Where do you write?
I’m not talking about location. Rather, writing apps and word processors. Have you ever thought about using anything other than Microsoft Word? It’s definitely the safest option, but is it the best? Does it tick all the boxes for your writing style? Are you getting what you need as a writer with the word processor you are currently using? Am I sounding like an infomercial? Too many questions?
If you are anything like I was I was completely oblivious to the plethora of options out there that allow you to plan, organise, and transcribe your work. For a writer that has used Word unconditionally forever, a lot of these newer platforms make Microsoft look a little inadequate. Though not all of them are free, or particularly cheap, choosing the right platform for you is crucial.
So what’s out there?
This is currently my personal favourite. It’s also one of the most popular and well-known word processors for professional writers, screenwriters or novelists, and has been around the longest. Using it for only a few weeks, I’m already a monogamous user. To go through the app’s countless features would span many days, but there are a few key ones that make it ideal for an aspiring writer.
Its manuscript organisation tools take the arduous work out of laying out your work. Do you dread the prospect of filtering through your entire manuscript and making sure that every paragraph, page and chapter is the proper and desired format for submitting? Well, Scrivener makes it easy, with just one click and a few options, to quickly compile your work into the appropriate manuscript format. You can simply write and enjoy yourself without having to overthink the presentation.
This app also helps you organise your research, setting it out in a clear and broken down format. You can articulate ideas and plan without having to open a whole new word document. Your research will always be linked to your manuscript, making it easy and flawless to connect the two. The app also lets you set a total word count, as well as a daily writing goal, making it easy to be accountable for your writing.
Overall, it’s designed for the professional, and the price point articulates that.
Ulysses is the epiphany of beautiful simplicity, with a clean, easy to manage interface. Though sharing many features with it’s more mature cousin above, Ulysses is a much easier interface to use for the beginner. It’s perfect for blog-writing and short-stories.
If layout and set-up is not a crucial element to your writing process than maybe this app is for you. It offers a traditional word processor format, as well as a customised theme editor and typewriter mode, which benefits a distraction-free workplace and looks pretty cool.
One of the major differences between Ulysses and Scrivener is that this app is now a subscription-based platform, which might not suit some writers. Scrivener requires just one flat fee.
But why should writing cost?
If you don’t want to pay a pretty penny for a good word processor, why not take a gander at Zoho Writer. This platform is completely free online, and you can sign in anywhere and get writing straight away.
You can sense this processor is designed after Word Online, with an emphasis on collaboration. And don’t worry about losing the work you have already completed. You can upload and continue with any projects you’ve already started on Microsoft Word.
If you need feedback as well as a good platform then maybe ProWritingAid is the perfect place for your works. As the name suggests, publish anything on this platform and expect to receive feedback you’ll never get from a traditional word-processor.
A mix of Grammarly and Word, ProWritingAid not only checks grammar and spelling but also gives suggestions for improving your style and choosing between passive and active voice. It also comes in a free version and a Premium version for those that require some extra features.
This is only a selection of word processors available to download and use, but I hope I’ve shown the wide diversity that is out there. Though some are more developed than others, there is not one word processor that is better than the rest. There is a perfect processor for every writer, at variable price points.
So take your pick. Which one is your favourite?