There is something going on in the world and I’m not sure I can put a finger on the cause, but let me try. Things are getting complicated at every level of life; from politics to business, from government to family.
Life is so complicated for many that we start looking for simpler solutions, easier to use tools, uncomplicated and simplistic politicians with loud flare and little substance, and this desire for simple extends to a disdain for complexity and the status quo. Microsoft Word and Photoshop, both of which are packed with features not easily mastered and seldom used, often are dismissed like establishment politicians in favor of less expensive and less complicated apps which may or may not end up in a little distasteful buyer’s remorse.
Today I wanted to write about Write, an attractive, instantly usable Mac mini-word processor with modest features, and from a good, experienced developer known for an outstanding array of basic, nearly simple Mac utilities.
Write is easier to use than TextEdit, has basic styling features and templates, an inspector, and simple toolbar. You can even try it out before buying it and even then the price tag isn’t much more than lunch for two at McDonald’s. Highly recommended.
Except for that issue about why there are so many minimalist writing tools for Mac users, some of which are free, many with a nominal price tag, and all have one thing in common. Few features.
I write for a living so I’m in tune with the many and varied writing tools for the Mac as evidenced here and here. Methinks the interwebs have caused this writing renaissance where everyone has an opinion (or, many, many opinions) and need a tool to help express that opinion through a keyboard.
If you need plenty of tools and power, you’ll like Nisus for the Mac, clearly a word processor aimed at writers. If you want writing features but don’t have any money but somehow managed to afford a Mac, you’re likely to appreciate Growly Write which is both cute in name and attitude, but packed with standard writing features, including wraparound.
The Best Free Word Processor The World Has Ever Seen remains visible and it’s not that hard to find free apps to write the next great American novel. Replacing best and free is no mean feat, you know. Byword is good, but not free. Minimalist doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone so this list of minimalist word processors with more than the average minimalist features should be considered.
Nothing gets simpler to use than Simplenote which is free and runs on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, but don’t go looking for a feature toolbar. The feature list matches the price tag. Some writing tools, including Storyist, are particularly well designed for writing projects where scenes, settings, details and everything else that makes up a novel need to be organized.
My view of this issue is simple. Life is complicated and we often feel as if we’re an anonymous cog in a world of faceless gears, so writing gives us an avenue of voice, and in an age of complexity and complicated issues, we look to tools that do the basics; nothing more, nothing less.