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Comparative Review of Writers' Tools (INITIAL DRAFT)

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At least half of mine (ie just a bit of playing with the sample) are in docx format.
This includes the writing from the sample (Huck) & a few I added (just pasting in).
There was nothing I saw in the sample writing that suggested it couldn't be RTF, so I've  no idea how the decision is made.

I might ask that question... it might be relevant for me.  The tool I'm working on will keep track of the lock, then open the db when there's no lock, query for the filenames, then use pandoc to get the files to markdown from rtf (or word I suppose).  After I got that working, I was going to look into the best way to sync them back.

As I said, I like using Sublime Text and Writemonkey at times, so being able to work on them in plain text also will be key for me.

Added a table on doogiePIM. Will do a full review once the multiple document export function has been added (might take me a month or two since there would be so much to review). It's based on the venerable/venerated do-Organizer program that ceased development in 2011 (with a brief comeback in the form of Harmony PIM). doogiePIM is now on v2 and seems to be very actively developed (approx. monthly updates) with fast responses from developer in the forum.

I was surprised at how impressive its writing features were when compared with those of specialist writing programs. The document analysis (from a right click) tells me everything I want to know on first pass.

Potentially a steep learning curve for anyone who wants to check all the features (let alone all the sections), but a pantser could ignore everything else and just dive into typing in the Document Editor. I like investigating features, but I don't think I've begun to scratch the surface (yet). Some people may be put off by interface (I wanted tabs until I realised that the big open page panel did that very effectively).

After using WriteMonkey, I think I want text folding in all programs, but I can't put it as something missing here as no others have it either.

Having looked at a number of these programs now, some familiar some not, I am pleasantly impressed by all so far.

* WriteWayPro - Free, still works (on my machine) despite its age, and is functional across the spectrum;
* SimpleNote - does one thing and does it very well;
* Atomic Scribbler - Free, attractive and intuitive interface, straightforward functional features;
* WriteMonkey - unusual, only encompasses the writing stage, and not aimed at a mouse oriented person who is most productive in a visually busy environment and likes planning and organising visually, but still I liked it and could actually see myself using it (for some things).
* doogiePIM - I'd used its precursor years ago (have only just stopped using it as an effective way of searching a large body of corporate emails) but hadn't used this. I was very impressed with the range and capability of its writing related functions (I'd not used these previously) and will investigate using the program long-term as part of my workflow. Showed me the value of a Journal format for idle notes and observations that can't really be filed, tagged or given a title; dates will make them easier to find again - in theory this works for Evernote et al too, but they just contain too much.Apart from the first, all are in active development.

Added Writer's Cafe table.

Very steep learning curve, and it was only towards the end that I could see a workflow for me to write a book with it.  My table may be doing it a disservice as I'm sure I have missed a lot.

There are maintenance updates, but all the major development was done over ten years ago; and it shows.
Still, I did quite like it eventually.

I will do a longer review. I'll need to think of something I can use it with to get a feel for how it works in practice.


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