Gone are the days when writing was simply linked with pen and paper. There are even phrases like “The pen is mightier than the sword,” etc.
But today, a pen isn’t a requisite tool to be a writer or a journalist.
Some of the tools you will use are your thoughts, writing skills, a device (smartphone, tablet, computer, or laptop), and some blank space to write on. Maybe you already have these with you.
This listicle will focus on the ‘blank space’ part.
The Internet has pushed boundaries for novice and veteran writers, so it’s pretty easy to publish your thoughts online.
Several applications let you type your thoughts, whether blogs, emails, opinion pieces, or novels.
Writing applications have become a need of every writer, and everyone proudly argues about what their software would look like.
In a world driven by various content, it’s hard to find an app that lets a writer do everything with their thoughts.
Being a writer, I know what I want, but I can’t make decisions for millions of writers and suggest just what I have settled for.
So, the following are the 10 best Mac apps for writers who want to unleash their creativity and thoughts on a blank space.
What is the need for a writing app or tool?
A writing app is essentially a tool that could be powered by an AI that helps in enhancing the quality of your writing.
Ideally, it should improve your content with robust features, rectify spellings and grammatical errors, and suggest changes to make your writing more enthralling.
So, if you are someone who wants to customize their content, there’s Microsoft Word or Google Docs; if you simply want to stare at a blank space and type away your thoughts, then trust iA Writer.
These are just a few fish in the ocean. I have compiled a list of apps that will cater to every writer.
Some of these apps will cost you, but whichever you’ll choose, they will be worth your penny.
The following segment will help you decide the factors into a good writing app.
What makes a good writing app?
Merely reading about the apps won’t help you decide. So, I have come up with this segment that will elaborate on what makes a good writing app.
It should be easy to use. We utilize tools to make our work easier, not put more effort into simple tasks. Figure out which app is easy to access or has your comfort.
A writing tool should invite you to spill your thoughts on its blank page. The app shouldn’t have too many tools as it will distract you. A quick flow design is a must for getting your work done.
The app should be able to sync your writings across devices. In technical terms, it should have cross-platform support. I use a writing app on my iPhone, but I bought it because there’s a Windows variant. The app should have compatible mobile, PC, or even web apps.
Another thing that you must consider is how are its export options. Your words won’t stay on the app; they will make their way on other platforms. You should look for an app with flexible export options.
At last, what will matter the most is how much the app costs. There are rarely free apps nowadays, but that’s a good thing as you’ll get more out of your writing tool. There are the monthly ones, annual ones, and the ones that need a one-time purchase. Choose whatever feels affordable to you.
10 Best Mac Apps for Writers
I can’t tell you how many abysmal writing apps I have used.
There were times when I had to use 2-3 apps, but it became exhausting. But there weren’t so many options a few years back.
Now that you have an idea of what writing apps are capable of, you can jump to the next section, where the apps are waiting for you to discover them.
1. iA Writer
I have typed this entire article on iA Writer. It’s the absolute best app for writers who fancy simplicity in their writing tools.
The app is definitely focused on writers who don’t want any distractions – even setting font is deep in the menu.
I know I wasted a lot of time looking for the best font, adjusting page margin, etc.
iA Writer is an easy-to-use writing tool that will keep you far away from any procrastination.
Those aware of the Markdown formatting method should be happy to know that developers adapted that feature into this software.
There’s a menu alright, but you can hide it with a simple gesture. Moreover, a toolbar highlights adjectives, nouns, adverbs, etc.
Its spotlight is a sentence/paragraph highlighter highlighting the sentence/paragraph you are on. You’ll feel like typing on a typewriter mode if you toggle on Typewriter mode.
Pricing: Free 14 day trial, $29.99 for the full license.
Ulysses app is as great as the same name authored by Irish writer James Joyce.
No, I am not exaggerating. Those who have used it will second my thoughts about it.
It is the best app for formatting written content.
Ulysses has become a standard app for writing short stories or novels.
Its main feature – formatting – makes your writing more accessible.
There are several features, so if you feel lost by them, several informative tutorials are embedded into the features themselves.
Like iA Writer, Ulysses uses ‘Markdown’ formatting. This assists users in maintaining the flow of their prose while typing.
