As someone who writes a lot, I have quite the armaments on all of my devices. Be it my phone or my laptop, there’s always an app that I have to luggage around on the app drawer for me to use to write notes or just writing a simple observation of my daily life. It’s no surprise to me that I have tried a lot of them, and some do stand as my personal favorite.
While arguably there are more of those powerful and feature-exhaustive text processing apps in the Play Store that can easily kill this list, some of us like simplicity better than having a lot of features crammed up into a single app, potentially bloating the app itself and giving a sour user experience. The point of this list? Less is more.
A while back I reviewed Monospace here, to shorten the review, Monospace is one of the most simple and mobile-optimized writing app. It has a lot of feature you’d expect from a more feature-bulky apps such as text styling, advanced cross-platform syncing, and it even has a unique feature on its own, a hashtag-based folder grouping system which is pretty unique in my opinion. All of this is packaged on a free app, with the file syncing feature being the only feature locked in the only in-app purchase of the app.
While there is an arguable learning curve you’ll face when using Monospace, once you get used to its new and unique hashtag system, you’ll see how convenient and usable it is though some may prefer the old system instead. Preferences, up to you.
If you love sticking to minimalistic app like Monospace, you’ll love Writer Plus. It may look the same like Monospace with several user-interface differences and whatnot but Writer Plus embraces the “note-taking and word-processing” apps instead of reinventing the wheel. Unlike Monospace with its fancy and new hashtag-based system, Writer Plus uses the good ol’ folder and files, this gives you less of a learning curve to deal with and you’ll be familiar with it faster.
Apart from that comparison, Writer Plus features your everyday needs for an app in its class, it has text styles support (bold, italics, and of course bold-italics), multiple file format support (Markdown and Text / txt being the most prominent), and night mode for you that likes to write when the light is out.
Made by the developers of WordPress, Automattic, Simplenote is yet another minimal app geared towards note-taking. However, it’s main vocal feature is cross-platform sync. Simplenote stands out from the rest because the sync feature is actually baked in the app and you can easily view your notes from other devices by visiting Simplenote’s website. This sync feature leads to Simplenote being available on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and your web browser for your convenience.
You can’t miss Keep if you’re talking about writing notes. Google Keep is touted by many to be their go-to app to take note whenever they need to. Apart from your average text, Google Keep has the feature to load images, doodles, reminders, and even things like voice recording. If text couldn’t complete it for you, then those will surely do.
Because Keep is tied tightly into the Google ecosystem, you can expect the things you have in Keep, such as reminder, to be in sync to your Google account. Not only that, but the notes you made on Keep will also be synced so you can access it on other devices with access to the internet.
There’s a lot, and definitely a lot of apps that does these purpose while still being simple. The point of simplicity here isn’t to strip away features from the app, but to simplify those features into a neat single package. Some take simplicity to its interface so that they look better while still being filled to the brim with features.
Either way, simplicity in apps is nice, and for note-taking and word-processing apps they mean you can focus on writing without being bombarded with weird and complex interfaces.