There are so many buttons, windows, and gadgets that can distract you when working at a computer. Have you ever tried to sit down and write something while an icon bounces away in your dock? It’s a frustrating experience. Minimalist, full-screen writing apps are great for keeping these distractions out of the corner of your eye, providing a simple, clear environment where you can let your mind roam free.
Before highlighting our collection of these apps, I’d like to point out two things. First, choosing a new writing application won’t make you a better writer, nor will it magically motivate you to write. These two qualities need to come first.
Second, if you’re spending time researching new minimalist writing apps in the time you should actually be writing, some priority adjustment is in order. Send today’s article to Instapaper, and come back to it after you’ve met your writing target for the day!
With that out of the way, let’s move on to take a look at a few simple applications that might help to make writing a more distraction-free process…
We live in a busy world nowadays. What with our e-mail, text messaging, and even phone calls interrupting our flow, it can be difficult to sit down and write something of substance. And when it comes to multitasking on the computer, well there are almost always ten windows open at any one time, and if that Apple Mail icon starts bouncing, we know it’s time to go get our dopamine fix…
Because of these distractions, there have been a crop of writing programs that have popped up for the Mac and iPad recently that strip away all of the apps running in the background, letting you focus on the task at hand: writing.
But is any of this stuff necessary? Is there any reason why you can’t just sit back with your laptop and a good word processing program and get the next great novel written?
Let’s talk this out after the break…
If you’re anything like me – you’ve bought a fair number of Moleskine and other notebooks in the hope that you would journal and keep track of your busy life a little better.
Journaling has been proven to de-stress as well as calm the business of your mind. However, writing out long hand is slow – almost as if your hand can’t keep up with what’s rattling around in your head. I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a journal or diary on my computer – a la Doogie Howser – but never really found a program that prodded me to keep up without spamming my Growl notifications or E-mail inbox.
Then I was asked to take a look at Chronories, from the popular Mac software development firm Synium Software, based out of Germany. I was surprised at the great Mac integration of the application, as well as how automated it was in recording little details from my day that made writing a few thoughts down a little less painful.
In this review, we’ll take a look at journaling with Chronories on your Mac, and see if this app can once and for all push your journaling from a vague resolution into a regular habit.
Scrivener is an application for composing virtually any type of writing. It is the work of Keith Blount, himself a writer who had been unsatisfied with all the writing applications he’d used over the years. He decided to teach himself programming and built his own unique writing tool. I and many other writers are very thankful that he did.
After more than two years of work, Blount and his growing team at Literature & Latte recently released Scrivener 2.0. If you are familiar with the first version, you may not immediately notice any changes to the Scrivener screen, but believe me—there are changes.
The overview of additions and improvements takes six pages in the new manual. Mac AppStorm featured a delightful and thorough review of version 1.5 in March. Today we’re going to take a look at how Scrivener 2.0 differs from its predecessor, and what that might mean for writers looking for a software solution.
An essential tool for both web and software developers is a text editor. Text editors streamline the process of working with code, and save time by providing shortcuts for repetitive tasks. Text editors are also useful for other web users – for example, they are very handy for tidying up text that has been copied online, before pasting it into a blog or word document.
Fraise is an app that sits at the ‘basic’ end of the market for text editors, and performs these basic (and some more advanced) tasks well.
Keeping a diary may not be half as popular as it used to be, but the habit of maintaining a record of events across your life is certainly not gone. It’s a great way to reminisce, and look back at where you’ve come from.
CallitADay is a great app from Expersis which lets you keep a daily diary on your Mac. This review will cover CallitADay’s winning features and flaws, and see what else is out there in the way of diary apps.
Writing an article, a novel, or a research paper can be a daunting task. Collected information has a way of getting lost amidst dozens of folders, outlining notes vanish mysteriously, and the very thought of starting a large writing project seems paralyzing, especially when sitting in front of the blinking cursor on an empty screen.
While it can’t do the actual writing work for you, Scrivener can help you to manage your project with ease, keep everything together and support your individual writing process – no matter if you are absolutely organized or love the chaos. The following review will give you a first hand insight into the mighty piece of software, enabling you to get an idea of what it can do for you and hopefully motivating you to pick up the pen – pardon me – the keyboard, again.
Compared to Word and TextEdit, Bean is a happy, open-source alternative. It has more features than TextEdit, though not enough to be a full-fledged word processor. But that’s the point.
Like every good app, Bean has a story. Its creator, James Hoover loved to write. His tool was Microsoft Office X, which started to leave a bad taste in his mouth. Seeking a tool that “Worked like he did,” he began to research what a good writing tool should have, seeking something that worked for him. And now we have the result of that process – Bean.
In this article I’ll go over what’s included in Bean, how it implements the basic features a text editor should have, and determine whether it really is worth using.
The day to day use of a computer always involves some form of writing. Whilst this may often be a short, snappy task (drafting an email, blog comment or twitter post), there are often times when you find yourself writing a longer piece of work. Plenty of software exists for assisting with word processing, but often creates more distraction than simplicity in its approach.
WriteRoom is an application which takes a completely different approach to writing, stripping away all the distractions you commonly find yourself faced with when using a Mac. It achieves this goal in a bold and novel way – by removing everything else on your screen. When activated, WriteRoom creates a full screen “writing environment”, a concept which has proven to be very well received by many writers:
“Unlike practically everything else in our digital lives, WriteRoom’s minimalist interface implies a truly flattering proposition: It’s you, not the software, that matters.” — Jeffrey MacIntyre, Slate
This review will outline the features and functionality of WriteRoom, explain how it integrates with your Mac, and fill you in on the accompanying iPhone application.