Both the iPhone and iPad can be great tools for writers, with both offering different experiences and capabilities. With the iPhone, you can write something no matter where you are, whether it's in line for coffee or just getting a quick though down at your desk. With the iPad, you can enjoy wider screen real estate, but with the single-app focus that keeps you from getting distracted.
There are a wide variety of apps available for writers who want to work on their iOS devices, from simple text editors to full-featured writing suites. It doesn't matter if you're taking notes, writing articles, or working your way to writing the great American novel, there's an app for that on your iOS device.
1Writer supports export in plain text, HTML, and PDF, and you can also add your document to Evernote using the built-in integration with the note-taking service.
Let's get this out of the way up front: yes, Ulysses has recently moved to a subscription model. You're either fine with that or you're not, and if you're not, this list is full of great options if you're looking to make a switch.
Ulysses offers a full array of tools for writers of any kind. This app is easy to pick up and start using, but offers a wide array of customization options for everything from writing to exporting. Choose to work in Markdown or create your own markup style. While the app for iPhone and iPad doesn't present the same visual customization options as those found on the Mac, it can still take advantage of those features, and you can download new themes in the Ulysses Style Exchanger to use on any device. When it comes time to publish, you can export your work in a variety of formats, including plain text, DOCX, and ePub. You can also publish your work to WordPress sites and Medium.
Your projects all sync with iCloud between Mac, iPhone, and iPad, with Dropbox support also available.
iA Writer puts an emphasis on simplicity, making it a simple matter to get started writing in plain text. That's not to say that there aren't advanced features, however, as there are quite a few. Syntax Control breaks down your writing to show you the structure, highlighting adjectives, nouns, conjunctions, and more. iA Writer's Focus Mode lets you focus on one line at a time to keep you from getting distracted. By default, the app's keyboard bar offers several useful controls, like buttons for one-tap list creation, but you can customize that bar to fit how you work. Link to other documents in iA Writer to combine them into a single projects, or link to images or spreadsheet files to see them in iA Writer's Preview screen in a number of different templates.
Like other apps on this list, iA Writer lets you publish to blogs, in this case WordPress and Medium. You can also export your work in Markdown, PDF, HTML, and Microsoft Word.
Scrivener brings all of your writing tools into a single app, whether you're organizing research notes for a paper or scene outlines for a script. The app supports writing all sorts of long-form documents, offers a number of granular formatting options no matter what you're working on. Make a plan and organize your ideas on digital notecards and lay them out on the app's corkboard to see how your work fits together. Import images, PDF and other media you've used as research to refer to it later, even bringing it in side-by-side with your text so your can quickly refer to your research while you're writing. Keep your work segmented for easier organization and editing, and easily reorder your work so it all fits together in the best way possible.
When you're done, compile your project into a single document, and export in formats like DOCX, rich text, PDF, and Final Draft. Thanks to syncing with Dropbox, you can share your work between Scrivener for iPhone and iPad and its big brother for Mac.
A relative newcomer compared to the rest of the list, Bear might seem simple, but it offers a great deal of flexibility for handling text. It's true that Bear is good for both notes and todo checklists, but it's support for Markdown, variety of themes, and simple organization make it a great tool for many different kinds of writing. Add images, files, code blocks, and more to spice up your work and give it more context.
In terms of options, you've got few. Choose how to sort your documents, pick a theme, pick your font, and even control fine-grain details such as font size, line height and width, and paragraph spacing. If you'd like to sync your work between Bear on your iOS devices and Bear for Mac, you can purchase a $1.49 per month subscription to Bear Pro.
Apple's own writing app, Pages lets you create all sorts of documents. There are more than 60 templates in Pages, covering just about every kind of writing, from short essays to research papers. There are even templates for items like business cards and flyers. You can add images and shapes, lay out your documents in different styles, and more. You can also open password-protected documents using Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad.
