iA Writer

Why I chose Pages for writing meeting minutes

First of all I personally have a Mac, iPad, and iPhone. And at work I am forced to use a PC with MS Office package.

I work in science and we have quite a lot of meetings and I would like to use my iPad to write short minutes of them. I want to read those minutes using all my devices at home and at my workplace. So, there are many things to fullfill for a notes/writing app. And I really have tested quite many.

It would be nice if a note app is easy to use and fast for writing using mobile devices. Of course somekind of syncing feature is also a must because I am using many devices to create and read them. I’ve tested at least the following ones (some are iOS and some for Mac, some for both):

Evernote, NoteMaster, Elements, iA Writer, TaskPaper, Note Taker, ThinkBook, ByWord, and Pages (at least these – there may be some else which I do not recall now).

Some of those are really great writing apps. I especially like iA Writer and ByWord for distraction free writing and I am using them for that purpose. But they are not perfect ones for taking notes. Pages is a word processor (at least sort of) and is not a pure note taking app either. But there are few reasons why I chose Pages over the other for my meeting minute app:

You can make decent lists by Pages (even though you have better system for that in other apps – like TaskPaper). But the lists are decent and quite easy to make. The main reason for choosing Pages is the iCloud sync. It is fantastic. I have many of those other apps which use Dropbox sync which is also very nice but Pages with iCloud is very special case – at least for me. When you have your Pages documents in iCloud they are in all of your iOS devices and also in your Mac. Okay, Dropbox will do the same. Some of the other apps use file formats which are not so good if you want to use them in Word. And that’s what I need (I have to circulate the minutes to many people who are using Word). Plain text format will of course work but then I have to do quite a lot of formatting in Word before I’ll send the minutes to others. If I use Pages I can download the minutes from iCloud as Pages, Word, or PDF format. That’s super handy! I can even send the file in Word or PDF format straight from my mobile device as an email. And I can upload Word documents to iCloud too. Even more handy. So, there is much less messing around when I use Pages instead of those other apps.

One bonus more when using Pages. You can easily add some pics and charts in your documents when using Pages.

Byword test

Blog post by Byword

Now I am testing Byword writing app to write a simple blog post to WordPress. I have already tried out iA Writer which I really, really like for writing but it has one major disadvantage for blog writing. I couldn’t find out how to easily import an HTML file to WP and there is no way to just copy an iA Writer document as an HTML file and then paste it to WordPress. But Byword has that option. If it is working (and I will see that soon), I am really going to like Byword.

Byword is a “distraction-free” writing app as are e.g. iA Writer and WriteRoom. Byword has little bit more preferences to twek with than iA Writer (well iA Writer has no preferences at all) but otherwise these two programms are quite similar ones. Well, I do miss that gorgeous Nitti font which iA Writer uses!

I am just hoping to see iPhone versions of Byword and iA Writer. I think there will be an app for iPhone from iA Writer but I have not seen any info about such plans concerning Byword. If there will be iPhone app from either of them I will definitely purchase one. I would like to have this kind of a writing app in more mobile format.

I can say that these “distraction-free” writing apps are able to increase my productivity. I have now started to write a short novel using this kind of apps. This novel project has been my long-time dream for many, many years.

Writing a blog post using iA Writer

First try to write a blog post with iA Writer

I really love this almost spartan program. I am already using this to write a short novel. I have had an idea for that novel for a long time and I think iA Writer is just the right platform too write it. I think there will be also other uses for the Writer:

  • to write down meeting memos; I think Writer is a fast system to write simple memos and the markup system is fantastic to make simple but effective formatting
  • to write blog posts
  • to outline research ideas and possibly also research manuscripts

The only thing I am hoping for now is that iA will release an iPhone version of the Writer.

Well, I couldn’t figure out how to import HTML file as a blog post, so I had to open the HTML file in a word processor and then paste it here. If anybody knows how to import HTML file in WordPress I would be very happy about that info!

iA Writer for Mac

Above is a screenshot from Pages word processor and I am very pleased that the formatting done in iA Writer is there. Fantastic. I think iA Writer will be nice for outlining research articles and ideas. It is fast and simple. Without any clutter.

Check out more from iA Writer web site.