When you write, there is a lot to do before and after you’re done with writing. Deciding on formats, how and where you will keep the writing, whether you will publish it or not, etc.
Often these side-tasks make a small mess. Folder into a folder, having documents on the hard disk, some files are on the cloud storage, some on paper. There’s got to be something that you can do to organize your content better and more efficient.
I analyzed over 20 tools and came up with a list of the simplest ones. The ones that let you write without too much noise around. These are the ones I will write few words about in this article:
- Calmly, for Desktop
- Mobile Plus, for mobile
- Writings, for web
The preferences can range from desktop to mobile apps, anything that works for you, perfectly fine.
But before we come to the top 3 recommend apps, let’s see some of the practices that we advise against when choosing a software solution for yourself. What makes a writing app an efficient tool that we can use?
Lower the complexity 🔗
Everybody wants to use an app with a full set of features, that’s clear. But often we don’t see how defocusing that is. Especially at the beginning of our writing journey.
How many of the features in the word processor apps like Microsoft Word or Google Docs you actually use? Let your needs grow together with your habit. At the beginning you don’t need formulas or graphs to be able to write. All you need is a white canvas, possibility to select between font styles, and give structure to the writing by using lists and headings. Nothing more than that.
Using an overly complex tool can affect your motivation. After all you want to focus on your writing and not on 10 popups out of nowhere that you barely comprehend. Clean desk, clean mind, they say.
Write once, access everywhere 🔗
Some say “I don’t really need a rich text editor, a plain text is enough for me!" and they are right. The Egyptians didn’t have paper when they started writing, but they did it anyway. However, we need to scale our habit to the possibilities that exist today, and not to how much of our needs we can eliminate. You can use a plain text editor, but you can also be scribing on the wall of your neighbouring building just like the Egyptians. Would you? Of course not. Finding the right amount of common sense is always a better option.
When you save your content locally on your computer, you have the responsibility of remembering where they are and eventually backing them up every once in a while. That “safe” place could be the cloud, like Dropbox or Google Drive, or an external device like an USB or hard disk. Still this is something that you will have to do.
Finally, that will exhaust you. You’ll want to store your content remotely from the same beginning and be able to access from anywhere, regardless where you wrote it.
Clear, it’s 2022 and most of the existing apps offer the possibility for you to save the files online, so make sure to check all options and see what’s most feasible for you.
Again, you want to focus on writing and not backing up.
Write today, cheat later 🔗
AI is great if you are already fluently creating and regularly editing content. But don’t start with apps that generate the content for you. You want to learn writing primarily for yourself. Leave the AI tools for content-creating professionals and people that are writing on daily basis, like copy-writers.
For them these tools are a necessity as there is a ton of repetitive work that these tools make much easier. You don’t want to do that as your goal is not to cheat from day one, but rather to start writing by simple means that will push you forward, not do the writing for you. Start cheating later.
So what are the top three apps that offer this simplicity for you?
Desktop: Calmly 🔗
Simple and elegant, Calmly enables focused writing without too much fuss.
It comes with a support for Markdown that enables you to format your content easily (even though this might not be seen as an advantage right away by people that are not familiar with Markdown, but the options are there).
One of the cons of the app is that it does not have integrated way to store files online, but rather you still need to use Google Drive or Dropbox to store your work there. The integration is made much simpler so that you don’t just drag the files manually yourself, but still, we see this as a an argument against as if you use a different computer to work on your content, you’ll have to do the login to the cloud services there too.
Mobile: Writer Plus 🔗
Download: Available on the corresponding mobile stores
A rather simple app that does not have the fancy look from first sight, but what counts are the features. If you are type of person that wants to write on a mobile app (reasons can range between working on a tablet, being more mobile, etc), then this app could be it.
Writer Plus, downloaded by more than 1M users (with an average score of 4.6) has all you need. Just like iA Writer, it supports Markdown and you can easily create multiple documents on the fly.
The best thing: it’s free! Give it a try.
Web: Writings 🔗
I am biased towards Writings but let me try to justify that bias.
There is a huge offering out there and each of the apps that we checked is a masterpiece of its kind. But almost all of the other writing apps are at least 3 different apps merged in one. And that made it difficult to go over the principle of not over-complicating.
We want to start writing, we don’t want become professional writers the next day. Well, that would be amazing, but to be honest, just like with any other content creation activity, writing takes time and exercise.
A simple canvas with formatting options would be more than enough to anyone. And that is what you get with Writings. Zero clutter and complete focus on what you write.
You can interact with your content any time from anywhere as it’s stored in the cloud. You can organize it and share it as you wish. The overview per date or per label makes it easy to get an overview of when you wrote something or find a particular writing under a category. If you are after a really simple writing app, Writings is worth trying!
Give it a try and give us a feedback!
Thanks for reading! If this article managed to at least increase your curiousity, it’s purpose has been fulfiled. I hope you find something useful to feed your daily writing need!