I have used several different blogging apps over the years. I have several different ones on the Mac as we speak. I even use an app on the iPad. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I supposed features in a blogging app are important to me, but reliability is most important of all.
State of Blogging Apps
As I said, there are tons of blogging apps on the Mac. I have been running the Macessence blog for years. I am always on the lookout for a “new improved” blogging app. You may be wondering if I am using a blogging app that works for me why would I change. There are two main reasons why I change to a different blogging app. The first is, the company stops supporting the app in question. It is let go, no longer developed. The second is, reliability!
Case in point, I was working on a lengthy article in a blogging app a few weeks ago. I was almost finished with it and it disappeared!! Yes, I saved as I went along, but it was totally gone!! I didn’t put up with that for long. I started looking at some of the blogging apps on my Mac, played around with them and chose a very nice app called Desk PM by John Saddington. I am really liking this app. Let me show you around Desk PM.
By the way, Desk PM is not just for blogging. It is a general, focused, writing app. You can export your document into HTML, RTF, DOCX, PDF, MD (Markdown) and TXT. You can work in Markdown if you prefer. This IS a writing app folks. But, it also allows you to write for a WordPress blog. Here is the main editing window:
You can change the size of the text. You can have a typical white background, I prefer the white text on black background for a more focused writing experience. It allows you to go to full-screen if you prefer that. As you see, it has it’s own inline editing menu, a very nice touch. You can change your writing font. It is just a very nice writing enviornment.
The blog posts are listed in the left column. See that small little list symbol bottom-left corner of the window? Click on that and you get a list of your blog posts:
You can see the blog list. In the far left column your blogs are listed. There is also a “Groups” area. I have not used this yet. Apparently, you can create folders and put your blogs into different groups.
I have not covered the publishing to a blog area here. I think I will do that in a separate article, just too much stuff. Let me close by covering a few other features.
Desk PM does auto backup of your article. In conjunction with that, you can revert to previous versions which is a very handy feature for an app that does auto save. What if you decide you have gone in the wrong direction in an article. You can revert to earlier versions when you were “thinking more clearly” ?. To activate this, go to the “File” menu and choose “Revert To” and select “All Versions”. It opens a Time Machine like window where you can scroll back to an earlier version. I can’t show you that process, it just takes up too much screen real estate.
Desk PM has a Preview mode. You can preview your article in kind of a Typewriter mode or, with a couple more clicks, you can preview it in the same format as your blog. It works pretty well.
As you might expect, you can drag (or insert) images into your blog article. If you click on an image after you drag it into your document, Desk PM presents this menu:
From left to right, you can give an image a caption. You can wrap text to the right of an image. You can center an image in the document. You can wrap text to the left of an image. You can add a html link to an image as well.
As you can see, Desk PM is a very sophisticated app. I can tell you from experience it is really fun to write with this app. And, it is very reliable. I have used the app for a couple of months, it has yet to crash or lose any of my articles. Speaking of losing articles, Desk PM allows you to store your articles on your HD or in iCloud. I do not have much space in iCloud, so I store them on my HD.
Desk PM is a very nice writing app. It is great for blogging. I have moved my Macessence blog over to it and will be moving other blogs as well. There are a few more things I want to cover, especially the publishing features, but that will have to wait for another article.