Writing isn’t easy, but the process has gotten easier. I could tell you how I…
- No longer use a paper dictionary
- No longer use a pen and leather notebook
- No longer use a voice recorder
- No longer digitize handwritten notes
- No longer transcribe voice notes to text
- No longer waste time formatting drafts
- No longer worry about syncing and backups
Instead, I’d like to tell you about a handful of thoughtfully-designed writing apps that help me record ideas, take notes, brainstorm, organize, write, edit, revise, schedule and publish.
In this post, I'm going to share my favorite writing apps for blogging.
Things is a gorgeous productivity app for staying organized and achieving goals. I use Things for task management, project management and even for my blog’s editorial calendar.
In Things, I use Areas to organize post ideas (and supporting notes) into different Projects that I use for my blog categories. If those ideas are become posts, they’re scheduled and copied to MindNode or exported to Ulysses.
Once a post is ready to be published, I return to Things to review my blog post checklist that appears in the Today view on publishing days.
MindNode is the best app for mind mapping and brainstorming ideas onto an infinite canvas. I love it!
I don't use MindNode for every post, but when I need to map out longer posts, I'll copy an idea (i.e. to-do) from Things to MindNode. Then, I’ll add more ideas and begin to organize and connect them. This process helps to create the post’s structure like the title, headings, subheadings and even some of the body content.
Ulysses is a feature-rich Markdown writing app. The clean design, streamlined tools and format-later approach all enable me immerse myself in writing. It’s where I write the bulk of every post.
Unlike project-based apps like Scrivener, Ulysses contains all of my writing — drafts of upcoming posts and even my travel writing. I also use it to keep frequent CSS that I use for web design.
After exporting a post idea (i.e. to-do) from Things or a Markdown document in MindNode, I’m ready to write (or dictate) the rest of the post.
The value proposition of Apple Notes is that you can create a note of almost anything — text, handwritten text, sketches, web links, photos, videos, checklists or even scanned documents.
Unlike the other apps listed herein, Apple Notes isn't one of my primary blogging apps, but I sometimes use it for the following features:
While I can create numbered lists in Ulysses, I like how the numbers automatically update in Notes when I rearrange the order.
I use Notes for scanning documents (e.g. posters, flyers, business cards) that I might need to reference later. I’ll store these, along with any other images or screenshots, in Ulysses > Attachments > Images.
When I need feedback on a post, I'll copy it to Notes and add collaborators.
Notes is included for free on macOS and iOS.
Squarespace is the powerful website builder and content management system that I use for managing my website and for client sites.
Once I’ve finished writing my post in Ulysses, I'll copy it to Squarespace via plain text or Markdown and then proofread. After that, I’ll add the title, meta description, URL, images and review my blog post checklist in Things.
Finally, I’m ready to hit publish.
You just learned my 5 favorite writing apps. When you have a powerful set of tools that makes writing more fun, efficient and productive — then you can focus on writing great content that helps your audience.