Ulysses 13 launched today for iOS and Mac, and it's all about putting more writing tools in your arsenal. It takes existing features of the app and makes them all better, leaving the app no more cluttered, but notably more useful. Improvements are in three areas: deadlines and daily writing goals, colored keywords, and syntax highlighting for code blocks.
Posts tagged with "writing"
A major strength of Day One is its flexibility – it's full-featured on both iOS and Mac, supports a host of both system-based and web-based methods for saving content, and therefore it can be used in a way that serves you best at any given moment. There's a lot to cover about the app, and The Sweet Setup hits all the bases well in the eight videos of its new course, which are titled:
- Walkthrough of Day One on Mac
- Walkthrough of Day One on iPad & iPhone
- Elements of a Journal Entry
- All the Ways to Create New Entries
- How to Filter and Search in Day One
- How and Why to Use Multiple Journals
- Cloud Sync, Back Up, and Security
- Getting Things Out of Your Journal(s)
In addition to these videos, Day One in Depth provides access to nine exclusive articles from The Sweet Setup's team, covering a wide range of subjects such as how journaling can change your life, a guide to all of Day One's keyboard shortcuts, ideas for how you may want to use Day One, a 30-day journaling challenge, and much more. While the video course is presented as the main attraction, I found the articles included here invaluable.
I've used Day One only casually in my life for the most part – I knew the app had a lot of power to it, but I never took the time to dive in and get the most out of it. If you're in a similar place and want to change that, this new course is an excellent way to equip yourself for a deeper investment into digital journaling.
'Day One in Depth' will normally be priced at $29, but it's available now at a special launch week price of $23. You can purchase the course here.
Bear debuted in 2016. That’s given users plenty of time to accumulate large collections of notes, which has made managing them more difficult. With Bear 1.5, Shiny Frog takes note management head-on with an update that significantly improves the way users interact with their note libraries.
MarsEdit, Red Sweater Software’s macOS blog editor, received a major update today with new features and a UI refresh.
Among the long list of updates to version 4 of MarsEdit are several modifications to the app’s editor. Common formatting options like bold, italics, and underlining are easily accessed from a formatting bar. A new typewriter view option keeps text centered in the middle of the editor as you type. If you edit in rich text mode, MarsEdit also lets users resize images by direct manipulation, and the app’s previewer has added MultiMarkdown support.
For WordPress users, MarsEdit has added support for featured images in posts, post formats, and author editing. Modern macOS features like versions for local drafts, auto-saving, and application sandboxing for security have been incorporated too. For link bloggers, MarsEdit has a Safari extension that sends highlighted text to the app as a block quote along with the article title and URL.
Today The Sweet Setup launched a new ‘Learn Ulysses’ course that’s designed to help users get the most out of the powerful writing app.
The meat of Learn Ulysses is its seven video guides that walk through key aspects of the app in detail. Videos cover the following topics:
- Getting to Know Ulysses
- Writing Tips and Tricks
- The Ulysses Toolbar
- Main Features
- iPhone & iPad Apps
- Backup & Restore
- Powerful Search, Find, & Replace
Each video can be either streamed or downloaded, and they are all accompanied by full transcripts. The videos I’ve seen are of the highest quality; the team at The Sweet Setup has handled well the difficult task of going deep into Ulysses while still making everything easy to understand.
In addition to the seven main videos, Learn Ulysses includes bonus content such as a quick reference cheat sheet of additional features and keyboard shortcuts for the app. My personal favorite bonus is the included series of setup interviews, where different writers share exactly how they use Ulysses in their daily workflows. Some of these are in video form, while others are written. I always love hearing how others use a powerful app, as it helps me find new practices to adopt.
The regular price for Learn Ulysses is $29, but during launch week it’s available at 20% off for a discounted rate of $23. You can purchase the course here.
It’s been over 7 years since MarsEdit 3 was released. Typically I would like to maintain a schedule of releasing major upgrades every two to three years. This time, a variety of unexpected challenges led to a longer and longer delay.
The good news? MarsEdit 4 is finally shaping up. I plan to release the update later this year.
Because the update contains many new features that my patient users have been waiting to get their hands on, I want to give folks the option of trying it out early.
MarsEdit 4 includes a long list of features including:
- Visual formatting bar for applying common formatting options;
- Typewriter scrolling mode;
- Support for MultiMarkdown; and
- WordPress-specific features like faster refresh times and Featured Image, Post Format, and Per-Post Author support.
If you want to to try the beta yourself, there’s a link in the Red Sweater blog post. The beta is free to use by anyone who has a license for MarsEdit 3 that was purchased directly from MarsEdit on the web. Also, anyone who buys a copy of MarsEdit 3 now will receive a free upgrade to MarsEdit 4 when it is released later this year.
Research is an inherently messy, non-linear process. In a traditional note-taking app, text, links, and images quickly wind up a disorganized mess, and moving items around with cut and paste is cumbersome. Milanote is a free-form note-taking web app designed to bring order to the chaos.
I've been a fan of Terminology by Agile Tortoise since it debuted in 2010. There are a lot of dictionary apps on the App Store, but most are bloated messes that foist multimedia experiences and games on me when all I want is a definition or synonym. Terminology has alway been just about words. With today's update, the app has been redesigned from the ground up with new features that make it a must-have research tool for anyone who writes.
Today, Manton Reece launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Micro.blog, a platform for independent microblogging and a related book on the subject. Micro.blog has a lot in common with social networks like Twitter, such as replies and favorites, but with an important difference. Instead of locking users into a proprietary system owned by someone else, the content created by individuals is owned and controlled by them. As part of the Micro.blog service, Reece is also building publishing tools with Markdown support, including a native iPhone app, to help people get started with microblogging.
At the core of Micro.blog is an critical design decision – the separation of publishing from social networks. That choice ensures that the microblog content you create remains yours to publish at [your-name].micro.blog or anywhere else you can host a website. At the same time, Micro.blog doesn’t ignore existing social networks. Microblog posts can be cross-posted to other services, which has the potential to give users the best of both worlds – control over their content and access to the broad audiences of services like Twitter.
In addition to Micro.blog, Reece is writing a book on independent microblogging that makes the case for the format and provides practical advice on how to start a microblog. Backers of Reece’s campaign can choose from a variety of rewards that include Reece’s book, early access to the Micro.blog service, free months of the Micro.blog service, and stickers.
New social networks have come and gone over the years, but Reece’s focus on decentralizing microblog publishing from social networks is unique. I had a chance to speak with Manton about Micro.blog at WWDC and know how much time and thought has gone into this project. The campaign is off to a great start and I’m excited to try it soon.