Writing on Ulysses: A Dream

I have always had a love hate relationship with writing content but recently I went back to writing on Ulysses with a 2 week free trial and have been enjoying writing on my iPad from anywhere.

Firstly I am not a fan of the new pricing model with a yearly subscription at £37 for all your devices but I understand developers have to eat and there are only so many copies of a specialised application like this that you can possibly sell. £37 per year is a small price to pay for a application that has allowed me to write so much content in only the first 3 days.The editor is amazing and synchronising via iCloud is flawless.

One thing I would say is writing on the iPad is better with an external keyboard and that does limit the portability some what, however, it still blows away carrying around a full laptop.

Ulysses supports full iCloud synchronisation between iPad, Mac and iPhone all in the 1 subscription price which is perfect. I can literally carry all my writing in my pocket and never have to worry about not been able to write when the inspiration hits. The applications also work offline and I have never had an issue resynchronising my changes next time internet is available.

The application also has support for publishing directly to WordPress, Ghost and Medium. I have not tried the later 2 however the WordPress publishing is a dream. Images and content are all uploaded to WordPress seamlessly and quickly with no hassles or even having to leave Ulysses and go to the WordPress dashboard.

The built in export to PDF with theming is nice although I have to say I am not a fan of any of the built in themes. Nor have I found a theme in their online library that I have not had to make a few changes to. Creating new themes is easy if you know a little CSS so I have not struggled with creating my perfect PDF export style.

In addition to PDF and publishing platforms Ulysses can also export to HTML, Word and ePud none of which I have tried or have a need for at the moment.

The application is designed for writing everything from client proposals, blogs posts and website to content to the next great novel and this shows in its simplistic approach with hidden power. As soon as you start typing the interface gets out of the way allowing you to focus on exactly what you are meant to be doing, writing.

The typewriter mode is something that is very under-rated. As you type your place in the document doesn’t descend with as it gets longer, instead the document scrolls up just like it would on an old school typewriter This is something that allows you to keep an extreme focus on your text and in my case I have found I am able to type much faster and more accurately with the typewriter mode turned of and highlighting my current line.

The application uses Markdown XL for formatting and on iPhone and iPad they have thoughtfully included a quick action bar on the keyboard to access all of the formatting characters.

Finally the part that I found really makes this application work every penny of the £37 per year subscription is everything syncs. If I add a new export style on my IPad it is available on my iPhone and Mac within seconds.

I have only been using Ulysses for a few days and I am sure its real power is still to be uncovered. This is an application I highly recommend to anybody that has to do any form of writing on a regular basis.

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