One of my favorite and most-used apps–MindNode–is free in the iOS App Store this week. After thinking mind mapping wasn’t for me, I tried it just over a year ago and loved it. Now it’s a regular part of my brainstorming and writing workflow.
Here‘s the link–download it while you can, for iPhone and iPad. (Regular price is something like $10.)
Scrivener for iOS continues to receive rave reviews in the App Store. For good reason. Here‘s my mini-review of the app, if you want to see what the hype is about.
Today I’m posting just to say I’ve got a free download code to give away to one lucky reader.
To enter to win, leave a comment with what you’re writing about now. If you share a link to this post on Facebook and/or Twitter, you get a second entry. (Make sure you let me know you shared, and leave the link in the comments.)
A week is a long time to wait for giveaway results, so this one is quick–I’ll announce the winner Friday at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Scrivener is so good a writing program, I used its iOS app in beta as my primary place for writing at a recent week away. (For the record, I found no bugs.)
It’s easily the best writing app there is for Mac and Windows. (See here and here.) But its iOS companion has languished in development like a half-finished manuscript.
Until today. Scrivener for iOS (iPad and iPhone) is in the App Store right now. Here it is, worth more than its $19.99 price.
This post was going to highlight my five most used features in Scrivener for iOS; it’s grown to eight, though there is even more than the below to appreciate about the app.
1. Goodbye, Markdown–Rich Text is Back!
No offense to Markdown (Ulysses and 1Writer are still fabulous apps), but I’m happy to have a full-bodied, rich text app on iPad, at long last. Pages is fine, but Scrivener can do so much more, since it organizes your research, supporting documents, and drafts–all in once place.
2. Pinch to Zoom Text
No need to tap through a settings screen. Just pinch (zoom) in or out to adjust the text size you’re seeing as you write. Scrivener does a great job in this way of taking advantage of the iOS platform.
3. Sync via Dropbox to the Desktop Apps
Truth be told, this is probably my #1 favorite feature–you can start working on a laptop, finish up a draft on iPad, and edit on your iPhone. This is what the many users of Scrivener have been waiting for. Ahhhhh.
4. Research: Have Your PDFs Right There
Not only can you save your research in your project you’re working on (for easy access), Scrivener remembers your place in the PDF you were viewing.
5. Set Label, Status, Icon for anything in the Binder
This will mostly appeal to Scrivener nerds, but you can label and color code your way to great visual clarity to track project progress. (I use Red to mean done (at least for now), Yellow to mean working on, and Green to mean do it!)
6. Recent and Bookmarks
Always a tap away are your recent documents and bookmarks.
7. Two Panes at Once on iPad in Landscape
The iPad app comes out of the box with Split View and Slide Over, but you can also see two panes at once when you’re using Scrivener in landscape mode. This is especially helpful if you want to write, for example, from an outline.
8. Word Count
Word and character counts are easy to access, too.
I’ve got a sweet Logos–>Drafts 4 workflow I’ve been using on the iPad for a few months now. (I find Logos’s iOS app to be significantly zippier than its Mac counterpart.) Allow me to demonstrate, using Harold W. Hoehner’s excellent Ephesians commentary.
2. Tap selected text to bring up highlighting and share options.
I’ve got Drafts open with Logos in Split View, just so you can see them together. All these steps work with Drafts not visible, however.
3. Select Drafts in the share option.
4. Now you can “Capture” to send the selected text right to Drafts OR prepend (add to the beginning) or append (add to the end) to an existing draft. (!)
If you do Prepend or Append, Drafts comes up to let you choose where to put your text.
5. When you’re done repeating this process for as much text as you want to copy, you can merge individual drafts, if needed.
You can even choose your own text or symbol to separate merged drafts:
From here it’s easy export from a single draft to Ulysses or MindNode, and on goes my sermon preparation! Drafts4 has been the most indispensable app in my attempt to do as much sermon preparation as possible on the iPad.
Thanks to Logos for the Hoehner commentary so I could write up the workflow–review of the commentary itself to follow. The Logos mobile apps are free, available here: iOS / Google Play.
I’m fortunate to be a Scrivener iOS beta tester. The iOS version of the app is coming soon, and it’s looking great. I just used it, in fact, as my primary writing app during a writing week I went away for. Not a crash in sight.
I’m sworn to secrecy, but I believe I can say that those of us using Markdown on iPad and iPhone because we had to will be able to move back into rich text on iOS full time.
I have also at long last completed the paperwork to become a Scrivener affiliate, which means that if you or a friend purchase the app through the below links, this blog gets a 20% commission (at no extra charge to you).
I write about Scrivener here and here, if you need convincing.
I can also say, since the developer publicly has, that Scrivener for iOS runs on iPads and iPhones, supports multi-tasking, and features Dropbox sync between iOS and OS X.
While you wait for the iOS app, here are the links for purchasing Scrivener
Alfred can be an intimidating Mac app, but its capabilities are pretty unparalleled when it comes to automating workflows. They’ve just announced the release of Alfred 3:
After months of intense development, polishing and testing, Alfred 3 is here and ready for you!
It’s been a thrill to add new features to Alfred, and improve existing ones. We already can’t live without these new features, which add so much to our workday productivity; Amazingly flexible workflows, snippet expansion, multimedia clipboard and more.
The snippet expansion is perhaps the most exciting feature to me. Much as I and others owe TextExpander a dept of gratitude, its new monthly subscription model suffered from a hasty (and probably overpriced) roll-out. Alfred, at any rate, can expand keyboard shortcuts and much more.