iA Writer is the productivity tool every Apple user needs

Users of Macs, iPads, and iPhones who write reports and social media posts frequently need the assistance iA Writer offers that other Markdown apps do not. Find out why.

Image: iStock/scyther5

If you are a Mac user or iPad user and regularly write copy, author reports, create blog posts, social media posts, or other professional material, iA WriterYou might be surprised at how useful this application is. Even if you only use email messages, Google documents notes and Microsoft Teams posts to communicate this fact, it is still true.

What are the advantages and features of Markdown apps such as iA Writer

Because iA Writer uses Markdown, the lightweight markup language that simplifies formatting, you can write text that can be used in multiple locations — a common need when preparing product, service, advertising, marketing, technical and financial performance information. You won’t experience repeated frustrations when you import your text into different applications, such as Word, Pages, Adobe products, cloud programs (such CRM, financial, ERP platforms and WordPress among others), or web services (Ghost and Medium).

iA Writer does not stand out in this regard. Popular Markdown applications can export to HTML, Microsoft Word and PDF. They also support common Markdown text-formatting codes (such as single asterisks to indicate italics and double asterisks to indicate bold-face type), iCloud file storage compatibility, Dark Mode support, and cross-platform compatibility (Mac, iPad and iPhone, and even Windows).

What alternatives are there to iA Writer

iA Writer has all the same capabilities as competing products. Bear, Byword, MacDownMarked 2Markdown Pro Ulysses. iA Writer offers a simple, but elegant interface. It also has an easy-to-use organizer that allows you to locate and store files. You can save time with customizable templates. There are optional focus elements that help improve your writing. This is why I keep seeing other media mentions about the app and authors revealing a dependence. iA Writer offers a unique combination of features that really aid the writing process.

SEE: Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2021 iMac vs. 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How do I use iA Writer?

Professional writers who have to regularly create text for work know how easy distractions can be. iA Writer assists writers in maintaining focus by encouraging and assisting them. iA Writer’s Focus Mode is a simple program with fewer options than Microsoft Word.Figure AThe program makes it easy to concentrate on your writing while minimizing distractions. Regardless, the program’s writing-focused features still provide a wealth of helpful options—automatic highlighting of unrecognized words, multiple exporting capabilities, PDF previews, common formatting choices, multiple view settings and seamless cloud storage integration to name but a few—that assist the writing, creative, operations, production and publishing processes.

Figure A

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Focus Mode for iA Writers helps busy professionals avoid distractions and keep their writing on track.

It also helps improve the quality of your writing. You can quickly highlight adjectives, nouns and verbs automatically while you type. This makes it easy to identify repetitive or unnecessary words.

Why is that important? I was an English major with a new B.A. and was forbidden by a mentor in journalism from using adjectives/adverbs for news releases. I was puzzled. I was perplexed. Was that not the purpose of a promotional announcement? He taught me a valuable lesson that would continue to be a part of my career: Short, honest communications are the best.

SEE: M1 MacBook Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: Which is quickest in the real world? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)  

The program is very lightweight. The app uses very few CPU cycles and requires little memory. I don’t recognize iA Writer placing any load on my Mac, iPad. (whose iA Writer presentation you see in) Figure B) or iPhone, so quickly does it load and respond to typing and comments. Its footprint is small. Yet, everything I draft—from client reports to news articles to blog posts—comes more easily.

Figure B

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The iPad version of iA Writer has the same interface as on the Mac. This helps to maintain concentration and allows for easy reading text.

I am able to concentrate my attention more effectively and produce more efficiently thanks to iA Writer’s simple interface. iA Writer defaults to a monotype font that is easy to read and builds confidence after just a few sentences. The New YorkerRecent comments on this phenomenon noted how the font’s equal spacing between each letter/punctuation mark and each letter generates a feeling of progress that isn’t possible with formats that give each character equal space. Although it is strange, the effect creates a real sense of progression.

Luckily, you can try iA writer without any commitment: Free trial of the program is available for Mac users. iPadOS users however will have to fork out $29.99 iPad app. However, Apple’s App Store will give you both the iOS and iPadOS versions. You will need to be ready to spend $29.99 for the Mac version. These two purchases have been the best investments I have made so far and they are helping me get 2022 off on a positive, productive note.

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