My Favorite Apps for Writing

These are the apps I use on a daily basis for writing, editing, and organizing.

Prose & Poetry

ObsidianAll platforms

Obsidian turns your current writing directory into an organized “vault” where you can edit, preview, and organize your markdown files. I like that it has support for community-driven plugins – sort of like Chrome extension for your text editor. And Obsidian doesn’t force you into its cloud storage – you can keep your vaults wherever you want. I store mine in a Dropbox so my writing is always backed up to the cloud.

Worthy competitors: iA Writer


SluglineMac, iOS

I prefer screenwriting apps based on Fountain, an open-source format that can be opened with any plain text editor. This prevents you from getting locked in to any particular editor, and gives me a better sense of ownership over my writing. Of all the Fountain-based editors I’ve tried, Slugline is my favorite. It has minimal settings, an uncluttered interface, and a fullscreen mode that lets you write distraction-free.

Worthy competitors: Highland 2


WorkflowyAll platforms

If you need to create a story outline, create a research list, or cross off project tasks as they’re completed, check out Workflowy. This free app lets you create lists of infinitely-nested text, and gives you pretty much everything you need to be productive – tags, sharing, card views – without any extra fluff. Its flexibility is its greatest strength.

Quickly capturing ideas

TotMac, iOS

Everyone needs an idea inbox. When an idea pops into my head, I open up Tot, jot it down, and get back to my day. My ideas are automatically synced to the cloud so I have them with me in the car, at my desk, and by my bedside. Unlike the stock iOS Notes app, Tot has no filing system – it works best as a place to dump unstructured thoughts and ideas that you’ll organize later.

Worthy competitors: Pensieve, pocket notebook, emailing yourself

Staying organized

NotionAll platforms

Different types of projects live in various places. It can be difficult to stay mentally organized with everything so spread out. Notion is a “personal knowledge base,” a sort of digital binder where you can keep tabs on everything going on in your life. I use Notion to track what projects I’m working on, what’s coming up next, and what I’d like to work on down the line.

Worthy competitors: Airtable

Keeping drafts straight

GitAll platforms

Once upon a time, my project folders consisted of dozens of drafts, each differentiated by the date in the filename. It was a way of ensuring that I always had my old drafts in case I ever needed to go back and reference them. But when I switched to Git, I said goodbye to overcrowded project folders for good. Git is a tool for saving a “version history” of your writing, without having to save multiple copies. At the end of each writing session, I “commit” the day’s changes with a quick note about what I worked on. At any point in the future, I can scroll through the historical log of changes and read or revert to any previous version.