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Five reasons why I love Ulysses

4 min read

And I’m not talking about James Joyce’s novel.

We all have this magic app or software that allows us to be better writers and unleash the power of our craft. I believe that choosing the right tools is important to ward off distractions while you’re creating. Nobody needs distractions, right?

This post is not an ad nor a paid post. I’m not getting anything in exchange for saying what I’m gonna say. And, if you pay attention, I’m not gonna link you to the app until the very last paragraph of this post.

This is an honest story about me trying to find an app that would finally satisfy my needs as a writer and perfectionist creator. The app is called Ulysses. And that’s the app I use for everything I write.

So, I’ve been a Mac and iOS user for a long time. And I tried everything. Every available app, I would download or buy it. I think it’s been like this forever. I mean, if not apps, writers would always buy hundreds of typewriters and pens and notebooks and papers until they found the perfect tools for them.

And I did that. I tried Word, Pages, Google Documents, Scrivener, Drafts, and a bunch of indie apps for writers. But not a single app really served me completely until I found Ulysses.

Like I said, I needed a few things. A few requirements:

  1. Clean and minimalistic design
  2. Simple tools
  3. Clear writing space
  4. Easy and organized file management
  5. Good sync and export options

In a nutshell, what I needed was a nice UI and a perfect UX, or a gorgeous user interface and the best user experience.

1. Clean and minimalist design

For a nice user interface, I believe that the app must let us, users, control it without stress (we have to find everything at hand), we have to feel comfortable with interacting with the app, we have to deal or see the minimum information as possible to reduce cognitive load, and the interface must be consistent.

I love how simple and clean yet powerful and easy Ulysses is. I open the app and start typing my text. No delay, no setting things, no distractions. And all the updates they do make us love the app even more (unlike certain social media apps for example cough).

2. Simple tools

Ulysses uses markdown language for formatting. This means you only need to use symbols to format your text. They do have menu and keyboard shortcut options if you’re not used to markdown but once you get it, you’ll be doing it naturally and see how your life will change.

It’s easy. Hashtags for titles, asterisks for *italic*, double asterisks for **bold**, and so on. That saves time and keeps everything faster.

3. Clear writing space

Ulysses is one hundred percent distraction-free. You only see your text and tiny icons as menus. Nothing else. No crazy tools you never use, any ornaments. Focus.

That’s what we need when we’re writing. Focus. Menus and tools just makes it all cluttered. And, I don’t know about you, but it irritates me a lot.

4. Easy and organized file management

This was a big deal. I like using separate documents for chapters and posts but I also like the option to merge, split, reorganize, and merge again to get a big final document.

In Ulysses, you organize your work into folders and sheets and then you can do everything I said, merge, split, glue sheets together, and make it all look neat.

5. Good sync and export options

I wanted an app that would let me work on my documents on my MacBook, then on the iPad, and my phone if I wanted.

Ulysses sync through iCloud and I don’t have to worry about anything like pushing buttons or having different versions of my documents or just losing them. The updates happen in real-time and I never had issues.

Plus, you can export your documents to PDF, Word, ebook, HTML, and (great for bloggers) you can publish it directly on WordPress, Medium, and Ghost.

So, those are the five things that make me love Ulysses as my word processor and writing tool.

If you want to use it, here comes that paragraph I told you about. You can find it on the AppStore or you can use this link . If you use the link, I won’t be paid for that but you will get three months free on the app and see for yourself that I’m not bullshitting in this post.

Now, between the lines…

What’s your favorite writing tool and what makes it so special to you?

One Comment

  • Henrique Cesar da Silva Lopes

    I’ve been using Google Docs, since I’m an android/windows user, it has the best integration between devices for me.

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