The 5 Best Writing Tools for Mac and PC

Posted on January 31, 2015 in Blog | 10 comments


Of course any “best of” list is subject to the writer’s preconceived notions of what the word “best” actually means. For writers, a good writing tool usually means what gives the most productivity in writing. Therefore, the best writing tools found here in this list are the ones that are the least distracting and most efficient.

It seems that many writers suddenly suffer from severe Attention Deficit Disorder when a deadline is looming. Distractions come in full force and we are helpless to fend them off. That’s why we can spend hours cleaning or tweaking our settings in Gmail when we’re supposed to be writing, or we surf the Net doing “research” (read checking Facebook or playing games).

Here in this list we’ll find a group of tools that will help keep us from being distracted by our computers, phones, and whatever else so we can just get to work, because that’s what it’s all about, right? [“Butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly,” as the Book-in-a-Week group says] (

Distraction-free Writing Apps

iA Writer (

The best writing app for Mac is iA Writer. There are no preferences to mess with and no fonts to pick. This is a writing app that’s useful for writing and nothing else. Some people hate the fact that they can’t pick their own fonts or increase the font size, but taking away those distractions allows for a pure writing experience unencumbered by any fiddling. It’s also a beautiful app with the custom Nitti font and focus mode that highlights the sentence you’re writing. $10 at the Mac App Store.

Q10 (

For PC, the Q10 writing app is at the top of the list. While it has more preferences to distract than iA Writer, Q10 allows for full-screen writing to get rid of distractions and even offers a neat typewriter sound effect if that helps some focus on writing. However, some may find the extra noise distracting, so it’s easily turned off. A great feature is that Q10 autosaves your work (iA Writer does as well), taking one less thing off your mind. Oh, and it’s free.

Note taking and Organizing Apps

Evernote  (

Evernote has long been in the note-taking business and has evolved to be the best app for note-taking on any computer. Evernote prides itself on its ability to take any form of writing and offers the organizing capabilities to never lose a single note. The app can even take handwritten notes—once scanned—and create text from the images that is searchable and able to be copied. Evernote is free for its limited, but not that limited, level and costs $5 a month for a personal premium subscription 

Miscellaneous Writing Apps

Grammarly (

Grammarly wants to be your artificially intelligent editor. In addition to checking your writing for over 250 types of grammatical mistakes, Grammarly also checks your work for plagiarism, spellchecks using context, and suggests better vocabulary. It’s compatible with Word documents and has three different payment plans. $30 gets you one month, $60 get’s you three months, and $140 gets you a year. It’s pricey, but it does a lot. Grammarly is also a great teaching tool for new writers.

Coffitivity (

Use this web app for when you can’t make it to the coffee shop. Coffitivity creates ambient coffee shop noise for you to listen to as you do your work. The app is incomplete though. It’s lacking the smell of coffee, actual baristas, and fun people to watch when you’re supposed to be writing. Coffitivity is free for basic coffee shop noise, but costs $3 to $9 a month for exotic coffee shops. Honest.

What are some of your favorite writing tools? Let us know in the comments below.

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