Scrivener While Ulysses does well in the long-form writing arena, Scrivener is surely the reigning king here. I will be the first to admit that Scrivener is not as intuitive as Ulysses and has a little bit of learning curve attached to it. You will at least need a couple of hours to get familiar with the interface while unlocking its full potential will require some serious usage. The inbuilt tutorial does help a lot to learn the basics. When you launch the app, you will be asked to create a project.
There are a few templates which can help you get started. A project is where everything will take place. For this article, I chose the novel template. Now, I cannot go deep into all the features of Scrivener but I will cover some cool features which make it best suited for long-form writing. The first feature which Scrivener does better than any other app out there is the organisation of your documents.
You can create folders and nest folders inside other folders to create multi-layered organisational structure. But the best part is how easy it makes managing and finding your content.
You can search your text by tags, characters, and keywords. You can use the outlining feature to create an outline. The cork board view helps in getting the essence of your work. Lastly, Scrivener allows you to export your work in different publishing format, which is really helpful, to say the least. You just have to feed the required information and it will take care of the formatting for you. If you are a long-form content writer especially focusing on novels, this is the best tool you can get today.
As Ulysses, it is also costly but worth every penny. It has a fluid and good looking interface which helps you avoid distractions and focus more on the writing itself.
You can use the syntax Markdown to format your text. You can also create sheets and search between the sheets using keywords. Of course, there is an Auto-save option, but the minimum interval time is 1 minute.
There is also a Premium Plus plan where you get Plagiarism check. However, for this, it charges something extra, based on the checks you need. It does not matter whether you are publishing print or digital, you can count in Vellum.
What matters is that it packs superb stability along with minimal design. Customization is not a strong area of the tool, but you can manage. Its easy workflow is so cool that you can start writing in the first step. You can also export it to print. The bigger problem here is that it does not even have auto-save functionality. To be frank, this is the only area where Vellum disappoints users. If anything happens to your Mac, your unsaved data will be lost. We really wish Vellum does something here.
Concerning the price, things are a bit detailed. While Vellum is completely free to download and use, you need the premium license to generate books, in any format. In that case, you have two options. But, we can recommend some quick options. Design is vitally important as it should strive to eliminate visual barriers so you can enter into a state of flow easily and do your best creative work.
Ease of Use — The purpose of any tool is to make the work easier. Workflow Options — The application you choose to use should adapt to fit your workflow. It should accommodate your preferred methods and styles for capturing and creating content so you can focus on the words — no matter where you are when you decide to write them. Export Options — Your words are ultimately going to end up somewhere outside the pro writing app that you select. Flexible export options allow you to quickly and easily move your content from one location to another and make it simple for you to get your content out into the world.
Update History — The tool you decide to use should be actively developed. Nothing is more frustrating than being fully invested in a platform that is no longer supported because you then have to figure out a way to get everything out and start over in a completely new system ask anyone who used WordPerfect or QuarkExpress back in the day. Price — There have never been more quality options to choose from, and the competition surrounding great writing apps is fierce.
This is great news for you as a writer, as it means you have a lot of affordable tools to choose from. Word processors are very powerful applications that have a lot of unnecessary formatting and layout tools for our purposes, anyway. And having to support all of these functions and features comes at a price, resulting in a cluttered and cramped writing interface.
All of these options and tools can also get in the way of your writing by encouraging you to tinker with layout options instead of putting words on the page. Many a writer has succumbed to what Steven Pressfield calls The Resistance by fiddling with font settings instead of doing the work. Word processors also make it very difficult to work on your project outside the application you started with because of their proprietary file formats.
Ever open up a Word document you received from someone and were welcomed by a warning message saying a necessary font is not installed? These are also very powerful applications with specific use cases, but are overkill for the person who just needs to put words on a page. If you choose this route, everything is done in a single app using one of Ulysses predefined styles. There is a preview option so you can see what your document looks like.
If you are stopping at Ulysses, give everything a polish before you finish. You can now export as DOCX either to submit or further edit. It's time to reconsider! It spares you some of the more frustrating aspects of getting your paper to look nice. There is a problem. Like Ulysses, its support for complex bibliography pages is through the Papers app. If you are going to be tracking comments and changes with other users, Word pulls out ahead here too.
Also available for iOS, Android and Windows. Byword is similar, helping you stay focused on your writing by offering a pleasant, distraction-free environment. The app offers additional preferences, and also adds the ability to publish directly to a number of blogging platforms. Free Alternatives for Writers Still not sure if you need to spend money on a pro writing app?
Here are a number of free ways to write your blogpost, novel or document. Use the Word Processor You Already Have Rather than learning a new app, you can save time and money by using the word processor you already own, and are already familiar with. Personally, I did this for several years before discovering Ulysses, and found the experience pretty good. These apps tend to have less distractions than a word processor, and contain all the editing features you need.
You can generally extend their functionality with plugins, to add exactly the writing features that you need, for example: improved Markdown formatting with syntax highlighting, shortcut keys, and a preview pane. Free Software for Writers A number of free Mac apps designed for writers are worth considering.
Manuscripts is a serious writing tool that allows you to plan, edit and share your work. It includes templates, an outliner, writing goals, and publishing features. It has features particularly suited to writing academic papers. Typora is a minimalistic writing app based on Markdown. Despite it being in beta, it is quite stable and full-featured.
It supports themes, an outline panel, diagrams and mathematical formulas and tables. Manuskript Mac, Linux and Windows is a free and open-source writing tool for writers with features similar to Scrivener. Free Web Apps for Writers There are also a number of free web apps designed for writers. Amazon Storywriter is a free online screenwriting tool. It allows you to share drafts with trusted readers, auto-format your screenplay as you type, and can be used offline.
Wordcradle is a free online novel writing tool. It allows you to write stories, create characters, brainstorm, and set deadlines. ApolloPad is a full-featured online writing environment that is free to use while in beta.
Unlike iA Writer Pro and Ulysses, Word allows you to insert and embed figures and graphics, and create charts that underscore the points you make.
This makes it one of the more compelling packages for academic writing. The only problem is that when it exits the beta phase, it will ultimately cost a good chunk of change. It comes with a number of templates for academic writing. This makes it ideal for those writing papers with a somewhat data-driven emphasis. For those on a tight budget, it remains the best option, and poses a serious challenge to the likes of Scrivener and Ulysses.
Pages and Word are just too complete and functional to not recommend, and offer the most value for money at least while Word is free.
You can even link your WordPress and Medium account and directly publish your articles without living the app. It inserts Markdown, but it does not require you know the syntax. You can even store files on other cloud storage spaces such as Dropbox using the external folder. But as a tool for writing Academic papers, how does it stand up? If your editor wants to track changes in Microsoft Word, you can export to that format, or a variety of others. Scrivener While Ulysses does well in the long-form writing arena, Scrivener is surely the reigning king here.
For example, a Filter might include documents that contain certain keywords or be based on when you wrote or modified a document, etc. The mission of any pro writing app should be to help you produce words that will eventually end up being posted, printed, or published.
Install: Free 2.
You can access anything you write on a Mac from your iPhone or iPad. Here are a number of free ways to write your blogpost, novel or document. It has features particularly suited to writing academic papers.
In cases, if it does fail to predict correctly, you can use the tab key to simply move between the options. The best thing about iA Writer is that you can stay focused all the time, highlighting only the things you want. You can pay annually to save some money too. The interface is easy to understand and you can start as soon as you launch the app.
Research: Apple Notes Notes can be an essential tool for research on the Mac.