Considering the recent explosion in minimalist and distraction free word processors for the Mac you’d think that writers and card carrying members of the blogosphere would be entering a new era of literary renaissance.
That doesn’t seem to be the case, though I’m very impressed with some of the more elegant and useful writing tools. Here’s one I like and use because it’s ubiquitous– a mini word processor that works almost everywhere. Mac, iOS, Android, and Kindle. Simplenote is minimalist writing at its best but, for whatever the reason, doesn’t do Windows. Go figure.
I’m not sure that Simplenote qualifies as a mini word processor, but it’s perfect for almost any kind of note taking, snippet making, or small writing project you have in mind; an elegant app that collects thoughts but with enough options to pull thoughts together into a written document.
The real benefit here is that Simplenote is drop dead simple to use. There’s no toolbar and almost no learning curve. Notes are stored in the cloud and synchronized between devices. Everything you write is saved and backed up. There’s even an option to review previous versions of notes.
Simplenote counts words and characters in each document. A Simplenote document also lets you search for other files, and displays recent files in a lefthand sidebar. This is also a good app to use to collaborate and share notes with others. I don’t recall using a Mac writing tool that’s this simple, hence the name. I use it to capture notes and ideas on my iPhone and iPad so I can sit down and flesh out the notes on my Mac.
One thing to note is the progress of competition. Apple’s Notes app in OS X El Capitan and iOS 9.x does more. Much more. It’s like a mini-word processor but lets you organize better, drop in drawings, and share more easily. And it’s built-in.
Simplenote is, well, more simple than Notes, therefore a bit more usable and there’s almost no learning curve and little to think about other than what you’re writing at the moment. I’m surprised there’s not a Windows version, though.