Stephen Fry once said, I’ve never seen a smartphone I haven’t bought. My vice is writing apps. Actually it’s all writing technologies – I’m the same about notebooks, pens, typewriters, pencils, writing slopes, dictionaries and style guides. Always have been – but apps most of all, because it is on screens that most of my writing happens.
If I were being kind, I would say that this about a love of the craft, of prose, copy, the act and process of the written word. Being more critical, I would say it is a proxy for getting with it, for the real secret of the professional writer – getting on with it. If I could just find the perfect app, the perfect pen, the perfect machine, then the words will flow uninterrupted – I will find the magic combination of place, tools and thoughts to write the twenty blog posts, five medium articles, seven essays and a novel currently knocking about in the creative holding area of my subconscious.
The latest is Desk. I knew I would buy it the moment I read about it because… because… it is a minimalist writing app. Because I use Byword for work, IAWriter Pro for fiction, Google Docs for collaborative writing, Evernote for lists, Curio for outlining-mindmapping-whiteboarding-in-one-app and Scrivener if I ever think there is a danger of a book emerging.
It’s a great app for me, as it seems to have everything I love about all my other apps rolled into one –
- minimalist writing layout (fewer distractions)
- connects to blogging services
- the first blog editor on the Mac that seems to make image editing really fast and easy (look – you can adjust the size and format)
- one of those nice “night mode” things for when the glare of the screen gets too much.
All of these things add up to an app for blogging – and perhaps other writing – that helps close the gap between the intention to write a blog post and getting it published, a tip from Adam Tinworth, someone who is without parallel in their understanding and adept use of that form.
One last thing – a thread I will pick up again later – trying out new apps for working is a worthwhile thing to do to help keep you thinking critically about workflow and how tools shape the way you think and work.