Great Apps for Writers

You’ve heard plenty of people say,”There’s an app for that,” but which are best for writers? Whether you need to give your creative side a kick or want to continue revising your work during your morning commute, here are a few apps you may want to check out:

Pages: For $9.99 this Apple app allows you to write and re-write no matter where you and your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch are. Start a new doc or drag Pages ’09, plain text, or Microsoft Word files into the iCloud and… boom, your creativity can take center stage at the bus stop or while waiting for a movie to begin. Other perks include choosing from 16 templates for reports, flyers, cards, and posters; adding in charts and graphs; or printing wirelessly with AirPrint. And since Pages saves your work as you go, you’ll never have to worry you’ve lost your latest if you press the wrong button or close out of the app. Given all of these perks, it’s no wonder MacWorld rated it 4/5 stars.

Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus: 250,000 entries, 1.6 million words, and 134,000 pronunciation guides — all for 99 cents. Need I say more? If you’re in a bind, this is the app to turn to. What’s more, you can edit your history, bookmark specific words, and learn not just what the word means and its synonyms but also a whole host of related information including examples/types and parts of the object you’re looking up.

Story Tracker: At $7.99 this app is a steal for the submitting writer who wants to keep his or her ducks in a row. You can keep track of the publications you’ve submitted your works to (sortable by date), make note of details for each market, including title, genre, editor, or deadline, catalog your submission history with specific sites and markets, and more.

Evernote: See something you think might make for a nice moment in a future novel? Jot it down with Evernote, a free app that helps you “stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity.” Recently optimized for the iPhone 5 so that you can view more notes, this New York Times Top 10 Must-Have app’s perks are many and include: syncing whatever you’ve written down across devices, the ability to record voice and audio notes, great search functionality, and sharing via Twitter and Facebook.

Inspiring Quotes: Not much to say about this one as it’s pretty obvious what you’re getting here — “wise quotes on success, perseverance, courage, inspiration & hope.” As writers, we could all use a little extra push–and for a limited time, it’s free. Also, worth checking out is our recent blog post with inspiring quotes for authors. Feel free to add your own into the comments.

Scrivener: We know you love this one from all the great comments you posted on our Facebook Page and blog in response to our blog post called “The Scoop on Scrivener,” which we recommend checking out if you’re interested in an app that is highly regarded for helping authors structure their content.

Of course these are only a few examples of what’s available. Now’s your turn to tell us: what are the apps you can’t live without?

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22 Comments

  1. I was really disappointed to see that yWriter isn’t listed. I’ve been using it for years now and it’s really good. I’ve written most of my novels on it at some point or another and for doing NaNoWriMo…I can’t live without it.

    Link: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html

  2. Morgan, Lulu

    Great share, Melissa! Thanks for adding to the list.

  3. Sierra Valois

    I personally love my writing apps and have quite a few in my collection. All of these are free for apple.
    1. A Novel Idea, good for planning out setting plot and character outlines.
    2. Total Recall I use to plan out my plot lines visually.
    3. Write Chain works great for motivation in keeping on track with your writing.
    4.Wordsmith is my new favorite lets you pop in ideas when you get them and when the urge takes you you can make it a project and write to your hearts content.

  4. Morgan, Lulu

    @Sierra – Great additions to the list! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Chris Burdick

    Storyist for iPad. I love Scrivener on the Mac and–until the Scrivener people release their promised iPad port–Storyist is the closest iPad equivalent. Not only does it let you outline and jot down notes on rearrangeable index cards, you can choose to view them as a scrollable sidebar while you’re in your main writing window. Runner-up is Index Card for iPad, which can import from and export to Scrivener.

  6. Chris Burdick

    (Also, both Storyist and Index Card sync to Dropbox.)

  7. Morgan, Lulu

    @Chris – Great replies and feedback. What you shared here is so valuable and helpful for the entire community of authors. Thanks!

  8. Olayiwola Ibrahim

    These apps would definitely improve writing. Every writer would need them for more efficient delivery of stories.

  9. Writers love our “Writing Prompts” app!
    Educators and students love the A+ version.
    :-)

  10. Phenomenal guys, I’m gathering information about applications and so on and this article helped me a lot so thanks and greetings! ;)

  11. Great list, my favourite is Scrivener by a mile. But you can do more with Evernote than just take notes – it’s good enough to write a novel. Nearly. Check out my blog Writing with Evernote.

  12. Love Scrivener, but I can manage on my own without the $50 price tag!

  13. Write or Die keeps me on task when working on first drafts, whereas before I’d get distracted looking up a research point or just popping over to my email “for a minute.” It has seriously changed my whole process for the better.

  14. Ej

    @Melissa Stone is there a way I can get ywriter w/o registering for it?

  15. Documents To Go. (Free on the BlackBerry. Easy peasy.) WRITE!

  16. Technically, it’s not an app, but I recently discovered Authorgraph.com which has been really awesome to help connect authors and their readers. Fans can request “authorgraphs” for books they like and the author can respond with a personalized message like they signed the book for them. It’s a great way to connect with readers without having to sign their book in person.

  17. My personal favourite is Jutoh from Anthemion, for Windows and Linux. For those wanting more organising power, Anthemion also produce The Writer’s Café.

  18. Joshua Tiemens

    I received WriteItNow4 from my fiance as a gift, fantastic program for sorting chapters, scenes, characters, character traits, and so forth… When you finish your story you can export it as a manuscripts to send in to a publisher, eReader format, and such… I love this program, as a beginning author I was able to turn my 479 page mess of a story into a well organized manuscript. The program also offers a thesaurus, word count, readability, and many more useful tools. There is a Demo version to try out before you buy. Retail cost of this product is $60 which can be placed on multiple computers with the same user account/key.

  19. PerfectVerse is free and kicks butt

  20. I would add Textilus for iPhone/iPad to the list. Cheaper than Pages and adds Dropbox to the features.

  21. Saw this great list of apps on Facebook. I didn’t even know most of them exist. I need to catch up with what is available for writers. Thanks for this list

  22. This list is a good start, but what I would really like to see are suggestions for apps to help with the writing lifecycle:

    – Apps to get your thoughts together, like Outline Pro (http://www.outlineproapp.com)
    – Apps to play around with ideas to get flow like iThoughtsHD (http://www.ithoughts.co.uk/iThoughtsHD/)
    – Apps to actually do the writing, with things like IAWriter, ByWord and Pages (which you already mentioned)

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