The Best Writing Apps For Bloggers
On Medium, Substack, Vocal, WordPress, Ghost, and more
What should a good writing app do? I believe it should…
- Focus on writing without distractions
- Support easy-to-copy formatting (like Markdown)
- Help you organize your content
- offer exporting or direct publishing
Here are the 4 apps I like for writing online.
I'll start with Notion for a specific reason. It's now my default writing app of choice. With a caveat.
While Notion might not be the greatest pure writing tool out of this group, it's by far the best organization tool of them all.
- You can easily manage every little piece of text you've ever written and tag it with appropriate tags.
- Filtering and sorting is a no-brainer
- Once you have a large library of content in Notion, patterns will emerge that give you a better idea of your best-performing content and possible new ideas for posts and stories.
- Markdown support
- It's free (you can upgrade)
Notion is a brilliant all round tool for bloggers, Medium writers, Vocal writers, newsletter creators, and more. I have created a few free Notion templates that help you with organizing and managing your Medium content, as well as content for other platforms. You'll find those templates on my Gumroad shop here.
- It can do so much, you might be overwhelmed
- Notion's design is fine, but nothing too special
- Exporting isn't great. It works but there are better tools.
- No option to directly publish posts to Medium or other platforms.
- No integrated grammar or spell checking system
For Mac and iOS users, Ulysses is a well-rounded, beautifully designed writing app with a direct integration into Medium, WordPress, Ghost, and more.
Ulysses easily beats Notion in terms of writing environment and exporting features.
- Write in focus mode on Ulysses and your editor will be a distraction-free canvas for new ideas. It's gorgeous.
- Moreover, Ulysses gives you many insights into your writing like word count, progress (if you set a deadline and word limit), various statistics, as well as an integrated grammar and spell checking service provided by LanguageTool.
- Markdown support
- The best feature: Ulysses directly integrates into Medium. This means your stories will be transferred to Medium with one click. The same is true for WordPress, Ghost, or Micro.blog
- Organizing your content is doable in Ulysses, it offers tags, for example, but it's no match for Notion.
- Apple-support only is a huge downside for many people
- It costs $5 per month after a free trial
#3 iA Writer
This minimal text editor is the quintessential distraction-free writing environment. In focus mode you see nothing but your words. It highlights part of speech and syntax. A grammar and spell checking system is integrated as well.
- Super easy to use
- Markdown support
- Minimal design
- Cross-platform for all your devices
- Like Ulysses, iA Writer directly integrates into Medium and other sites. Send your stories over with one click.
- No real organization tools
- It costs $30
Scrivener is a comprehensive writing tool that has a lot to offer. It's complex in a different way than Notion is. I would say, Scrivener is more tailored towards authors of novels and books or academic writers, more so than bloggers.
- A large array of features
- Text statistics like word frequency, count, etc.
- Color coding
- Organization tools and structures like folders and binders
- Available on Mac, Windows, and iPhone
- The design is boring
- The complexity might get in the way of focus on writing
- It costs between $20 (iOS) and $50 (Windows, Mac)
- No Android version
What you shouldn't use
These 4 apps are great for writers and bloggers. I do prefer the first 3 over Scrivener, in general, I have to say.
More importantly, in my opinion, you shouldn't use word processors like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Apple Pages for your content. Wile these apps have their place, they come with many downsides for online writers.
- Copying and formatting is less than ideal
- Organizing your content is not possible or extremely limited
- No Markdown support
- Exporting into other formats can be troublesome.
For all of you who use word processors like Word or Google Docs, I highly suggest you try one of the 4 apps from this list. A simple, yet effective writing tool with easy exporting functionality makes a huge difference, in my experience.
The bottom line
I used to write with Ulysses for its simple and beautiful interface, the integrated grammar and spell checker, as well as the Medium & WordPress integration, but I switched to Notion a while ago for its sheer organizational power.
Notion houses a complete database of all my content across every platform I use or did use in the past, not only writing, but also videos for YouTube. And all for free.
As I mentioned earlier, I have created a number of free Notion templates that help me manage my content.
If you ask me, you should try Notion, Ulysses, and iA Writer (depending on your platform) and see what fits your workflow.
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