Engineered Eloquence

Think Critically, Write Things Down, Repeat

Writing Habits

January 3, 2018

I probably don’t need Ulysses. It is a value proposition that I have struggled with since they went subscription model. The app is great, probably even the best in the business when it comes to working with large amounts of text. Whether it be note-taking, blog-posting, or book-writing, Ulysses will get the job done from initial planning and entry to final implementation. But I am just not sure that I need it.

In a conversation with a colleague, who is currently using Bear, I mentioned that I owned basically every writing app possible. It wasn’t a brag; I think I even said it with shame in my voice. If you want to work in a trade, you check out the various tools of that trade. It just so happens that the writing trade is juxtaposed with my other habit: apps. So I own quite a few tools” for this trade.

One of the things that I hope to achieve this calendar year is a simple writing habit. I don’t think it has to be about using the apps I own, but it does have to be about consistency. Perhaps tomorrow, I will write in a notebook; the next day, an app; the next day, slate and chisel. Obviously, that last one was a joke, but the point stands; the medium shouldn’t matter.

My mother really likes paper scheduling tools, probably due to the inherent structure of the calendar, but I have never gotten into keeping paper calendars. I can’t frankly explain why; I live and die by my work calendar, so where is the cognitive dissonance when it is transferred to paper? In any case, she knows the tools that assist in her thought process and she uses them to great effect.

I would be lucky to find a tool that works half as well for my writing habit. So I probably don’t need Ulysses. It is a writing tool, one of about six that I currently have installed on the iPad Pro on which I am writing this. Perhaps it is the best tool for this purpose, perhaps everyone’s opinion of such things is different and it doesn’t matter what I think.

So here’s to 2018 and the habits we form and break and here’s to the tools that allow us to do so.