ShortlyAI Commands: The “Long-Form” Collection

Update 28 March, 2021: brainstorm and outline have been replaced with the new instruct command. Now you can ask for topic ideas, or an outline — all from one command (check the Shortly Compendium to see more ways to use instruct).

Update 24 March, 2021: these commands have been removed from ShortlyAI momentarily. Stay tuned for more information over the coming days, or weeks.

ShortlyAI's instruct command helps you create long-form content faster and easier than before -- further improving the ability for Shortly to improve your content creation productivity using GPT-3 AI.

Designed to help you with the beginning steps of your writing, this command brings you a great deal of flexibility — a couple of ways to use it are to find ideas to write about and then quickly outline your article too.

YouTube video

/instruct [give me topic ideas for…]

Instruct (formerly /brainstorm) can help you brainstorm ideas on your topic. Think of it as if you turned to your AI assistant and asked them to brainstorm and find ideas to write about on a given topic.

For example, /instruct [give me topic ideas for how to write quality content for the web] will give you ideas intended to spark your creativity about writing quality content for the web. Here's what I got:

  1. Keep quality goals in mind
  2. Stay on topic
  3. Improve navigation options on your website
  4. Platforms like WordPress make it easy to create quality content
  5. Make use of plugins

Use this command at the beginning of your writing to come up with ideas if you need them. It's not intended to replace your own topic research or completely craft your full content strategy. You really should spend quality time deeply thinking about your niche, the goal of your site, and how you intend to serve your readers -- but /brainstorm can help you with content ideas.

Think of it like a brainstorming session amongst a team -- but here, your team is an AI assistant -- bounce ideas back and forth to come up with a list of topics to write about -- use /brainstorm, pick the ideas it comes up with, discard the rest -- then do it again until you have as many ideas as you want. Save them in a list somewhere to come back to.

Once you have a topic it's time to create an outline. That's where the next command comes into play.

/instruct [create an outline for…]

Instruct (formerly outline) can generate an outline based on the title or topic you feed it -- fantastic for quickly structuring your article so you can write fast.

For example, /instruct [create an outline for 5 Ways to Stay on Topic When Writing] will produce a quick outline I can use to begin writing an article about ways to stay on topic when writing. Here's what I got:

  1. Cut the Crap
  2. Narrow Your Focus
  3. Use a Planner
  4. Create an Outline
  5. Double Check Your Writing

I like #1. 😉

It's important to note that this command is not intended to write your outline completely. Think of it more like a draft outline from a junior writer, and you -- as a senior editor -- need to spend some time improving it.

But you'll often find the junior writer does a pretty good job. Often you'll find yourself only need to "beef up" each part of the outline and maybe adding a few more headings.

Outline Again

But wait, there's more. Given the flexible, blank canvas style of Shortly, and these /commands -- you can run /instruct as often as you'd like. Why not use /instruct to produce an outline of your outline!?

Yep, if I run /instruct on each of the parts of the "main outline" I get this:

1. Cut the Crap

  1. Understand That Writing Takes Time
  2. Turn Off Distractions
  3. Write for a Few Minutes at a Time
  4. Reward Yourself for Writing in a Daily Habit
  5. Don’t Expect Perfection

2. Narrow Your Focus

  1. The Topic
  2. Your Audience
  3. Your Goal
  4. The Process of Writing
  5. Common Writing Pitfalls

3. Use a Planner

  1. Organize Your Thoughts
  2. Set Goals
  3. Write a Rough Outline
  4. Organize Your Sections
  5. Set Milestones
  6. Celebrate Successes

4. Create an Outline

  1. Know Your Goal
  2. Stay Organized
  3. Set a Time Limit
  4. Use a Distraction Log
  5. Find What Works for You

5. Double Check Your Writing

  1. The Basic Rules of Grammar
  2. The Dos and Don'ts of Proofreading
  3. The Grammarly Tool
  4. The Hemingway App

Imagine how easy it's going to be to turn that into a 2,000+ word article compared to how you may have done it in the past.

Don't Forget the Refine Commands

Now that you have a nice outline, complete with sub-outlines, it's time to write. Of course, this is the "dance" I refer to all the time. Be the boss, lead, and let the AI complete your sentences and paragraphs for you.

And don't forget the refine commands of /shorten, /rewrite, and /expand. They can help you blast through your article content too.

For example, /expand is an excellent way to get a section started. Let's say I use a part of the outline above, and do /expand to start sections, like this:

5. Double Check Your Writing

  1. The Basic Rules of Grammar

In "The Basic Rules of Grammar," we use "rule 1" to teach you the most important rule in English grammar: sentences have a subject and a verb.

And also remember you can control context using the /// command to prevent the other parts of your article from interfering with the AI.


Phew… so that's all pretty cool, isn't it? I hope you can see how powerful this command can be especially when used to create ideas and outlines (and outlines of outlines) -- and there are more "long-form" capabilities in the works. 😉

Do you think you can create content significantly faster now? I know I can.