workflow optimization

So recently, I wrote about the idea of using the Workflow app for iOS to help automate taking my blog posts, and getting them ready for Working Copy. There was also mention of the idea of creating a “reverse workflow” - one where I start with the post, and then add in all the metadata later. Well, I did it. It’s crazy and awesome at the same time.

Down The Rabbit Hole

Have a look at this workflow: Format Post. I’ve taken out my x-callback-url key for Working Copy, but the everything else is accurate. The parts I’m most proud of? Selecting an image to attach to a post, on the go. This whole workflow was a wild ride to create.

What’s Next?

I need to get better at dealing with Regular Expressions. The opening step is a little messy because it grabs all the headings, instead of just the first line. Then there’s a second step that filters out the # symbol. I have to learn RegEx for work, so that will get better soon.

One thing is for sure - I need to come up with some way of handling the header images better. I absolutely love using pictures from Unsplash, but they’re huge images. I need to consider this step carefully - do I try and create some image optimization on device with, say, Pythonista, or do I perform a server side action with the GitLab Runner, building some sort of optimized version of the image?

I still have to set up the Runner to begin with, so I’ll tackle that later.


This whole thing was helped largely in part by the budding Workflow Subreddit, and the Working Copy URL Scheme documentation. The subreddit was where I got the nifty trick to use HTML and CSS Styles to get a “lowercase” version of the title text. As it turns out, it’s one of the few things that the text manipulation in Workflow is not able to do. Oh well.

Oh, and this post? It was created on my iPhone and went through the very workflow you saw above.