Yesterday I talked about how much I use my iPad these days and it got me thinking about how the iPad has changed how I write. Years ago, I used to write exclusively on my desktop PC. Then I bought a laptop, and began to use that more for “on the road” writing, with editing still done on the desktop. These days much of the quick writing is done on the iPad instead and, after much trial and error, I’ve come to rely on three main apps.
(NB: I still use the desktop – and in particular Scrivener – for anything that requires heavy formatting, organising long documents, and editing. The iPad is just for getting the words down in the first place!)
Pages is the most expensive writing app I own and ironically it’s the one I tend to use the least, although that’s more because it doesn’t entirely suit me personally instead of any inherent fault with the app. If you’re looking for a proper word processor, with easy and comprehensive formatting, Pages is for you. You can export documents in Pages, Word, pdf, and epub formats.
The big draw of Notebooks is the fantastic integration with Dropbox, which makes sharing documents between multiple devices a breeze. You can write in plain text, rich text, or markdown, and organise files into folders to your heart’s content. I’m not a huge fan of the writing environment but I love the organisational functions of this app.
3. iA Writer
The cheapest of my three main apps and the one I use the most on days when I just need to get some words down. If you need a clean, distraction-free app, iA Writer is a winner. I’m never going to be doing heavy editing in this app and formatting is a no-no, but it’s still a pleasure to use.