Pages also makes it easy to collaborate with other people. Multiple people, whether they're on iOS, macOS, or even Windows thanks to iCloud.com, can collaborate on a document at the same time. You can share collaborative documents publicly or with specific users, see who is in the document at any given time, and follow their cursors as they edit the project.
While Terminology isn't, strictly speaking, an app in which you write, it's the kind of app that can prove itself essential to any writer. Terminology offers a combined dictionary and thesaurus, but it can also be much more than that. The word lookup functions, which are available both on and offline, let you mark favorites, lookup synonyms, antonyms, and more. But Terminology, developed by Agile Tortoise, also supports a wide set of custom actions that can turn the app into a powerful research companion through its integration with other apps and the web.
Terminology also features a share extension so that you can highlight text in any app and look it up in Terminology right from the share sheet. The app keeps your history, favorite words, and actions all backed up and in sync between devices with iCloud.
These are what we consider the best writing apps for iPhone and iPad, but what are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.
The Night Before Essay Planner App: The essential interactive tool for planning your essays
Some of us plan and some of us cram. This app gives the planners among us a new tool to better organize our essays, and the crammers among us a better chance to create quality written work, even if it's the night before the essay is due.
With The Night Before Essay Planner app, you assume control of your essay. You'll no longer flounder about, wondering what to do next or where to start. With this app you will generate a personalized "Plan of Attack" based on an interactive self‐assessment. Then, you can follow the specific, targeted strategies to get a quality essay done stress‐free and on time.
• The only essay‐planning app that offers an interactive self‐assessment, taking your situation into account to provide you with a personalized Plan of Attack.
• Ability to create a new Plan of Attack for every essay you have to write.
• Automatically saves each Plan of Attack so you can review it at any time.
• Allows you to take notes. Automatically saves your notes with each Plan of Attack.
• The Plan of Attack provides strategies for planning, researching and writing. Based on your unique needs, it includes suggestions on things like: how long to spend working on each aspect of your essay, how many references you need, how much research you should conduct, as well as strategies for managing emotions such as stress.
• Easy‐to‐use email feature, so you can email your Plan of Attack to yourself with your own study notes. Simply print and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
• Email is formatted as text‐only — easy to print your Plan of Attack without wasting ink.
• You can give your Plan of Attack a unique title. The title will appear on every screen and you can tap on it anytime to view your essay question.
• Automatically updates your due date with a gentle reminder of how many days you have left to go.
• Comprehensive Essay Glossary: an alphabetical listing of some common, but often complex, essay‐writing terms, with detailed definitions you can actually understand. This helpful tool is included to assist you with the information and support you need to start, endure, and finish your essay.
This app is NEW in 2010 and can be used as a planning tool in its own right or as a companion to the bestselling The Night Before Essay Planner: A Workbook to Plan, Research and Write Your Next Essay.
What people are saying about the book:
This book gives you clear, no‐nonsense advice on how to research and write a great essay. It covers everything you should be taught about researching your topic and writing your essay but somehow are expected to just know. It draws together clear, practical advice and presents it in a concise, easy‐to‐read package. This book is a must for all students wanting to improve their skills and their grades.
—Dr Kirsten McCaffery, university researcher
What a great concept! Many students find the transition from school to tertiary study and work requirements difficult not only because of the higher order research skills expected but also the need for quality time management and planning. All university students should regard this is a “must have” book for all essays and assignments.
—Graeme Davies, secondary school principal
The Night Before Essay Planner is such a great guide to cracking the code of academic writing! It definitely helps to ease the pressure and panic of handing in a major assignment.
—Ingrid Bardon, undergraduate student
Need more help? The Research Den provides cutting‐edge tools and strategies for writing essays. www.researchden.com
You can get The Night Before Essay Planner: A Workbook to Plan, Research and Write Your Next Essay from Australia‟s premier academic book seller The Co‐op Bookshop www.coop‐bookshop.com.au (international delivery available).