In Search of the Ultimate Writing App: Reviews by Jobe

I decided it was time to check out free writing apps and determine the best one or ones to use. Originally I meant to do this for/before Nano, but it’s just a good thing to know in general, too. Below are the ones I liked best.

Writer: write a book, write a story
This app gets points for being beautiful. Great, sleek design that’s impressive for a free app. There’s a built in recorder if you’re interested in capturing ideas on the run, and there’s a photo option that works similarly; whatever you record or photograph will stay attached to whatever text box you’re in at the time. You can organize your writings with four different labels: outline, notes, character, chapter.

Writer Premium costs $2.99

Adi Shaviv
This is what the icon looks like


WriteOn Lite
Allows one Project. Within a project you create chapters (apparently unlimited, I made 12 just to see) and you can rearrange them, but they will keep the title you give them, so if you name your chapter 1 “the kiss scene” and then realize “the fight scene” needs to happen first, it’s easy to change. You can also fully customize the colors of fonts and backgrounds. There’s a word count by chapter, a save button, and a place to enter a target date and word count (ie perfect for Nano or similar).

WriteOn Pro costs $4.99

Rooksoft Ltd.

Stenosaur Personal Microjournal
This is a weird one. You choose an icon for each entry; the icons can be whatever you want, different every time or repeated as often as you prefer. The entry is time-stamped, and you write until you decide you’re done. Once you’re done, that entry cannot be edited. I’d say this is a good one for people who get hung up on editing during the creative generating part of the process. It’s like a blog in that it counts days and numbers of entries, as well as grouping entries by month in the history, but it also has a word count; and you can scroll to see your entries/words/days for “today,” “this week,” “this month,” or “All.” You can back up your files via email so that’d be the way to be able to edit later. I’ve only written an entry as long as six lines, but so far it appears that the entire entry is viewable (rather than just a preview) from the main screen.

There does not appear to be a version which costs.

David Charlton

Write 2 Lite
This one has ads, which I abhor, but I wanted to review it for you in case you decide it’s worth it to upgrade. You can turn on Auto Save or not, you can customize Auto Text, there’s a huge range of customization for font style and backgrounds, and there are Files as well as Folders. You can also elect to use Pin Protection and coordinate with Dropbox.

Write – Notes & Writing costs $1.99

Daniel V.W

This app is like a less beautiful (but ad-free) version of Write 2 Lite. Font size and style is completely customizable, as is background color. Notes are automatically time-stamped but you choose the title. You can click “share” in each note to send it elsewhere. Also within a note, pull down from the top to see current word count. I thought this one had files and folders, too, but I’m not seeing that now so it must’ve been an app that didn’t make my final cut.

There does not appear to be a version which costs.

Daniel Amitay

Noted by Tack – Write simply beautiful notes
This app also has a great design, this one even more simplified than some others. The icon is simple and clean, and the interface has a few colors but is not too distracting. Pull down to create a new note, swipe one way to see your older notes, swipe the other way to change the color of your “paper.” There are a handful of different themes for customization. You can choose to have the status bar on or off (good if you want to make sure you can see what time it is, or want to have no clock visible!) Two finger pull side-to-side deletes, and a two finger “pinch” (drag from top and bottom toward center) shows you all your notes. A very cool, very simple tool. This one is only for iDevices, sorry if that doesn’t work for ya.

There does not appear to be a version which costs.

Tack Mobile



Jot – Write Away
This app is super simple. One font, one font size. Four color themes to choose from. No need to save. Notes aren’t titled but simply display the first two lines of text in the menu. Each note is automatically time-stamped. If simplify, simplify, simplify is what you’re going for, this is the app for you. Easy on the eyes and no distractions–you can even hide the clock. There doesn’t seem to be a way to send your stuff out of the app so you’ll have to select all > copy > paste into an email to yourself or similar process to get editing on the computer.

There does not appear to be a version which costs.

Arjun Mahanti



Secret Diary FREE – Private Journal
You can only have 3 notes until you upgrade, but the upgrade has a rainbow theme (and others). You program a 4-digit pin to lock the diary, and you can add photos to an entry, or send them elsewhere. The arrow buttons at the bottom of the screen will navigate to the next or previous page. There is an ad bar but it is only an ad to upgrade to the full version. Basically the promo does very little while the upgrade promises countless fonts and all the bells and whistles. One scary feature is a “detonate” option to delete all. I guess if you’re worried someone else will read it? Maybe not the best for writers after all, but seriously, rainbow theme.

Secret Diary full version costs $0.99

Nitisa Jetmongkhonrat

Last and least least (double negative?) my favorite of the bunch is called Werdsmith. The icon is a mustache. You can use touch ID to log in. You make “Ideas” and “Projects.” There are a handful of very simple themes. No different fonts but you can adjust size, and within a note you can use different styles. You can export your files. It gives you daily and total (ever) word counts. There’s a place for your preferred user pic. You can set a reminder for a ritual and you can also set your word count to show on the preview screen of your phone. There’s an upgraded version but I’ve never seen an ad for it or anything pesky and obtrusive like that. The main features of the upgrade seem to be writing prompts (fancy!) you can use the app on your computer as well.

Upgraded Werdsmith is free for the first week and then costs $4.99/month.

Nathan Tesler

werd2 w3

Thanks for reading!


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