Thoughts on Distraction-Free Writing Tools?

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Posted by Rob Walsh, community karma 1466

So, I'm pretty wild about distraction-free writing tools. I just wrote a blog post and shot a video of my favorites. There's another question in The Conversation about people liking tools besides MSWord.

Let's be real, if I sent you a .md file, I'm sure you'd be all - 'what the heck is this?'. Which is upsetting to me, because other file formats aren't considered 'document-worthy' - as if .doc has been the only text format that has ever existed.

So if you need to bone up on distraction free tools here are a couple to check out:

1. IA Writer
2. Mou

Do any of you folks use distraction-free writing tools? What are your thoughts on this trend? Do you think MSWord deserves to be the standard by which all other text editors are judged?

2 Comments

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Brian Cody, community karma 137992

I've started using Textmate for everything, and filing my screen with the window so I can't see anything else.

On the iPad, I like HelvetiNote, which also allows you to write directly into the document. I use a stylus for writing notes directly, and I've noticed the speed at which I write by hand is more conducive for thinking and reflecting than when I type (which seems to take extra brainpower to translate thinking into typing and hence I don't seem to reflect as much on my ideas).

almost 11 years ago
Steve would take that stylus and throw it out the window :)
Rob Walsh – almost 11 years ago
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Huong Le, community karma 241

I have never used them and honestly have never heard of them. I do agree that all of the "stuff" at the top can be a bit distracting--and frustrating (!) when you can't figure out how to do what you want to do.

Add to that the fact that it looks different on a Mac/PC (ugh).

With all of that said, I really don't see myself using other tool since I've always used Word. It doesn't really "distract" me from writing (that I can tell).

almost 11 years ago
"I don't see myself using another tool since I've only used Word." Way to be open-minded and forward thinking there, buddy.
Rob Walsh – almost 11 years ago
Well, no need to be mean about it sir. Word doesn't "distract" me so I don't see the need for a distraction free writing tool. I know how to use word and it doesn't bother me. Why would I need to use something else?
Huong Le – almost 11 years ago
Oh, now the internet thinks we're fighting... I was surfing around the web about DFWT and found a post about a plugin that gets rid of a lot of the chrome found in Word (http://bit.ly/vDcsjg). One thing the author says that I thought was pertinent is: "Whenever I write about distraction-free writing tools, some smart-aleck always says "Why don't you just maximize the Word window?" Here's why: Even when you maximize Word and hide your Windows Taskbar, your view is surrounded by distractions. The Word interface itself is a distraction. To really understand the power of distraction-free editors, you have to spend some time writing in one."
Rob Walsh – almost 11 years ago
FIGHT TO THE DEATH.
Huong Le – almost 11 years ago
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