All about writing on a Mac

This week: All about writing on a Mac.

A free newsletter from the desk of Steve Williams

writing on a mac

Disclosure: Some of the links in this letter are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

November 30, 2018

Here are 10 tips I think are worth sharing this week:

1. This week I gave Bear Notes a try on my Mac. Bear Notes has a beautiful interface and is blazing fast. It works with tags. No folders are supported. But you can create the equivalent of a folder system by nesting tags. I migrated all my MacJournal notes in Rich Text Format with attachments (Images). A total of 1304 notes. I imported these into Bear. It took me 3 minutes! It also has an iPhone companion app.

2. Here is a serious contender to Bear Notes: Agenda. It runs on MacOs and iOS. It supports both folders and tags. For now, you cannot import images into Agenda. To me, that’s a big show stopper. However, the development team promised image support in the near future.

3. A very helpful tool on iOS is Drafts. It has its MacOs counterpart too. However, using Drafts on an iPhone may increase your productivity. Drafts is a text-only app. You quickly create a message that you will share to your email client, SMS, messenger, etc. It supports “voice to text”! It’s free and worth trying.

4. I find Captio very impressive. From my iPhone, I capture some text and click the “send” button. I shortly receive my text capture in my email inbox.

5. The tool I use to write this newsletter: Google Docs. As outlined in a previous issue, you can create a new Gdocs by typing in your URL bar:

6. If you are writing ebooks or stories, you may want to take a look at Scrivener. It’s a very powerful tool. Initially available on MacOs, it’s now possible to use it on iPad and MS Windows. From my days in the trenches: I used Scrivener to write all my technical documentation.

7. For any type of documentation, Nisus Writer is one of the best tools. It’s a mature product with a clean interface.

8. You can dump all your ideas into Scapple, a free-form brainstorming tool. It’s not very expensive, about $15. You can create an outline in Scapple and export it to a text file, RTF, etc. Or use it from Scrivener to create your document outline!

9. Whenever I require to take quick text-only notes, I use BBEdit, a text editor, also good for development.

10. Some will use Evernote as a writing tool. I don’t. Evernote acts as is my digital brains. This is where I store all my reference materials. I use an IFTTT applet to automate all writing to Evernote.

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