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I like FocusWriter, but see also Merlin Mann's critique of zenware:


"Which in this instance amounts to saying, a) selling people a prettier way to kinda almost but not really write is not, in the canonical sense, “nice”—but, far worse, b) leaving your starry-eyed customers with the nauseatingly misguided impression that their 'distraction' originates from anyplace but their own busted-ass brain is really not 'helping.' Not on any level. It is, literally, harmful."

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

That's an awesome rant.

Benoît Perrier

Looks like someone hasn't used the tremendously good Writemonkey http://www.writemonkey.com
It gives you a live word or character count, a clock and useful stats. You can set a goal length (let's say 3000 characters) and it lets you know how far you've gone.
You can also set a time window to write in (let's say half an hour) and it indicates you how close you are to the deadline.
It also perfectly interprets markdown, outputting well-formed HTML.
As for the Open/Save mechanism : how complex is a command + O or a right click and "open with" (or even having it as your default editor) ? Seriously, I couldn't work without it and it truly improves both my productivity and my concentration.

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

I hadn't heard of WriteMonkey either, but I'll have to take a look at it.

The WriteMonkey Web site's use of Courier font is a nice example of how an older technological look has now been appropriated and reinterpreted for new purposes-- in this case to hearken back to a time of simpler interfaces and creative writing tools.

Andrew Curry

I like OmmWriter:


No whistles, hardly any bells, but a clean white writing space.


WriteMonkey seems to become my new word processor of choice :) Have looked for a WriteRoom equivalent for my home PC, and this seems to fill out that void. Great stuff!


I've restarted my blog after about a year of neglecting it. I never knew I was mentioned here! I'm glad someone else found my rant cathartic :)

I'm going to try WriteMonkey right now.

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About Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

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