Amazingly, my life these days revolves around tools. Not wrenches or hammers or screwdrivers. Digital tools. If the Mac isn’t my tool for writing (it’s not; I think of the Mac as the place I go to write), then what is?
My journey into writing for a living (I’m losing weight, thanks to a profession I chose a few decades ago) has me on the lookout for tools I can use to capture an idea, turn a phrase, or organize a plot line.
Any old Mac word processor that you’re comfortable using will do the job, of course. Still, the search is a journey itself and that got me to Storyist. It’s an app that’s less word processor and more digital writing assistant. Stoyist helps a writer keep track of characters, plot, scenes, settings, and details, so focus stays on writing.
Storyist is a place for writing. For example, if you’re into novel writing, characters, plot, settings and notes stack up in the left column (like Playlists in iTunes, or Albums in iPhoto).
Details for a chapter are dropped into Storyist on the left column, which reserves the center area for writing. Index cards and sticky notes are easy to make and attach to a specific location in the writing project.
Modern word processing tools are built-in to Storyist so you’ll feel at home if you’re switching from Microsoft Word. It does headers and footers and style sheets.
Pages can be viewed 2-up and mirrored. Styles are also built-in to get you started on a project. All the pages can be edited for format and style, including comments and bookmarks.
I love the cork board, perfect for index card-like notes and sticky notes, and it holds photos, too. The collage view makes it easier to visualize relationships between story elements.
To make it easier to fall in love, you have to devote some time to a relationship. In this case, I’m shopping around, trying a variety of writing tools, one project at a time. Storyist is good, and doesn’t have a long learning curve.
Even better, there’s a version of Storyist for iOS, so I don’t have to lug my Mac around or be tied down to the desk in the home office. This is the kind of app that helps free my mind when I write, yet keeps me focused and organized on the details. Well done, but it still requires the necessary focus and discipline.