystem and using something like Dropbox to keep my writing in sync between all devices.
I know this may not sound too exciting for you, but my head was so locked in to the golden cage it really required some effort to get there. And suddenly some things have been possible very easily.
For example; I always thought how to check my writing with Grammarly before uploading it into Wordpress. Since there was no bridge between Ulysses and Grammarly, the only solution was copy and paste. And damn, that's an ugly solution. Now it was suddenly possible to just open the file in any other app and do whatever the fuck I want with it. Consume it via API, open it in whatever application I want.
And that all because I went out of the golden cage a bit. I can still use most of the features of my favorite writing apps, but I can use everything outside of that, just because I am relying on something as simple as plain text.
Yeah, I got it, you told me this for years... I am not writing this because it's about apple users, it's about looking beyond your usual stuff sometimes, e.g. what is possible with the tools just a little bit outside of my reach? Do I really need to make it that complicated? What's the trade-off between X and Y if I rely on this or that?
Go back to the roots and try a simpler approach.
By the way, this blog post is written as a markdown file outside of Ulysses on a Linux machine ;)
See you next time. Tomorrow there should be a blog post about the blogging stack I am working on and guess what, I also changed my mind there and it paid to let it wait for some time.