App Review: iA Writer Gets You Writing

Posted by K.C. with 6 Comments


If you’re any kind of writer you know 2 of the biggest challenges you face are:

  1. Writer’s Block
  2. Distraction

We can’t really help you with #1, however, for #2 “there’s an app for that”.

Behold iA Writer

My good friend and fellow blogger Moe first introduced me to iA Writer and I’ve never looked back. This plain text editor is the simple, distraction-free answer to every writer’s prayers.

What I like:

  • Simple. We are talking extremely simple here. As in when you launch the app you get a white screen and a blinking blue cursor inviting you to instantly start creating.
  • No fonts. Seriously. You get one and no formatting options. If you want to use italics, bullets or headers you have to use the inline modifier symbols.
  • Distraction-free. There are no menu bars, colors or nifty features to fiddle with and stall your writing. Additionally, you can adjust a setting that blocks notification pop-ups and sounds while the app is open as your primary window.
  • Export. You can send your drafts or completed work to email, iCloud or Dropbox in a few versatile file formats including txt and html.
  • Cross platform. I’m drafting this post on my iPhone and will be able to make edits on the Mac or iPad when I get home.
  • Keyboard. The keyboard on iOS devices is intuitive and adds some bonus buttons for navigation and punctuation that Apple would do well to emulate.
  • Screen. Almost any app that involves typing will only have a small window to write in. iA Writer eliminates the traditional header and border in favor of maximizing screen real estate.

What I don’t like:

  • Formatting. The syntax takes a little getting used to. I’d like to see a gesture that pulls up the cheat sheet for reference
  • Price. While iA Writer is available on the Mac and iOS platforms you have to purchase it separately. Individually the cost is pretty cheap, but for the trifecta it’ll cost you $9.99. Still not a deal breaker, though.

Should you buy it? Yes. Try one of the platforms to test it out, but if you do any sort of writing on a regular basis I think you’ll find iA Writer to be worth the investment. I know I have.

Do you use a text editor app for writing?
What type of atmosphere do you like to write or be creative in?



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My name is KC and I LOVE being a husband & dad. I am a Mac fanboy, tentblogger, MBA grad, cubicle dweller and frequent abuser of Twitter & Facebook.

6 responses to App Review: iA Writer Gets You Writing

  1. I started using this not long ago. My workflow usually is being very very picky about what image I use in posts so I need an image editor etc. If I wasn’t so darned picky iA Writer would be a great app for a new workflow via the iPad.

    • I’m discovering more and more that a strict workflow is key. For me I use iA Writer for drafting the basic text and dropping the word “IMAGE” where I want a graphic and finding it later.

      Gotta use what works for you though.

  2. iA writer does what any other editor doesn’t do. It allows you to focus on just writing. We can all agree that we live in a society that is constantly screaming and distracting us. With iA Writer is just you and the app. No fancy menus, fancy visuals, just you and your words.

    What iA Writer has done with me is allow me to write more by seeing less1. For writing, this is a win.

    1This is what made typewriters so special. You a paper and keys. iA Writer is as close as we get to this.

  3. I have iAwriter for both my iphone and ipad and love it. I usually draft with it on iphone and ipad and insert images from macbook when I have post in wordpress. Love the app though. I started using it after I saw KC and Moe talking about how great it was. I have been pleased with it. SO much that I have almost replaced Evernote with it.

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