I’ve been pondering ideas for two days now. I’m supposed to finish the first draft of a story I’ve tentatively titled “The Last Devil,” but it’s not going so smoothly this week. I repeatedly find my thoughts wandering off to exotic landscapes and ideas for future projects.
A few days ago I discovered an app called Calmly Writer and to help me quiet my thoughts I thought I’d try it out so I started typing random words which resulted in this blog post. I’m using the free browser version at the moment, but I am considering the paid version.
The free version does not allow me to save anything I write—because it’s free—but to bypass that shortcoming I just copy and paste to my Evernote blog folder. Of course I’d prefer to have Calmly Writer save my words automatically as I type, but then I need to purchase the paid version which allows for cloud backup to Google Drive, which is nice. The unpaid version also does not support markdown or dark mode. Unfortunately for me, Calmly Writer is only available in the Chrome Web Store, but it is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux and, of course, ChromeOS.
I use an iMac and Safari is my browser of choice. I very much like Safari—not Chrome, although I have nothing against Chrome—and I find Calmly Writer utterly delightful on Safari. You have a white workspace with Calmly Writer’s little logo on the left hand corner and when you click on it the menu pane opens. Overall an extremely minimalist work surface that is devoid of any clutter. There’s no interference with your words as you birth them. You can set the workspace to focus mode which means everything else except the line you’re typing is faded (iA Writer is like that, too, but more on this later). What I also like is the way you format your text. You just highlight the word or sentence you’re working on and an options menu pops up. Very easy and smooth and without any fuss.
You’d think I have enough writing apps, but I suppose for me it’s like the 2.0 version of collecting typewriters. I have a few writing apps I use now and then, and then I have two or three core ones that I just can’t stop using. And I use them for different purposes. And I know you don’t have to and I know that some people can’t do that. They prefer the stability and consistency of one, but my personality is such I tend to grow tired and bored of things very easily. I had hoped that as I get older and more mature that this part of my personality would die off, but it didn’t happen. So now I need to manage it, which I’m doing, like talking about my latest find in writing software.
I think it is only fair that I also mention the other writing apps I use. My core ones are iA Writer and Scrivener. I don’t count Evernote as a writing app although you can use it for that purpose, too. I use Scrivener for longer works and for compiling my books into Mobi and EPUB formats and I use iA Writer for flash fiction and short stories. Evernote is for filing blog posts, research, admin for Wo3lfMad, and a ton of other information that include writing resources and vocabulary lists.
I also use Bean, but less so these days. Bean is also free. It opens fast and is not such bad word processor. Did I say it’s free? Unfortunately you can only use it on Macs.
And Spotify is there for when I need to have music playing in the background, which is almost always.
So there we have it. Just a quick note, I did not receive any compensation for blogging about these writing apps, nor will I get compensation or points or heavenly favor if you click any of the links in this post.
I love using writing apps and I really like Calmly Writer which I think is an awesome find and I thought you guys would love to know about it. Of course, if the creators of Calmly Writer should gift me the paid version as thanks for this unsolicited exposure I would not say no. Just kidding. Kinda.
Try out the browser version of Calmly Writer here and let me know in the comments what you think.