I’ve always been an Android guy, but it seems like just about everyone I know owns an iPad, so I tend to fiddle around on their devices and figure out interesting ways to log ideas and make myself a tad more productive, in terms of writing. Since my girlfriend lets me tinker quite a bit, I wanted to put together a list of the best writing apps for iPad, because I find myself writing while on the “L” train more often than I do while at home.
Using an iPad for writing is more than just pumping out words. I use it for managing my writing projects, generating ideas and even brainstorming. So, I broke this list down into a few areas that every writer seems to stumble upon during their writing adventure. Enjoy.
For Getting Words on the Page
Editorial is a nice iPad app for writers, because it’s a plain text editor and you can go in there and include as much Markdown as you want.
Novel in 30 is for those procrastinating writers out there who need a little push to start reaching their content creation goals. Set deadlines, timers and word count goals, and write directly into an app that keeps you on your schedule.
Byword is a beautifully designed iPad app for writers that is known for its simplicity and easy formatting abilities.
Of course I wouldn’t want to forget about the bloggers out there. If you plan on writing blog posts with your iPad, Blogsy is the way to do it. The formatting features are spectacular, and you can sync up with platforms like WordPress and Blogger. Drop in photos, align your text and more.
Storyist is actually quite similar to Scrivener, but its interface is much easier to use on the iPad. Scrivener offers more features, but this app is more responsive to the iPad so you can clearly see your text without having to zoom-in all the time.
For Outlining Your Writing
Mindly is a visual outlining tool, which I find works wonders for planning a book. Use different shapes and colors, then connect them all to create a clear timeline of how events play out.
Index Card doesn’t require much explanation, since it is simply an interface to store digital index cards. Yes, Scrivener has index cards, but this offers easier syncing options and it is strictly for planning, so you don’t get distracted with the temptation to start writing during the outlining process.
MindNode is another visual outlining app, but I’ve found that the export options are perfect for viewing your ideas in a different format. For example, you can print out a PDF version or turn the mindmap into an outline format.
For Storing Ideas
Dropbox is obviously one of the most popular cloud storage systems, but you can also use something like Google Drive or OneDrive. I actually sync my Feedly with Google Drive so when I stumble upon an article that sparks a story or blog post idea, I can quickly save it to my drive.
Evernote is the crown jewel for storing your ideas. I keep it on my tablet and phone to jot down quick ideas or snap photos and store them. This is pretty much my alternative for pen and paper.
Q&A Diary is ever so wonderful. Yes, it seems like a simple diary at first, but it actually brings up questions to get your juices flowing. So, instead of staring at a blank screen for a while, it asks you something like, “What are you looking forward to?” Then you can start typing away.
For Editing and Annotating
GoodReader is the ideal iPad app for anyone editing their work. The annotation options are insane, as you can see in the screenshot, and all you have to do is import a PDF or other document to start editing and marking up your work.
Notabiliy also works nicely for annotating and jotting notes on a document. The reason I put this on here is because the interface is a tad cleaner than GoodReader.
For Generating Ideas
Based of the popular Story Cube game, this app uses images to help you spark your creativity. Simply shake up the cubes to reveal a whole new batch of interesting symbols.
The Brainstormer is a unique iPad app for writers because it is all about piecing together creative situations and plots. The rustic design works like a dial to twist and turn until you line up a plot, setting, subject, character and style that you are satisfied with.
I’ve talked about Lists for Writers in my iPhone and Android apps list, but it has to come along for the ride on this one as well. This database and search app provides buttons for you to search items like genres, plots, personalities, settings and more.
A Novel Idea is all about plotting and being able to jot down ideas as you go. The app is pretty bare-bones when you start out, but the organization throughout is quite impressive. You can easily view, organize and edit your scenes and titles from a single screen.
Please keep the dictionary app on your iPad. For the sake of all your readers out there.
Terminology 3 is rather similar to the dictionary iPad app, yet its interface is cleaner, and you simply type in a word and receive synonyms, related words and definitions. The app truly shines by accessing other apps and the internet to deliver related articles, images and research components to add to your writing.
For Managing Your Projects
Checkout my Trello review for a detailed description of why it’s by far the best way to organize your freelance writing business. It’s also used by various authors for outlining books.
I end my writing apps for iPad list with the best to-do list app on the market. I’ve tried them all, and Wunderlist is close to perfect. Organize several lists, drag and drop your tasks and watch the tasks magically disappear when your complete them. You can even integrate it with your Gmail to have everything in one area.
Drop a line in the comments sections below if you have any other writing apps for iPad that you use on a regular basis. Have you tried any of these suggestions out?