For those of you that have followed me for a while on Twitter know that for a few years now I’ve been using this workflow to share the podcasts I listen to in Overcast. It’s a good workflow and does the job well, but since I’ve been getting into micro.blog and blogging in general, it feels to me like doing a consolidated blog post or digest for the shows I’m listening to would be a better way to share them. Seeing I’ve already included a workflow link, you can rightfully assume I like to automate these things as much as possible. To that end I set out this morning to figure out a new system to automate this blog post creation as much as possible. With a little help from some internet friends, I believe I have a very workable solution I’d like to share with you now.
First I’ll mention a few caveats and requirements. This system is primarily designed for users of Overcast and Micro.blog. You will also need the Workflow app as well as the Drafts app. If you match all four of those requirements you are all set, skip to the next paragraph. If those aren’t your current platforms or you don’t have those apps this post might not be as useful to you. If you do have the apps, but use different platforms you may still be able to modify the workflow and drafts action to suit your needs. The workflow should in theory work fine for any podcast app that spits out a url to the share sheet. You may need to use workflows text replacement features to help format the show title to the way you’d like to see your podcasts listed in your post. You may also be able to modify the drafts action to your blogging platform of choice if there is an existing action or you can create an action to post a draft to your blog.
Okay with all the before mentioned apps and platforms in place you’ll need two more things. The first is this workflow for the workflow app. The second is this Drafts Action. Install these into their respective apps, you’ll need them to automate the process.
I need to take just a moment to give some shout outs to people who helped with the workflow and drafts action along the way. First I need to shout out to Matt Birchler. He is credited for the creation of the original Drafts action that Tim Nahumck, AKA the Drafts Master, helped me modify a little to better suit the purpose. Last, but not least, is Johan Gustaphzon who helped me track down a pesky bug with my workflow formatted markdown links this morning in the Pocket Sized Podcast Slack.
Got the workflow and drafts action installed? Sweet let’s continue.
First you’ll need to create a Draft that will serve as the place to collect your links as you listen to podcasts and prepare your final blog post. Give it a pithy title or something you want to start all these blog posts with. I chose to use #ListeningTo - Today’s Podcasts 🎙️. I know the # doesn’t really fit into blogging but It’s an homage to this being an evolution of my twitter workflow. If you are using micro.blog and want to have a title to your posts add “# “, including the space, to the front of that. This will tell the drafts action to use that as your posts title. Without it the action will create a traditional micro post with no title.
Next you’ll need to make a modification to the
Post Podcasts to Micro.blog drafts action. Copy the text you filled in as your starter text and then navigate to the action in drafts and edit it. In the action steps editor you want to paste your starter text into the “TEMPLATE” area of the “Clipboard” step. This will let you start over with a fresh copy of your draft after posting to your blog. The draft action is now ready to go and will prompt you for your micro.blog app key the first time you run it.
Now that you have your draft and the drafts action ready you’ll need the draft UUID for your draft to configure the workflow. The easiest way I know of to get this is to use the copy link to draft feature and paste the url somewhere handy. You’ll get a link like the following
drafts5://open?uuid=5B0B7641-8C73-47F8-905A-D28348552EB2, but with a different UUID. Copy the UUID that follows the “uuid=”.
Next go to workflow and edit the
Listening 2-4 Overcast - Drafts workflow. Find the step near the end of the workflow with the drafts url in it. Replace the part highlighted below with your copied draft UUID. This will tell the workflow which draft it should add your podcast links to.
After you’ve completed these steps you are ready to start blogging your podcasts with ease. Simply start listening to your favorite shows and tap the share button in Overcast. When the share sheet comes up, choose
Run Workflow, then choose the
Listening 2-4 Overcast - Drafts workflow. This will add the podcast episode’s title and Overcast URL formatted as a link in a markdown list item to your draft. Keep doing this for all the shows you want to share until you are ready to post. I think I’ll do one a day myself for starters.
Now that you have all your shows collected in your draft and you are ready to publish your post, open drafts and open your draft you’ve dedicated to your list of shows. Add any extra commentary you’d like to the shows in the list or additional blog text and then choose the
Post Podcasts to Micro.blog action. That’s it. You now hove a blog post up with all the shows you wanted to share. You’ll also find your draft is conveniently reset and ready to start the next set of shows you’ll want to share.
I’m looking forward to transitioning to this new way to share my podcast listening experience and I hope you will too. Feel free to send feedback or thoughts to me on Twitter or Micro.blog.Install these into their respective apps.