Basic academic writing, Markdown and Ulysses

I love Ulysses! Ulysses is excellent and I want to use it as my main writing tool! (Like Odysseus I have tied myself to the mast and thus I am able to resist all temptations by other competing and impressive applications.) But I am getting increasingly annoyed by and worried about the developers’ tendency to offer shiny objects instead of developing Ulysses into the powerful writing tool for serious writing.
I regret very much that there is no forum where my “letter” can be shared and discussed with others. (I have complained about this lack before and want to draw your attention to Scrivener, Mellel, Bookends and Devonthink for example, who are also “small” companies and offer excellent forums and lively essential direct communications with their customers. See also: Forum and Index.) I do not understand why Ulysses needs “proprietary” tagging for markup. I know that there is no unified syntax for Markdown but there is a very wide common use of the same tagging when it comes to the most basic commands. I do not find Ulysses’s modified tagging for footnote, image, video, easier or better. On the contrary. I would prefer as much common markup syntax as possible.
I do not think that it is really so important to have “direct” publishing powers to WordPress, Ghost, Medium, and MicroBlog. Publishing to WordPress is still very rudimentary and I have my doubts about Medium and Microblog as the most important publishing agencies. Publishing to my WordPress site is most simple and straight forward: Copy / paste from the sheet into the New Posts or Projects I want to create. (As I am using Divi the existing setup for publishing to WordPress in Ulysses would be of no help anyway.) The point is: Like with markup syntax, there is no need to make things “easier” by creating “direct” strategies which run quickly into problems. Just explain the most straight-forward workflow or procedure and everybody will be surprises how easy this goes. There is, in my opinion, the danger that Ulysses tries to cater for the big public and offers what I see as “gimmicks” instead of concentrating fully on fixing everything in the machine room. It might be that everything is already in perfect shape and I just need some help and clarification. I am happy to receive that.
Having voiced my global grievances with Ulysses, here now comes my specific need for help when writing “academic” texts in Ulysses.
At the start, the situation was confusing for me, to say the least, and I needed a considerable time fiddling with all the options to arrive at what feels now a good way of doing it. It might not be how Ulysses intends it.
Here is my setup for basic academic writing. I use Ulysses, Bookends and Mellel. This combo feels best for me, and I have tried almost all the other options.

1. I have changed citation tags in Ulysses – Preferences – Markup to \{} .
2. Mellel is selected in Bookends as word processor: “Bookends – Preferences – General – Word processor”.
3. In the Ulysses text I place the pointer where the citation should be.
4. In the Ulysses menu “Markup” picking “citation” places one citation bracket \{ in the text.
5. In Bookends I copy the relevant citation and paste it right after the citation tag in the Ulysses text. The citation from Bookends starts now with 2 citations tags \{{ and ends with one \}.
6. In the Ulysses text a second closing tag \} is now needed – kind of closing the citation command. At least this is the procedure which works for me. IMPORTANT: This closing tag is generated by option-9 on the keyboard. It cannot come from the Ulysses menu.
7. Export this document as “Text Rich Text”.
8. Open this document with Mellel.
9. In Mellel chose “Edit – Bibliography – Convert Text to Citations”,
10. In Mellel chose “Edit – Bibliography – Scan Document”.
This is the way how it works for me now. I bit clumsy and perhaps not what Ulysses has intended.
I am looking forward to your enlightenment. Ulysses can easily be the best writing app for everybody, beginners and pros. But please go for the pros. Everybody else will benefit.


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