Top 10 Time-Saving Tips For Writing With Gutenberg

One of my current goals is to write five short blog posts a week using Gutenberg, I want to learn this important new feature of WordPress and be a better contributor. In addition, I want to improve my writing practice by practicing more.

I didn’t set out to write most of my content about Gutenberg, but I should not be shocked that’s what happened. After a few days, I had a few concerns about the experience of authoring content in Gutenberg.  I’m used to writing mainly in Google Docs and Google Keep or Twitter. Sometimes in Simple Note and occasionally WordPress.

Turns out that a lot of these concerns I had are being addressed. The solutions are there, but not obvious. Here are a few tips I’ve learned to improve the content writing experience. When I’m writing, not editing, Gutenberg can feel like it is in the way, but there are good features that exist or are being worked on to solve this.

Slash Commands

One thing that bothered me a lot about writing with Gutenberg In my first week of my new Gutenberg challenge was adding a heading block. I found that having to go to block inserter to add the heading really upset my writing flow.

On Twitter, Kevin pointed out that you can use a slash command to bring up the block inserter. 

To insert a heading block, just start typing /heading brings up a mini block inserter. It’s way faster.

Inserting a heading block into the WordPress Gutenberg post  editor using a slash command
Add blocks quickly to the WordPress editor using a slash command

Code Formatting

I’m using Gutenberg on two sites right now: this site and the CalderaWP handbook site. On the handbook site this week I was documenting setting up local development for CalderaForms.com and needed to use code formatting on some words in a sentence.

There is no obvious way to add <code> or <pre> to selected words in paragraph or list block. This made writing those docs a pain, I had to add the HTML in the code editor. Yes there is a code block, but switching blocks upsets my flow and sometimes I want to put code in a sentence.

Cool feature, not easily discovered. I wish I knew how to make that obvious, as its really cool.

Hide The Sidebar

In the top right menu is a gear icon. Click that to close the Gutenberg sidebar when you’re writing. It’s better that way.

Use The Document Outline Tool

Using the document outline in Gutenberg to see that your 10 items listicle only has 4 items. Also, accept that fact and go back to writing code.

The document outline tool —  i in a circle icon on top right — shows you your heading structure for the document. It makes it easier to see bad heading structure and to jump around a large document.

Another thing that is great about this tool is if you’re writing a listicle that promises ten time-saving tips or whatever, you can use it to count your time-saving tips as you go.

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