The app lets you organize your writing with keyword labels, and they are extremely handy.
Moreover, there’s a split view, a sidebar that shows your work, and the app keeps track of your writing.
It’s a bit on the pricey side, so if you are willing to spend the following money on the app, you won’t regret it.
Pricing: $4.99/month, $39.99/year.
Drafts is an apt name for the app.
When you use this app, you’ll realize that typing words becomes easy.
If you often have epiphanies, then Drafts will do it for you.
It can be your go-to app for jotting down quick ideas for the blog you have been delaying or simply using it as a post-it.
You can just type away your thoughts and refine them whenever you can.
The best element about Drafts is that you can set up a text editing experience to your liking. This means you control your writing, the fonts, margins, line height, etc.
Drafts also use Markdown to get things done like the first two apps.
This amazing app integrates with tonnes of other apps and services, so your workflow won’t be hampered.
Pricing: Drafts Pro $1.99/month; $19.99/year.
4. Final Draft
Final Draft is the perfect app for budding screenwriters fueled by a passion for writing film screenplays.
With so many films being made every year, writing professional screenplays is expected.
The structure is different and is in contrast with mere note-jotting.
This is where Final Draft comes in. With this app in your arsenal of writing tools, you can develop clean scripts without much effort.
The features that make this an easy recommendation for screenplay writers include content analysis, line-by-line formatting, proper implementation of elements like character names, dialogues, etc.
You can export all your work into shareable files.
Final Draft should be your first and final choice for writing an engaging screenplay.
Pricing: Free 30 day trial, $249.99 license fee ($199.99 on sale price)
Write! is an excellent app if your main goal is to find a distraction-free writing tool.
Like iA Writer, this app also removes all the unwanted tools by hiding them.
This app will perfectly hold your thoughts and prose.
Many of those who use Write! will tell you that they focused more on writing than anything else.
Some of its popular features are productivity counters, a fabulous spell-checker, and an auto-complete that can be configured.
If organizing is your thing, you will love that your writings can be managed with folders, sessions, and tabs.
Write! is an affordable app that makes for focused writing.
Pricing: $24.95 with cloud access and maintenance updates at $4.95/yr.
Scrivener is an excellent app aimed at helping novelists and long-form writers.
The app has a sophisticated and comprehensive structure that makes it worth a recommendation.
Template is the name of the game for Scrivener.
You can choose various templates that focus specifically on the writing formats. Some include screenplays, essays, novels, etc.
Scrivener’s nifty functionality is a left-hand sidebar with sections like note cards and other valuable features.
If your work requires handling tonnes of research material, you should hit the download button.
They will come conveniently when sorting your thoughts or preparing for a character in your writing.
The app’s robust export options include creating ePub and Kindle files. Data can also be exported to Final Draft.
Scrivener can be your scrapbook, corkboard, typewriter, or even a vision board if you’d like.
Pricing: $48.99 license
Storyist is an artistic word processor that feels like fan service to writers.
If you are looking to exploit an app with its hundreds of features, look no further than Storyist.
With formatting options galore, this app helps writers do formatted works.
Storyist’s tools like corkboard view and folders are extra handy for organizing the work.
When you open the app, you get three template suggestions: Novel, stage play, and screenplay. You can even make your own or upload others.
This is the amount of customization one can do if they choose this app.
Storyist is best for those writing non-fiction and fiction books, people working on documentary films, radio dramas, or even people who work on professional papers.
Unfortunately, Storyist is not a cross-platform app. So, only Mac users can take advantage of it.
Pricing: Free trial, then $59.99 for the license.
If you bear with distractions, then give Bear a chance.
Flop play-of-words aside, Bear lets you type beautifully on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
This is a flexible writing app that lets you craft prose and notes.
I have tried Bear before settling for iA Writer, and it’s easy.
Even if many use this as a note-taking app, you can still use it for writing your novel or blog.
Bear’s advanced Markup Editor supports 150+ programming languages. That is impressive!
You can find notes with hashtags, there’s in-line support for photos, and a vast array of export options.
The latter include PDF, HTML, JPG, MD, etc.
As I have mentioned, Bear is not for the professionals out there, but its beautiful interface and affordable prices make for a must-have in the writing arsenal.
