Removing the toil from my blogging experience
how I write in Notion, own my own content, and do as little manual work as possible
For a while, my writing process was all over the place. I jotted ideas in because it was the home of all my other notes. I edited in google docs since that allowed me to use . And I published with because that was hot and trendy. I couldn’t resist 🤷🏼♂️.
But writing became a chore because ^ includes a decent amount of copying and pasting, which at the end of the day is toil, repetitive work that doesn’t add value. Nothing makes me procrastinate like toil, so this month I set out to remove some of the toil from my writing process.
To do so I created that exports my content from a Notion table and creates the markdown required to host it on my blog. In the process, I realized that I could use Notion in the browser to get the benefits of Grammarly.
Here is what my process looks like now:
My writing process
I write quick thoughts in Notion
If with time they keep resurfacing
- I process through said thoughts
If I stumble on something novel and worth sharing
Here are the values that this process holds to:
Value 1: It’s easy
I want it to be as close to twitter-level-easy for me to share my thoughts. Removing the manual steps from c/p’ing stuff seems small, but it’s psychologically huge for me.
Value 2: It’s all in one place (Notion)
Notion is where I keep all my personal journaling, notes, and planning. It's important for it to all be in one place for me.
Notion has downsides like mobile UX being painful, but given I am on my phone as little as possible, that is a compromise I am willing to make for the great desktop experience.
Notion has the upside of feature parity in the web and native apps, so I can write in the browser and get the benefits of Grammarly.
Value 3: I own the content
I believe in a democratized internet. Not everything needs to be in social media with likes, comments, infinite scrolling, recommendations, and of course an "algorithm." If you see my stuff it’s because an actual connection shared it with you. Probably me actually, ha! There is no pressure to use gimmicks or manipulation to get you to read. It’s so human. I love that.
You might think that this contradicts values 1 and 2, but having that auto imports from notion to a blog post in markdown allows me to have the benefits that Notion provides without being tied to the platform permanently.
Value 4: It’s reducing the tech debt of this blog
This is the final benefit and something that I am new to. Unfortunately, you can’t host your own content and do something custom without some tech debt. I recently , which means less time for maintaining this blog, so this value became increasingly important. Not using MDX and sticking to the simplicity of markdown is a step in the right direction for me.
This post only took me 2 hours and 30 minutes
Most of my other ones have taken 6 to 8 hours. That’s exactly the difference I was hoping for in this process. Thanks to for making the conversion easy! Here is the and the of how I did this. The gist includes details in the readme. If you have similar values and want to chat or have any questions my email is open!