Quick publishing of notes/documents

Quick publishing of notes/documents

Occasionally I want to publish some note/document containing text and images to a web page. I’ve played around with various solutions and have tried

  • Creating web pages with for example Marked and upload them to a web site. It works but it’s also a bit cumbersome.

  • Publishing to a wordpress site, can be very easy but I don’t want a full web site and I don’t want searching across the documents/notes.

  • Evernote, very easy to get a public link and send that to people. But I’ve stopped using Evernote so this is also out.

My requirements are:

  • I want to write in Markdown
  • Source files must be local, I don’t want to/can’t use a web service for my notes/documents

I don’t mind to self-host a solution that works as the web server/web app.

Dream scenario:

  • I write a markdown document in BBEdit
  • I issue a simple command that uploads (and perhaps convert from Markdown to HTML) the necessary files to the server.
  • I get a URL back that I can paste into emails etc.

I can get fancier than this but this is the basics. Does anyone know of something like?

Craft has a nifty publish feature that should work as you describe.

Unfortunately it seems like Craft is a no-go for me

Meaning we store all your (textual) data on your devices as well as in the cloud.

I can only do something where my notes are local (I could of course just store the notes that I’m going to publish in Craft but that seem to be a bit strange to me).

Craft is offline first. You have a sync service, but your notes are local.
If you need absolute confidentiality (but how does that play with online publishing?) you can have separate spaces in Craft, one for entirely local notes, and one for notes which will be published (and will be synced using their service).

I used to use this

It was pretty simple though does rely on DropBox. I’m not sure it’s still under development.

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@jemostrom, funny enough, I authored a Markdown publishing workflow to satisfy the exact use case you describe. I also have a need to share notes that I author with others I’m collaborating with, but I didn’t want to give them access to all my interlinked notes.

I use DEVONthink as my PKM, and it does some work to convert Markdown to HTML for me. With that exception in mind, I’m guessing my workflow might suit your needs.

My publishing workflow does the following:

  1. Exports a Markdown file to HTML when it is tagged “Public” in DEVONthink
  2. Rewrites and/or removes links as appropriate—with a few exceptions, I only want to share images and PDFs that are referenced in the note
  3. Post the HTML page and its linked assets to my public web server to be rendered by a simple Sinatra app. The DEVONthink record’s UUID will be used for the note’s public URL.
  4. Set the note’s URL in DEVONthink to its public URL
  5. Use a TextExpander snippet to output a note’s public URL

Feel free to DM me as I would be more than happy to send you the code I authored that implements this workflow.

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OK, then I’ll take closer look at Craft. I need to keep the notes local for various reasons, but not all notes are “secret” and I want to be able to publish a few of them once in a while. That together that I prefer to have my notes in one place, to avoid the “where did a store that note” moments, explains the somewhat contradictory requirements.

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Thanks, I’ll take look at that

DT is NOT a problem, in fact this is where my notes live :yum: So this would be exactly what I’m looking for!!

Blot will do exactly what you describe. It’s a blogging platform that will turn a git repository or Dropbox folder of markdown files into webpages.


Yep, I played with it a couple of years ago but at that time there was some problem with discoverability (I don’t remember exactly what the problem was), i.e. if I created a document with an URL that was pretty difficult to figure out, it was trivial to find the document. It was also something with how blot finds documents that made it unsuitable for this task, it was something along the lines that if I had a document in a hierarchy, it would find the document even if the hierarchy wasn’t correct (sorry, I don’t remember the details). I discovered this when I was trying to figure out a solution for this, and emailed the developer about it. And this is something that works as intended, i.e. it was by design. Otherwise, Blot would be a really good solution for me.

You can specify the URL path in the markdown file by putting Link:desiredpath at the top of the file. That will make the page’s URL domain.tld/desiredpath

It’s a bit overkill for your needs but Obsidian publish is an option.

Write a local .md file, click publish, and voila. It also supports custom domains and all sorts of nifty stuff. It’s not a full on website at all, it’s intended just for publishing notes.

But it does have features like search, showing the connections between your notes (only the published ones), graph view, etc.

It’s a subscription service however. Obsidian itself is entirely free.


Yes, but there was something along the lines that if a page had the url domain.tld/a/b/name then it would display the page if I entered domain.tld/name (unless domain.tld/name actually existed - note this was a couple of years ago so my memory is fuzzy and this may have changed since then). And I think that it was search that couldn’t be restricted.

I should probably ask again to see if something have changed.

I don’t see how you are going to avoid running your own server if you don’t want the files to be online.

I’d look at jekyll.

My notes shouldn’t be online, but those notes I decide to publish should.

Some of the notes contains sensitive stuff that shouldn’t be online (for many reasons like legal, moral, decency, etc) but some other notes contains documentations, how to do stuff, explanations, etc that I want to point people to.

I am again plugging Craft in, it’s exactly designed for the occasional sharing of notes. I’m using it exactly in the case you describe, when I want to point people to things, but otherwise my notes remain private and local. And it all works out of the box. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yeah, I need to spend some time during summer to figure this out. There are quite a few options out there like Craft, Obsidian, Evernote (not an alternative for me), etc that I need to look at.

Of course, if I look at my whole situation there are quite a number of requirements I have. So this is just a subproblem that I’ve been thinking of for the last 5-10 years but so far I haven’t bothered to actually set up a solution, with a change in responsibilities this became more important … and also more complex.

So I might stick with my current DT-based solution, switch to Obsidian or Craft, or go back to BBEdit or … I’m just grateful that there are actually options to chose between.

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