Despite its recent acquisition by Yahoo!, Tumblr is still the cool kid of the blogging platforms, and I want to be cool, I really do. But I’ve had trouble integrating myself with the Tumblr community. Mostly it’s come down to the Tumblr dashboard, which I’ve never liked the look of and have always thought was more than a little convoluted.
If only there was a Mac app to create a better Tumblr experience. That’s where Milk comes in. I’m going to try out this feature-packed Tumblr client and see if it can create a better experience.
I’ll Tumble for You
The app opens up to your Milk dashboard, which is a lot like the Tumblr dashboard, but better. Look to the menu of icons in the top right and select the silhouette. This will display your drafts, queue, and posts. If you have more than one Tumblr blog on your account, switch among those in the drop-down. You’ll have quick access to any scheduled or in progress posts, and you can also edit or delete live posts right from this window.
Click the Tumblr “t” icon to the right of the silhouette to browse a more conventional dashboard roundup of all of the latest post from the Tumblr blogs you follow. Any images and text are displayed, and you’ll see the author’s username as well as a clickable “heart” icon to like the post. All notes and tags are hidden behind the notes icon. Within the notes window, you can reblog a post or right-click on the bookmark icon to open, download, or copy a link.
Next, behind the tray icon in the menu, you’ll find all of your liked posts. Everything you’ve favorited is stuck in here, so it’s a great way to get at everything you enjoy on Tumblr. By going into the notes window within a post, you can click on relevant tags and find even more stuff to like. Hit up the search icon to find posts tagged or mentioning specific keywords, too. Click the pushpin to the right of the search field to save your search for later.
You can start a new post for your own Tumblr just about anywhere in the Milk dashboard by clicking the new post icon in the bottom right, but if you lose sight of it, new posts are available from the File menu. Just like at the Tumblr website, you can choose whether you want to make it a text, photo, quote, or some other kind of post, and add your images and captions to your post. Tag it so interested readers will find your blog, and Milk lets you save your post as a draft, queue it up, or publish it right away.
I may have mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of the Tumblr dashboard, and it’s prevented me from really making the most of Tumblr. It’s pretty unattractive, and it’s easy to get lost among the myriad posts that just seem to appear in a short span. Milk’s dashboard looks so much better, and I find its interface much more intuitive and easy to navigate. My posts and those of the people I follow are pulled out and separate, and my drafts and queued posts are front and center so they don’t end up lost down some Tumblr hole. I also always know which blog I’m working in with Milk, so I don’t end up posting about Sherlock Holmes to my Korean drama blog or about Adventure Time to my Mac tutorials blog.
I’m something of a notifications junkie, and I want to know everything that’s happening when it’s happening. With notifications turned on in Milk’s preferences, I don’t have to keep Tumblr open in a tab or be constantly referring back to my dashboard to find out if there have been any great new posts or if my Lumpy Space Princess pic has gone viral. I did run into a problem the first time I opened Milk, because it seemed to notify me of every post that has ever happened on Tumblr; I was just inundated. I was forced to turn notifications off, but I just gave Milk’s notifications a try again after about a week, and everything’s tickety-boo now.
You’ll find all of the post features you expect from Tumblr in Milk’s post window, too. Milk even lets you edit your posts in Markdown, and that’s pretty cool if you’re not down with HTML. There are a couple of things missing, though. The preview feature doesn’t allow you to see your post as if it was on your blog, so you have to hope it turns out alright. My posts are automatically pushed to Twitter and Facebook, but I can toggle that on or off at the Tumblr website. That’s not possible in Milk, though you can customize your Tweet before it’s sent.
I’m sold on Milk. It makes for a really great Tumblr experience. I can’t say it will become my number one destination for creating Tumblr posts, but it’s already my go to spot for browsing my Tumblr dashboard and searching out new blogs.
I’ve had various Tumblr blogs for a few years, and most of them were pretty neglected, because I couldn’t find it in me to plant myself in front of that ugly Tumblr dashboard. Since downloading Milk, I’ve experienced a Tumblr renaissance. I’m enjoying the site, others’ posts, and curating my own Tumblr blogs like I never did before, and it’s thanks to Milk’s awesome tools and attractive UI.