Bear is a perfect companion, from quick notes to deep literature with a great library structure to manage them.
Pricing: $14.99 annually.
9. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is where I typed my first letters.
Well, it’s the original word processing app that has evolved over the years.
There’s not a soul who hasn’t tried or heard of MS Word.
Before trying multiple note-taking apps, this was my default app to write anything and everything!
MS Office is easy, has an exhaustive list of features that includes font size, color, aligning pages, changing styles, headers+footers, section and page break, clip arts, find and replace text, etc.
I could go on and on, but the features won’t end.
Well, that’s the issue.
I found myself aligning pages and setting font more than just typing my thoughts.
If you want an affordable writing tool that does everything and then some, then Microsoft Word is your best bet!
Pricing: Included in the Microsoft Office app, a free trial for 30 days is available. Billed at $99.99/year for a family plan, $69.99/year for the personal plan, and $149.99 for the student plan.
Website: MS Word
10. Google Docs
I believe our ‘last-but-not-the least’ cliche app is a distant cousin of MS Word.
Google Docs is an excellent tool for those looking for web-based writing.
Web-based services are excellent at securely storing your content online.
You can write, format, or format and write whatever is splashing in your mind, and then save it to Google Drive or your device. You won’t lose your content; rest assured.
Even though I find such tools complicated today, it is an elaborate writing tool that lets other Google users edit and suggest changes in real-time.
Voice typing is a spotlight feature of this tool.
Keep in mind that you must be connected to an active Internet connection to avoid losing your work.
Website: Google Docs
Bonus: Apple Pages
Pages are Apple’s answer to MS Word, and it’s a bonus app that comes in-built with almost all Apple products.
I have included this option if you don’t like the apps mentioned above.
Pages are an amalgamation of essential and straightforward tools.
If you are deep into the Apple ecosystem, you should give pages a try as it syncs seamlessly across all your Apple devices.
iPad owners can rejoice as this app supports Apple Pencil. So, you can write, draw, annotate documents, etc.
Some tools to go with these excellent applications
Even though the apps I have mentioned are tools, I have listed essential tools below to enhance your writing.
Grammarly: This is an essential tool to check your content for typos or grammatical errors. I have been using this app/tool for three years now. The free version is excellent, but you can always opt for the premium one if you want more. Price: $29.99 per month.
ProWritingAid: ProWritingAid is a Grammarly-like grammar checker writing app to refine your content. It works similar to Grammarly, but it’s more inexpensive. Price: $50 for one year.
Dynalist: Dynalist lets you create bullet-point outlines of articles and book chapters before you have to dictate them. It’s one of the best outlining apps. Price: Free; $7.99 per month for premium.
Ginger: Ginger software is an affordable alternative to Grammarly and ProWritingAid. It also lets you translate documents written in French, Spanish, German, and more into English.Price: $13.99 /month; $89.88/yearly; $167.76 for two years.
Are Macs good for writers?
Yes, Apple laptops are suitable for writers, especially the MacBook Air. It’s the best choice for writers on the go as it weighs under 3 lbs. Moreover, the macOS is simple to use.
What apps do writers use?
It depends on the writers, but the most commonly used apps are Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Apple Pages, Ulysses, iA Writer, Reedsy, Scrivener, WriteRoom, and Storyist.
Can writing apps result in perfect writing?
No. Don’t expect anything ideally from an AI program. Writing apps with AI will simply enhance your writing; the rest is up to you.
What is the best platform to write a book?
Again, it depends on the topic of your book. All the apps mentioned on this list are cut for such work.
Is there a book writing app?
Yes, I know an app named LivingWriter, an excellent choice for short stories and novels. There’s a trial period if you are interested.
These are the 10 best Mac apps for writers.
We all know that content sells more than hotcakes, and you can take advantage of that by offering your two cents to the world.
With the power of the Internet and other things in the palm of everyone, there are several acclaimed writers. So to stand out, you’ll need kick-ass content.
I hope you found the writing app you were looking for.
I know that most of them require a subscription of sorts, but I also guarantee that it will be worth your money.
If you think you are a worthy writer, add a great writing app/tool and perfect your content.
Understand that no one writing app will satiate your needs, so feel free to try new ones.