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Writer Pro is a bit bipolar. On the Mac, the app takes writing to a different level; elevating Markdown and a clean workflow into a smooth running system that is a pleasure to use. But on iOS, it’s a mess with very little reason to appear on your homescreen. And both apps cost $19.95.

And so, I’m conflicted. I like using Writer Pro, but I don’t enjoy using it on both platforms. In addition, new additional information about the developers has appeared, making me feel even worse. So should you spend $20 or $40 on the Writer Pro app system, or is it best to just walk away? Let’s find out. (more…)

If you are a writer by trade, or have to do a lot of writing in your trade, you have likely (certainly?) had to deal with writer’s block. You know what I’m talking about. The dreaded staring at the screen blankly while your mind wanders aimlessly or just seems to stop working altogether. Sometimes writers block is just plain lack of motivation. Of course there are things you can do to overcome writer’s block. For me, nothing works better than a good workout or caffeine to clear the cobwebs or a pomodoro timer for a little extra motivation.

I was actually struggling with writers block at the very time I noticed Flowstate, an app that claims to help users fight through writer’s block. That’s a pretty big claim, and I couldn’t resist putting it to the test.

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All right all you note taking app aficionados, there’s a new plain text note taker on the block: Just Type. You may be familiar with its iOS counterpart, which has been out for a while, but this popular iOS note taker just recently hit the Mac App Store.

This app is definitely worth a look, but is it worth switching to? Can it replace Simplenote? Read on to find out.

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You’ve likely used word processors like Word, TextEdit, and Pages, as well as plain-text writing apps like iA Writer and Byword. If you’re a serious writer, you’ve likely used or at least looked at advanced writing apps like Scrivener or the original Ulysses.

But you’ve never seen anything like Ulysses III. It’s a totally new take on an advanced writing app, bringing the best of Markdown-focused plain text editors together with a multi-document management system that makes sense. Throw in HUDs that make Markdown formatting easier to use than rich editing in Word, and you’ve got one serious writing app. One that must be seen to be believed.

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Minimalist text editors burst on to the Mac app scene a few years back (actually the Soulmen were pioneers of this field back in 2002, but the truly minimalist apps came out years later). Since that time, there has been a proliferation of minimalist text editors—some would even say the category is too crowded. Many of these editors incorporate Markdown or MultiMarkdown syntax for formatting, with some even providing a live preview and standard keyboard shortcuts for applying syntax (see Byword).

I was searching for an app that would easily create HTML, but display the text as rich text, and stumbled upon Texts. I was in for a big surprise when I discovered just how powerful this “minimalist” text editor is. Read on to find out what I mean. (more…)

With our always-busy, always-committed-to-something lifestyle, it might be hard to keep track of all your duties. That’s where todo list and project management apps enter the stage. I’ve tried four of the most popular Mac apps in this category: OmniFocus, Things, The Hit List, and Wunderlist. But because I’m really bad at being organized, all of these apps were all too much of a hassle for me, despite being relatively simple to use.

My way of adding things to my todo list must be absolutely frictionless. Only plain text and the awesome plain text todo list app TaskPaper can satisfy my needs. If you’re like me, stay after the break to read in details about a workflow I developed to actually do things instead of just spending time fiddling with my tasks.

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There is no shortage of so-called ‘distraction free writing’ apps for our beloved Mac platform, a trend that started with the excellent WriteRoom from Jesse Grosjean’s Hog Bay Software in 2008. WriteRoom was the original full-screen minimalist text editor that inspired many similar writing apps that fill the App Store today. The company later followed up with a plain text to-do list app, TaskPaper, and also released QuickCursor, a simple app to edit text from any text field in your favorite text editor. Hog Bay Software not only made it nice to write plain text, but made it simple to do so whenever you want for whatever you want.

After creating the genre, the little company now re-invents it with FoldingText, an incredibly easy-to-use combination of plain text based tools. Geeks, nerds, writers, productivity gurus, rejoice: a new plain text productivity platform is born.

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