Textastic and Working Copy

A Powerful Duo for iOS Writing and Publishing

Image credit: Unsplash

Over the years i have tried at various times to start and restart my website. I keep trying to restart because, at best, I am a mediocre writer but practice could help me improved. I have learned over time, that sometimes removing small, annoying barriers is a good way for me to jumpstart building a habit. One small barrier for me with my blog is the need to open up my laptop to draft a post. I have solved this issue by doing most of my writing via iOS.

My writing workflow for this site consists of 2 apps, Working Copy and Textastic. Working Copy allows a user to:

“Access Git repositories on the go. Clone, edit, commit and push while allowing other apps access to repositories.”

I can’t stress enough how easy Working Copy makes using git. The cloned files can be edited directly in Working Copy. Although the editor is good. I find that it lacks several small quality of life features. Since I utilize Hugo, my posts are each in their own folder and require front matter to generate. To simplify this, I created several “draft templates” that i duplicate and then use as a basis for a post. Working Copy does not have an obvious mehod to do the folder duplication. Additionally, I like using TextExpander and Working Copy lacks this integration. Using the app, I can save a repo to the iOS file system. This folder is then accessible by Textastic.

Textastic is described as:

“… an advanced code editor for iPad with support for syntax highlighting, remote file transfer, and SSH.

Overall, Textastic is a great text editor. I use it to edit my repos stored in the iOS file system. Textastic has some great quality of life integrations as well. The most important to me is TextExpander. I have created a lot of snippets over the years, and, as a slow typist, it speeds up things dramatically. TextExpander also helps hide my spelling deficiencies. Another key Textastic feature, is the ability to easily duplicate my template floders to create a new draft post.

To complete my workflow, I change the front matter, to “draft: false”. I return to Working Copy and commit the changes. Since I use Netify, all changes to my GitHub are automatically published.

I can’t stress enough of how much I love these apps. Although both are paid, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase. If you are looking for a way to edit text or use a static site via iOS, take a look at Working Copy and Textastic.

Michael J. Wilson
Michael J. Wilson
Specializing in “What Not to Do” since 1972

My interests include GIS, 3D Printing (3DP), Machine Learning, and Productivity.