I have yet to give up on my adulthood search for the perfect word processor, but I’m thinking about letting the dream pass to another generation. Why? Writing is personal. Today’s crop of writing tools is growing.
There was a time, back in the day, back to the last century when WriteNow was the cat’s meow of Mac writing tools; one that stood out among a small crowd. It was fast, elegant, easy to master, and had just the right list of features.
The word processor I used in recent years is one of the best ever because it was so much like WriteNow, but more 21st century. Alas, the free Bean will one day be no more, though it works well on current Macs. Next year? Maybe not.
The search for a replacement to the best word processor continues but not without distractions, one of which is the sheer number of writing tools for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. They’re everywhere, inexpensive, and start with Apple’s own Notes and end with Apple’s own Pages, but with dozens of note-taking apps and writer’s tools inbetween.
Today I’m using iA Writer. This one as been around a few years and feels more worthy, despite the minimalist of features.
What you see is what you get and what you see is a visual representation of tool with focus.
iA Writer removes distractions. Giving you a calm, focused, writing space, so you can express yourself clearly. We stripped away everything that might stand between you and how you feel so that you can write from the heart. This is how great writing gets started. We created focus mode. An experience where everything fades away. Everything but the sentence you are writing, the thought that you are expressing right now. Focus mode helps you dive into the flow.
I write for money and focus mode is good mentally, but on the screen what I’m going to write often is based upon what I just wrote. And editing goes backwards and forwards so focus is less what I want than the proper– and I get to determine what’s proper for me– balance of tools.
Yet, iA Writer is no slouch in the features and functions departments (third floor, turn right off the escalator).
This seemingly simple writing tool syncs with Dropbox and iCloud, exports as HTML, Word, Medium, or PDF. It comes with custom templates and a document library to find files fast. Yes, you can drop in photos, tables, and other text items.
That looks more familiar, right?
iA Writer even handles superfluous adjectives, repetitive nouns, weak verbs, and false conjunctions via ever precious syntax highlighting.
Now, get this. iA Writer works on Mac, iPhone, especially well on iPad thanks to screen real estate, and even on various and sundry Android devices. Maybe Windows one day, too. It’s lean and light but features you need are available with a click or a tap.
And, it’s priced right. That means you won’t feel bad giving somebody some money so you can writer better. Or, at least calm down a bit while you write. The only real caveat here is that the Mac version does not have a try-before-you-buy option. And the Download button does not mean what it once meant. Otherwise, nicely done.