So I’m always on the lookout for ways to make work that little bit more efficient. With all the tools we have available to us it’s easy to get mired in messy duplication and general ineffective workflow.
I started to take a good look at the word processor. Most word processors are overkill for daily use. We don’t need many the of features they have, as a matter of fact they just serve as a distraction. When I’m writing anything longer than a Tweet I use TextEdit. It’s simple, clean and uses next to no system resources. Writing in Plain Text also future proofs your work. It’s a lot more likely that you’ll be able to open a Plain Text file 10 years from now, than say a MS Word or Pages file. Think Appleworks or Wordperfect.
Now since I often jump back and forth between using my iPad, MacBook and iMac I really want a way to keep all this in the same place. For quite a while now I’ve been using Simplenote on the iPad. This syncs perfectly with their web based app. It also syncs with a great minimalist Mac app called Notational Velocity. This is a no-nonsense simple plain text editor.
I’m currently using nvALT, which is a variation on the Notational Velocity theme. These will save all your notes to Dropbox and sync with Simplenote. Now your choice of writing tool is determined by what works best right now and not where your last writing edit sits.
Now for a purely distraction free writing experience I love using Ommwriter, which exports to a plain text file. Using Ommwriter is more about getting work done when my surrounding environment is not cooperating. It doesn’t quite have the seamless workflow that nvALT and Simplenote do.
Pages and Word are fine for some sort of finished product. I’m not sure meeting notes require that same level of polish.