Writing Tools

What writing tools do you actually use? I have found many elegant tools, but none seem to consider all the details that classic office applications produced by Microsoft and Apple provide.

IA Writer

I love the minimalism of IA Writer and have purchased both the desktop and mobile apps, but it will only export as RTF or Markdown, which doesn’t help when needing to send written documents to co-workers accustomed to MS Office. If you’re both writing and developing a website, or blogging, then this isn’t so bad.
+ IA Writer


Similar to IA Writer, except without any export option at all, is a web-app called Zen Pen. It’s a great place to just open up and start writing, distraction free, wherever you are. It shouldn’t be considered a publishing tool, though. Once you have your thoughts down on “paper,” your only option after that is copy and paste it all into another editing/publishing platform. Still, it’s worth a look!
+ ZenPen


I will let Medium speak for itself, but it is the most beautiful “blogging” platform I have ever seen.

A better place to read and write things that matter

Medium is a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends. It’s designed for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the world. It’s used by everyone from professional journalists to amateur cooks. It’s simple, beautiful, collaborative, and it helps you find the right audience for whatever you have to say.

+ Medium


This is a web app that, sadly, I had been ignoring for some time because I looked like something you have to pay for. Any time a site asks for my email, I presume it’s for more information or a subscription of some sort. Here’s a tip: the email address is essentially creating a user. Quip’s forte seems to be collaboration. Now for the hard part of getting some co-workers to give it a go and see how well that actually works!
+ Quip

I started this (hopefully growing) list with the question about what do you actually use, because for as beautiful as some of these may be, I don’t know of many others that deviate from the standards. If you do, I’d love to hear about it!

A short note about reading:

A frustratingly few number of people use plugins to clean up this very messy internet while browsing, and even fewer use my favorite: Readability. With a single click of this plug-in, I can read articles with zero ads, distracting page elements, and (as I prefer) with dark backgrounds and light text.
+ Readability