Grandview: A radically simplistic writing app for the Mac

Grandview minimalist writing appGrandview might be the strangest writing app on your Mac. I really have a lot of writing apps: Pages, Mellel, ByWord, iA Writer, and OmmWriter to get into the flow. I know I am an addict. But today, I found out about Grandview, and none of my previous apps are like it. Its secret: It only shows you one word at a time!

GrandviewAs I am writing this post on Grandview, I must say that it is indeed an interesting writing app. Although there is a setting that you can see your complete text (shortcut: Command + =), this app only makes sense when you are using the standard one-word-at-a-time view. In this mode, the letters are flashing over your screen as you type, and it is not until you close a sentence that you can have a look at what you have just written.

GrandviewIf you find yourself editing your unfinished sentences mid-through all the time, this might be a liberating experience for you. However, it is a little bit strange that the font size changes with every additional letter you are writing. Strange as it is at first, I am already getting used to it, and I think that this mode might stimulate me to choose shorter words and to write shorter sentences; even when this one doesn’t look like it does!

GrandviewAnyways, this app might be a good way to get into writing when you are feel blocked. It seems to be well suited for free writing exercises and to get first drafts on paper. It might be a little difficult to write long arguments with Grandview, but I don’t think that this is the intent of the app.

One thing I like most about Grandview is that it is always ready to help you overcoming your writing block when you need it. Once activated, it lives in your menu bar, and pressing a customizable shortcut (default: Command + Shift + A) brings it up full screen. You can type away a sentence, a paragraph or more until you have made your point.

Grandview dissolves writing blocks.

Once you think you are done or you made it back into your flow, you simply press Escape to switch back to the app you used before. The text you have just written in Grandview is waiting for you in your Clipboard, ready to be pasted into your actual writing app. A truly simple and elegant solution!

So if you are suffering from white page anxiety, as I do, do yourself a favour and give this app a try. It is currently available for FREE (normally it is between $5 and $14), so grab it before the price bounces back up.

Disclaimer: All images by academiPad.

Paper Clips: A Low-Tech Writing Hack for your Outdoor Office

In the summer I am really enjoying working outside. The iPad is really good for that, as long as you find a nice spot in the shade. While reading is obviously not a big problem, writing on your iPad outside is a little trickier.

I have already talked about the virtues of the iPad as a writing machine and suggested some keyboard cases that fit your writing style. This short post is considerably more low-tec, but it tackles an important issue nonetheless: the digital-analog workflow interface. [Read more...]

Writing in the wild: Unleash your flow with a keyboard for the iPad

Writing on the iPadI am finding more and more that the iPad is a really great tool for writing sessions. However, if you are planning to write for an extended period of time, you’re going to need an external keyboard. In this post, I am discussing why the iPad is great for writing everywhere, how my setup looks like, and what good keyboard alternatives are out there for you.

Especially now, as the summer slowly returns to my little town in Canada, I enjoy taking my iPad to the park for morning or late afternoon writing sessions. Writing outside the the ultimate productivity boost for me. Breathing the fresh air and smelling the scents of an unfamiliar surrounding really gets me into my flow – maybe this is mandatory for someone whose dissertation is about the role of nature in sustainable consumption. However, nothing of this would happen without the external keyboard that I throw into my bag before strolling to the park. [Read more...]

52 Writing apps for iPad: What is your favorite?

How many writing iPad writing apps are in the app store? Fifty-two, according to a crowd sourcing project initated by Brett Terpstra! Now thats quite a number, so how are you finding the one that is best for you?

One option would be to just use each of them for exactly one week, and after a year you could decide which was the best one. Or, a less expensive and time consuming way would be to have a look at the awesome iOS Text Editor roundup that Brett put together. [Read more...]

Pop for iOS: A new minimal word processor

Patrick Rhone over at minimalmac is saying for years that less is more when it comes to apps. Needless to say that I think he is on to something with this, as I am a big fan of distraction free writing apps such as Byword, iA Writer, and OmmWriter.His newest venture is the development of Pop for iOS with Minimal Tools.

As you can read on their homepage, Minimal Tools are [Read more...]

Byword has finally arrived on the iPad!

ByWord for iPadByword, my maybe favorite distraction-free writing app on the Mac, has finally arrived on the iPad. I have written about similar apps, such as OmmWriter and iA Writer, before, but except for hinting at ByWord as a good alternative, I haven’t talked about it in much detail.

What held me back? Byword was slow to enter the iCloud game. But now that Byword has caught up with iA Writer, I can tell you more about what makes Byword a great (maybe my favorite?) distraction-free writing solution. [Read more...]

Overcoming writer’s block with OmmWriter

OmmWriter for iPadThere are many reasons why you might be stuck with your writing, and there is even more advice out there how to break the block. One of the best advice I have seen is to write your way out: write even when you are not quite sure yet how to write it, heck, even write when you have nothing to write about! How can technology help you doing that?

I am a great fan of distraction free writing apps and I am using a couple of them (see my post on iA Writer). Distraction free writing apps are great even when you don’t have writing troubles, because their minimalistic interface will keep you in the flow. But when I am stuck, my greatest weapon (next to Kombucha drinks and good coffee) is OmmWriter! [Read more...]

How you can “just write it down” with iA Writer

 

iA Writer“This is a great idea. It brings a whole new perspective to our literature. And I know exactly how to write it down. Here it goes,…” And then nothing happens, except you staring at a blank page in your text editor or playing around with the formatting options. That’s why the world needs distraction-free writing tools such as iA Writer ($5, App Store).

Most people I know use Apple Pages or Microsoft Word for all their writing needs: from the first written word to the last proof-read. I did that. But it didn’t work for me. I diagnosed myself with “white-page anxiety” (who knows a Latin term for this?), because I get no writing done in any application that suggests to me that the first try has to result in a perfectly publishable end-product. And full-blown word processors do exactly that – at least for me. That’s why I prefer to write most of my stuff (including this post) in an environment that is as simplistic as it goes. Call it the “everything-is-temporary-effect”.

 

Simplicity is King

iA Writer comes both for the Mac and the iPad and positions itself as the godsend in distraction free writing.  [Read more...]