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distraction free writing onlineHere at MakeUseOf.com, we are all creative writers (I like to call myself that). As wordsmiths we use our fair share of text editors and online writing tools. My preference has been for tools that let me write without distractions Write In Peace With These Distraction-Free Editors Write In Peace With These Distraction-Free Editors I have felt it. Visual clutter – thanks to menus and other markup features – have often cemented my writer’s block. So, I have tried out quite a few distraction-free text editors in a grand... Read More . There’s something about visual clutter that comes in the way of focus. As you know, Writer’s Block 10 More Websites That Help Cure Writer's Block With Writing Prompts 10 More Websites That Help Cure Writer's Block With Writing Prompts Read More being as bad as it is, on the web it is a constant struggle to stay focused while working 10 Websites That Will Help Drown Out The Noise So You Can Stay Focused 10 Websites That Will Help Drown Out The Noise So You Can Stay Focused Do you find yourself constantly distracted by everything going on around you and having a hard time concentrating on what you're doing? The solution is noise-cancelling headphones. Whether you're in a café with a crying... Read More .

There are a few things I ask of any writing application or a text editor. Yes, it should be minimal but it should have a few features to aid the words I key into the screen. Privacy is on top of the list. The ability to back up my work is close behind. Then, a little bit of markdown support is always welcome. WriteApp is a relatively new online writing tool that ticks all three boxes.

We recently featured it in our Directory section. I think it has enough to offer for a closer look. But just don’t confuse it with WriteApp.net which is note taking app for iOS.

WriteApp Is Not Just a Tool but Also a “Place”

 

distraction free writing online

WriteApp aims to be an all-embracing writing environment that you can use to keep a journal, write a book, write blog posts, or anything that needs you to just write in the simplest way possible. WriteApp says it’s a writing platform for anyone who wants to write privately but also share notes selectively. Here are its key features if you just want to skip ahead and try it out yourself:

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  • Security: Set your notes as public or private. Two factor authentication is a comfort.
  • Organization: Keep your related notes together in notebooks.
  • Formatting: The editor supports Markdown syntax, code blocks and syntax highlighting.
  • Back Up: The Export feature is in beta. You can also download your notes as text files.
  • Mobile: Access the mobile version of the text editor.

WriteApp is still a work in progress. The good thing is that it is being actively developed, so expect to see some improvements come along. So, just register and log into the site to start your first note.

The Business of Writing on WriteApp

distraction free writing

The WriteApp interface is simple in the best traditions of minimal text editors. A title box and the writing dialog area make up one part of the screen. You can see the options for customizing the look of your note on the right. WriteApp gives you quite a few themes to work with. The font face also changes with the selection of the themes. So, pick one you are comfortable with.

distraction free writing

 

Two controls are worth mentioning – Live Preview and Standard view.

WriteApp supports Markdown. Live Preview helps you quickly see the display format of your content. Standard View is the interface you would most likely choose if you hanker for a distraction free writing environment. It removes all the controls and just gives you a plain interface to write upon, depending on the theme you choose. So, choose your theme (I prefer the darker colors), decide if you want to turn on lines or not, and then click the cross-arrowed button to get into the standard view.

distraction free writing

All notes by default are private. You can hit the button to toggle-off the privacy settings and make them shareable with a custom slug. All public notes are available at https://writeapp.me/your-username. To save your notes, you have to come back to the default view.

You can also download your notes as .md formats (Markdown) which can be opened by any text editor like Notepad. Downloading your notes to the desktop or shift it to your Dropbox folder is a good way to keep them backed up. If you have too many notes piled up, it’s better to use the Export option under Settings. Though, the developer warns that it is very much a beta feature and may not work smoothly. In my trials it didn’t.

distraction free editor

Managing Your Notes with Notebooks

You can organize all your notes into discrete notebooks. The organizational part of this app can be accessed by clicking the Notes link on top. Click on the area where it is written – Plans for world domination. Enter a name for the notebook. Click on the red New Notebook button to create your first notebook. One of the quirks is that the Plans for domination notebook remains even if you delete it from the Settings screen.

distraction free writing online

There are no filters to trawl through a multitude of notes; but the search is quick and responsive. Finally, you can go into the Settings and delete any notebook you want to. The Settings screen also allows you to set up your public profile.

Features To Like

WriteApp is still undergoing development. But already there are some features to like:

  • WriteApp allows you to insert code blocks. Automatic syntax highlighting is also a big plus. These makes it a writing environment, coders can also use.
  • WriteApp has integrated a commenting platform powered by Disqus. You can trigger discussions around public posts with a Disqus account.
  • WriteApp lets you send notes via email. Use notes@post.writeapp.me for private notes and public@post.writeapp.me.

You can upgrade for free to take advantage of Notes by Email and 2-factor authentication which are Premium only features. If you start with a free account, you can still upgrade for free though the offer blog post says it was till January 2013. The developer is trying to build up mass for his app. There’s nothing wrong with it, as WriteApp has promise and the features to meet that promise. This is an early look, even then tell us about your first impressions. Do you use minimal text editors for distraction free writing online? How would you compare WriteApp with the rest of the tribe?

  1. M. Zain Rafique
    January 7, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Assalam-o-Alaikum!
    I can not open the website on my browser .Can anyone plz help me or tell me an alternative to open it?

    • Saikat Basu
      January 7, 2016 at 5:47 am

      The site is down permanently it seems. Their last Twitter post was in 2014.

  2. Debbie
    June 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I just signed up and immediately started 5 notebooks. It is so easy to use and I think it will really help boost my productivity.
    Thanks for sharing this awesome tool!

    • Saikat Basu
      June 21, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Well, it's still under development. So expect it to only get better from here. Glad you found it useful.

  3. James H
    June 6, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Under feature I don't like: Their ssl is screwed up right now and the site won't even load.

    • Bill
      June 6, 2013 at 2:43 am

      Write.app creator here. We've had a handful of people say they couldn't access the site over SSL. It's being worked on and I'm real sorry you couldn't access it. There's also an open source version of the editor you can run on your own site or your own computer if you like. Demo is at http://wrtapp.github.io/wreditor/

      • James H
        June 6, 2013 at 10:27 am

        Many thanks Bill. I'll look forward to your site coming back up and in the mean time, I'll check out the editor.

  4. Prateek Jain
    June 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Nice one Saikat, Thanks

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