How I wrote 81 articles in one month while holding a sleeping baby

Yes, I really wrote 81 different articles in one month!

You might think I spent a lot of time in front of the computer writing these articles. You would be wrong!

I wrote them while holding a 5 month old napping baby.

I’m even writing this article while my son sleeps!

Here’s my trick: I bought a wireless bluetooth keyboard and paired it to my iPhone. When my son falls asleep, I grab the keyboard, open Evernote, and start writing.

It is really that simple. I didn’t set out to write this many articles, but blew away all of my expectations.

Bluetooth Keyboard and Evernote

I typically watch our kids in the morning while my wife gets an extra hour or two of sleep. During that time, my 5 month old will usually nap a couple of times. Perhaps for 20 minutes at a time. I take advantage of that time and do some writing!

I write directly in the Evernote app

For example, I will often begin a blank note in Evernote as a reminder about a topic I want to write about (just fill out the headline). That helps me because when I sit down to write, I don’t want to spend my time thinking about a topic.

Some articles require more research than others. In those cases, it can be a waste of time to do research while the baby is sleeping. I do basic research before I sit down to write. I take screenshots of information that might be useful and insert those at the bottom of my Evernote document. Then, when I’m writing, I can scroll down and reference them. This keeps me focused, and in one app.

There’s a few more tricks

If you have an Apple TV, here’s another trick I’ve used. Did you know you can mirror your iOS device to your Apple TV? I use this almost constantly! It’s like having a huge monitor and it is easier to see than the iPhone screen.

I focus on getting the words down while the baby naps

After he wakes up, I’ve found I can easily edit my articles (as long as the changes are simple) without the keyboard just using Evernote on my iPhone.

I can even publish my articles directly to one of my web sites by using the WordPress iPhone app! But, usually, I end up editing them on my desktop (still in Evernote’s Mac app) and then publish from there.

Evernote saves my work across devices

Evernote automatically saves everything I write, so I’ve never have to worry about losing my writing. I love that I can access my writing on any device. I personally use the iPhone and Mac desktop apps.

Evernote for Mac

My writing tends to be about travel, product reviews, and how-to articles. I also often write case studies about my design projects. My articles tend to be on the shorter side. My shortest article was about 250 words, and my longest was 1,650 words. The 81 articles I wrote last month combined make about 30,000 words.

baby with a keyboardIn the previous month I only wrote 5 articles. This is a fairly big leap in productivity for me.

By day, I manage a small web design shop and design and build web sites. The rest of the time, I help my wife with our two kids. We have a 3 and a half year old daughter, and our 5 month old son.

If you’re a parent, and you need to do some writing, I highly encourage you to take advantage of the time-saving benefit of pairing an inexpensive Bluetooth keyboard to your phone.

The keyboard I am using

Here’s some info about the keyboard I’m using: It’s an Anker Ultra Compact Bluetooth Keyboard (Model A7726). I grabbed it on Amazon for only $16. The Keyboard is the same size as the wireless Apple keyboards, and is only compact in the sense that it is smaller than a full size keyboard. It takes two AAA batteries which last months. They have a couple of similar models which have rechargeable batteries.

Pretty much any Bluetooth keyboard will work.

I hope that these ideas will be helpful to other parents who want to write, but can never find the time.

Please leave a comment and share your writing productivity tips!


Introduction to Music Playlist

I saw this article where a deaf woman (since birth) asked a friend to create a playlist to introduce her to music (she had just receive a cochlear implant). What a challenge. Her friend decided to find one song from each year of her life.

What I understand about recipients of cochlear implants is that nobody really knows what it sounds like, because the people who are creating the technology can’t really use it on themselves. Of course, they can ask people what it sounds like, but from everything I’ve heard it’s less than satisfactory.

Out of curiosity, I thought I’d listen to all of the songs, and found them on YouTube. Here’s the full list:

  1. Ken Boothe – Everything I Own
  2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – She’s The One
  3. Paul McCartney – Silly Love Songs
  4. Joni Mitchell – Black Crow
  5. Steely Dan – Peg
  6. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky
  7. Gary Numan – Are ‘friends’ Electric?
  8. The Specials – Do Nothing
  9. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
  10. The Jam – Town Called Malice
  11. Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  12. Prince – When Doves Cry
  13. Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
  14. The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
  15. Fleetwood Mac – Big Love – Live (Lindsey Buckingham solo acoustic version)
  16. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
  17. The The August & September
  18. Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart
  19. Ozric Tentacles – Sploosh!
  20. INXS – Baby Don’t Cry
  21. Nirvana – All Apologies
  22. Richard Thompson – King Of Bohemia
  23. Pulp – Common People – Full Length Version / Album Version
  24. Everything But The Girl – Missing
  25. Foo Fighters – Everlong
  26. Massive Attack – Teardrop
  27. Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven
  28. The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist
  29. Daft Punk – Digital Love
  30. The Streets – Turn The Page
  31. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
  32. Beastie Boys – An Open Letter To NYC
  33. Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds
  34. Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
  35. Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling Into Place
  36. Elbow – One Day Like This
  37. Maximo Park – Tanned
  38. Gruff Rhys – Shark Ridden Waters
  39. The Joy Formidable – Whirring
  40. Bat For Lashes – Laura
  41. Haim – Don’t Save Me

Personally, I think an introduction to music playlist should contain some classic music as well as other popular music, but it’s certainly interesting to see some music from another point of view. This list could more accurately be called: Introduction to Modern Music Playlist & Hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today! It’s like listening to a pop radio station in many ways.

What music is missing from this list, and why?


Lulu Book Publishing

If you are ever considering publishing a book, you should check out I haven’t used it myself, but have a friend that has used it, and have heard good things. Plus, any company that cares this much about design must be doing something right, right?


Climate Reality

I don’t agree with Al Gore’s theory’s about the climate, but I dig the new Climate Reality web site design. Simple layout, with a basic color palette. It really works well.