My Writing Workflow

Morning Coffee 43: February 6th, 2023

Good morning! Just left one coffee and arrived at another. The first one’s internet wasn’t working, so I did most of the writing there, with plans to use this one for their internet to finish things up. Today, I’ll be writing about habit tracking and my writing workflow. Let’s begin.

The Box


I’m currently using Streaks as my habit tracker. A few weeks ago, I noticed that I was putting goals and habits inside of my task manager. This created a few problems: It was cluttering up Things, and it was doing a bad job of tracking those daily habits.

I made a list and then narrowed down that list to something achievable: journaling, Bible study, log current weight, clean up that date’s photos, fill my fitness rings on the Apple Watch, and log everything I’ve ate that day.

These are six areas that, if I’m consistent with, move the needle in a variety areas of my life.

My Writing Workflow

I’m often asked what my writing process is like when making this newsletter. Even though it’s pretty simple, there are a few details that are worth expanding on.

Two Folders

I’ve created a simple process inside of Ulysses for writing a newsletter every week. A three folder system: the main folder, with two folders inside of that main folder. It looks something like this:

Morning Coffee

  • Pending
  • On Hold

Throughout the week, I put things into the Pending folder that I’ll be considering for the following Monday. This is usually a bunch of little thoughts that can turn into more. Some of these were moved from the On Hold folder. Some are fresh.

As the week goes on, I have a group of ideas simmering inside of Pending. If certain sheets start to relate to each other, I’ll merge them together, creating a bigger story. Sometimes, as the week is ending, I realize that I’m not ready to expand on one of the topics just yet, so I drag that idea into the On Hold folder.

On Hold is where ideas are waiting to move back into Pending. It’s also where ideas go to die, if the ideas runs out of steam. Both Pending and On Hold folders are sorted by the newest modified sheets, so ideas that I’m considering stay on top.

Having this two folder system gives me a clear separation for what I’m currently working on. It also holds any idea that I have for future newsletters.

I’ve tried many systems for this process. Most are too complicated and usually get in the way. Keeping it this simple makes this entire workflow easy and sustainable.

This is Morning Coffee: a weekly newsletter that arrives in your inbox every Monday morning. I write about productivity, technology, and cool things I find on the internet. Subscribe and consider becoming a Premium member.

Made a gaming page with a 1989 photo of me. Released two books on Amazon. Celebrating Rose turning two. Working from home for a big company. Writing a newsletter every Monday morning. Last updated: February 21st, 2024.

Morning Coffee

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