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Eight Mobile Apps Every Writer Should Have

If you’re tired of your Moleskine and think that Microsoft Word is for laughable tech dinosaurs, consider going mobile with your writing. With non-verbal communication becoming the norm in today’s fast-paced, tech-forward world, there are many new tools designed to help you get the most out of your writing time, and, indeed, your words. If you’re struck with inspiration when you’re on the go, at least one of these eight essential apps should be available at your fingertips. Beware, wannabe writers! Once you’ve downloaded any or all of these tools, you’ll have less of an excuse to say that you “just can’t find the time” to write.

For professionals and amateurs alike, these eight mobile-friendly writing apps are great assets to your toolkit:

  1. Clean Writer.

    With all the clutter and noise out there keeping you from doing your best writing, there exists an app that silences all red underlines and dings until the time is write um, right. Boasting a “clean” user interface, “intuitive workflow,” and hidden editing options that only show up when you’re ready, Clean Writer is good for both beginning and advanced mobile writers. If you’ve got ideas to map and brainstorming to do, Clean Writer is an easy and functional tool for keeping yourself both organized and optimized.

  2. Pages.

    It’s an industry standard, and there’s no question why. If you already use the word-processing application on your desktop Mac, you’ll be ready to go mobile with Pages in no time. The no-frills word processor allows for distraction free writing, and has cross-platform functionality that makes it truly a writer’s greatest tool.

  3. Story Tracker.

    Story Tracker is an app that keeps track of your story submissions and pitches, and it’s a great tool for professionals and amateurs alike. Available in both paid and free versions, the creator of the app is intimately involved in transparently tracking sales, usage, and responding to feedback with important functionality updates. With the exception of guaranteeing that you’ll soon see your name in lights (or, in print, as it were), there’s not much you can’t do (or find help with) if you’re using Story Tracker.

  4. Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus.

    Developed by the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton, the Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus is a truly useful little app with a long name. Search for synonyms to break up writing monotony and improve your working vocabulary, and have a go at defining one of almost 150,000 included English words. Bust writer’s block and the diction doldrums by utilizing this invaluable, free tool of the trade, and do so from anywhere that your writing (or your life) might take you.

  5. B-Rhymes.

    Who says all writers have to go pro(se)? For the nascent poet (or rapper) in you, get your hands on the free B-Rhymes rhyming dictionary app. B-Rhymes rocks because it doesn’t stick to a strict script — the app chooses words that “almost” rhyme with entries, providing you more creative freedom when you’ve got syllabic sounds to work around.

  6. ScriptWrite.

    You could be the first award-winning screenwriter to pen a piece from your phone. Download ScriptWrite for $3.99, and easily write and format scripts by industry standards. The visual interface that tops the touch-screen keyboard makes it easy to include stage direction and dialog, and you don’t have to spend hours at a typewriter to get the right spacing effect. Budget-conscious customers (read: starving artists) prefer ScriptWrite to the insanely popular First Draft, as its software updates are free (and there’s a great mobile interface), unlike its big-timin’ predecessor.

  7. Grammar App HD.

    If you need a refresher course on your grammar rules (you probably do), the internal tests in this $0.99 app can help you back to tip-top shape in no time. If you can’t pen your projects while using proper grammar, it’s likely that you’ll never find meaningful work as a writer. Journalists, grad students, and casual writers alike boast satisfaction with this highly interactive product, and it’s likely that even the most stringent grammarians still have a little something to learn.

  8. iA Writer.

    iA Writer for iPad is brought to you by the lovely folks at Information Architects, and they’ve truly created the most beautiful writing app out there. While you can download a version of this for your mobile device, the true value of iA Writer is best viewed on an iPad. Another application known for distraction-free writing, the touch-screen tools (such as Focus Mode and One Tap Renaming) are truly where the difference in well-designed functionality lies.



This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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  • BeginningiOSDev

    I’ve also started using Byword which is pretty nifty.
    There’s also Scrivener which I’ve heard pretty good reviews about

  • Sara Brink

    After reading this list, I was really interested in downloading the Grammar app (#7). Unfortunately, I became skeptical when I looked at in the app store and the only review said that the content was FULL of mistakes… maybe that one needs to reconsidered for this list.

  • Caroline

    For organizing my ideas, I also use Idea Organizer. I can take notes, record myself speaking or take pics surrounding an idea. Good way to record my ideas because let’s face it, ideas come in various forms.

  • Vincent Santino

    How is #1 different than #8?