Writing apps for Windows

I’m a productivity nerd of the highest order, and I’m constantly refining, exploring, and experimenting with the latest and significant when it comes to apps, frameworks, and methodologies. So, much so that I’m thinking maybe “productivity” should be one of my considerations for a research topic for my PhD thesis.

I’m not kidding.

The other day, I researched the history of minimalist writing apps and how they have evolved over the past ten years. And I realised that there are only a few notable apps for the Windows platform. Mind you; there’s no documentation or iron-clad rule anywhere stating that most writers use a Mac. Yet, the Apple Store will have more writing apps than anywhere else.

Interestingly, the most significant users of these “niched” writing apps aren’t professional writers but wannabes or amateur writers (like yours, truly). There could be a myriad of reasons, for me, these tools allow me to focus on what I want to write than anything else.

And as a (proud) Windows user now, I have had a hard time finding the perfect app for my writing needs. I’ve experimented with the following so far:

  1. iA Writer: it’s excellent, but I’m not too fond of the way those files and folders show up on the side. Besides that, I quite enjoy using this app. It’s even on my phone (which is an iOS, by the way).
  2. Evernote: I wish they could get rid of that menu bar in full-screen. Something’s missing, though; maybe, it’s the lack of choice for fonts? Some fonts are easy on the eye and encourage the “flow” of writing. (That’s my theory, this too should go into my list of topics for my thesis.) That’s where iA Writer shines.
  3. Microsoft Word: I like the focus mode, just that I spend at least a couple of minutes each time to set things up just the right way — blackened background, the right font, and size etc. By the time I’m through with the settings, I’m thinking about what other apps can help me do this more efficiently. Word is an excellent solution for folks who don’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s a powerful word processor.
  4. Scrivener: It’s nice. I got a lot of bells and whistles, but this wouldn’t be my go-to app for writing. It’s great for organising content, but the interface for writing can be a tad better. I can’t even pinpoint what’s missing, just that it won’t be my go-to writing app.
  5. Draft: I’m using Draft to write this post. It’s a minimal and straightforward web-based app for writers. There are no bells and whistles, very simple to set up, and a dark background to suit your creative/writing needs. The problem is that it’s free right now, so I’m not sure if they’re going to be there forever. Also, there’s no desktop app, which is a bummer because not everyone wants to be connected online while doing focused work.

Damn! I wanted to write something else but ended up writing a round-up on some of the best writing apps for Windows! Anyway, if you found this helpful, share it with a writer who uses Windows. H/she will be thankful to you forever!

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