What MacOS Writing App is Your Favorite?

rpalo profile image Ryan Palo ・1 min read

What writing app do you use? Do you use multiples for blog posts, long form, personal notes/knowledge base, etc.?

They fall at the center of my love of tools, writing, and markdown, and I’m contemplating a new one. Currently I’m using Typora, which I love! But I’m wondering if I’m missing out on any neat features in other more powerful writing apps.

And someone gave my wife an App Store gift card, which she passed off to me, and it’s burning a hole in my pocket 😜


markdown guide

Tried iA writer and Sublime text.

Finally end up with below setup. But always open to try out new apps when they come out.

  • vs code - blog post, markdowns with the preview option
  • Bear - quick note taking, personal thoughts, MOMs

Things trying out right now

  • Agenda - anything needs more in-depth research
  • MindNode - colleague suggested this approach

How do iA writer and Bear compare?


Both has its own pros and cons. But I mainly use bear as quick note taking app and iA writer is for anything involves long writings


I use Ulysses.
Markdown, hotkeys, an app for laptop and iPhone, markdown to pdf, black theme and statistics of writing for my use cases it enough.


Neat! Do you think it’s worth the cost?


I have "setapp" subscribe, and for me, the answer is yes(I often use a 4-7 app from "setapp" subscription).

Thanks so much for sharing!


I use Vim.

If I'm writing something, it'll be in markdown or text, and I absolutely do not want a WYSIWYG editor for markdown, even one that's branded as WYSIWYM like Typora is. I think it has all the same problems as any WYSIWYG editor in that changing things sometimes results in unexpected behaviour and I'd never trust the formatting.

My requirements for most software include: cross-platform and free. Mac apps rarely fit either of those criteria, so I usually disregard them without looking too deeply.

I write stuff at work, at home, and sometimes in other odder places, where I shell into one of my machines and use Vim over SSH. I synchronise the directories using some new-fangled "cloud" technology.

If I'm editing something in a browser that's non-trivial, I'll paste it into Vim, do my editing, then copy it back to the browser. I know there have been some Vim emulators for browsers but they don't help if the page crashes or has some incompatible scripts on it.

I do use the Vim markdown-preview plugin sometimes though.


I know what you mean, sometimes I have to kick Typora into source mode to sort out weird edge cases. You still get a little bit of formatting, but you can see the raw markdown. Thanks for the suggestions!


I've tried so, so many apps over the years... I've been using Ulysses for quite a while but found its handling (mangling, rather?) of the Markdown source awkward. Then I switched to iA Writer but found it more complicated to have reference material stored somewhere else.

My latest setup is to keep my reference material together with the Markdown file in a folder in Keep It. This allows me to use my flavour-of-the-month Markdown editor, which currently is Pretext on iOS and VS Code on the Mac. That way, I have more or less the features of Ulysses but in a more unixy setup in the sense that I can choose the best tool for each purpose.

As a bonus, when I move a draft into Git for publishing on one of my static websites, I can keep using the same editors for the final edits.


That’s a good point. I appreciate the coverage of Ulysses and iA writer too, thanks!


my dream writing app must support markdown and cloud sync, I had tried various apps, finnally choose typora + dropbox, but it's so awful in mobile platform, until I switch to notion app, perfect for me.


I love notion! It’s my current go to for keeping my personal knowledge base. We’ll see what happens when I run up against the free ceiling.


I really enjoy divvy It just makes so easy to work with multiple windows :)


I hadn’t heard of this one, I’ll check it out, thanks!


For notes I use simplenote which is completely cross platform and very light weight. Works great for someone with many many devices.