There’s notebook apps to store all your text snippets, ideas, notes, outlines, and anything else you can think of. They’re designed to make it easy to save notes, and easy to search through and find the note you need later. There’s plain writing apps, that strip away all the distractions and help you focus on your writing. And then there’s the export tools page layout apps that help you publish your finished work.
And then, there’s the new Ulysses III 1.1. Ulysses III reinvented what it meant to be a plain-text writing app when it was released this spring, and the new v1.1 update adds advanced search and improves external file and export support enough that it’s a notebook, focused writing, and publishing app rolled into one. It’s the one app modern writers need.
There’s Markdown writing apps, and there’s rich text editors. Then there’s Ulysses III, the app that combines the best of both into one of the nicest writing environments on any platform. It looks sharp and works great, and I use it for a good portion of my writing these days — something I never would have considered back in the days of Ulysses 2.
Recently I had the chance to talk to Max Seelemann from The Soulmen team, and was able to arrange an interview with him about his team and their work. Here, for your reading pleasure, is their thoughts on OS X Mavericks, iCloud, building the best apps for each platform, and the story behind how Ulysses III came to be.
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.
I am a fiction writer with a (mostly) completed novel, several novels in progress, dozens of short stories, a couple of screenplays, and a million sketches for future projects. I am also a marketing specialist who writes white papers, brochures, and websites, and an academic who drafts long articles, essays, and reviews. In short, I’m a person who uses advanced writing-software to help me craft and manage complex pieces of writing.
My brother, on the other hand, works as a manager in an advertising agency, which means most of his writing takes the form of email. But like so many other people in this world (about 80% in the U.S., according to the Jenkins Group), my brother wants to write a novel.
The question is whether the same piece of software works just as well for him as it does for me. Can Ulysses 2.0 help both beginning and advanced writers reach their final drafts? Let’s take a look.