Best lightweight Mac text editors for long form writing?
I'm actually pretty happy with my note-taking setup, which is Simplenote paired with Justnotes (recently swapped out from Notational Velocity). But I really don't have much good going on for long form text editing. I've tried a number of apps, but haven't found something I'm very into.
For a while I was using Smultron, but then when that project died I switched to a strange hodgepodge of NV, Coda v1, and other, lesser, more developer-oriented text editors. I love WriteRoom, but it's TOO out of the way -- I want something that does a little more, like help me keep my long form stuff organized (and out of my notes), searchable, etc.
But I don't want my text editor to do TOO much more -- I think something like Scrivener is just a little much for my needs. It should also go without saying that traditional text editors like Word / Pages are totally out of the question -- especially since I prefer composing in plaintext anyway.
So, writers, what do you like?
I'm not sure if this is up your alley, but my favorite thing about MacJournal is that I can write in rich text, using all the great Mac text editing shortcuts (⌘-K to add a link, ⌘ and ⌥ + arrows for jumping around text, etc.), but then do an Edit > Copy as HTML for pasting into web CMSes. I hate looking at code while I'm supposed to be writing prose, even Markdown. I want to see clean, beautiful text while I write, just as the reader is going to read it. Best of both worlds for me.
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If you don't want to deal with organizing, you could just keep hitting ⌘-N for every new piece you want to write and never create another notebook in your doc. But, for example, I had one MacJournal doc and in it I created separate notebooks for "Features" and "Reviews" to separate out my long-form stuff from the every day newsie bits. I also had an "Ideas" notebook for scraps, but that was about as organized as I usually got.
The problem with recommending your setup to anyone else is that people vary so widely in how they go about writing. I love to outline, and need a few tools for doing so, but once that is done I want to be immersed in a near featureless blank slate. iA Writer does a great job of it and the focus mode does wonders for my productivity.
* Journler feels "lighter" to me, somehow.
* Journler doesn't save your stuff to a single-file library, so it's easy to find and retrieve individual notes using Spotlight or whatever.
* Journler was first abandoned, then bug-fixed and open-sourced by its developer; if it works well for you as-is, that's great, but I wouldn't expect updates.
* I didn't spend enough time with MacJournal to compare the two in this regard, but Journler is eminently scriptable, if that sort of thing matters to you.
I keep wanting to find a lightweight text editor, but inevitably I am dissatisfied by their lack of document management/organisational features. For that reason, I usually find myself looking through the info manager pile again and ending up with some Journler-esque application (currently Evernote).
I occasionally go back to terminal-based text editors (like nano - descended of pico). I am currently exploring BBEdit . . . but it may be too much work to get it configured exactly right for writing (as opposed to scripting). And I suspect I will return to MacJournal once again.
But for writing, it's great. It does JUST enough and never, ever gets in my way.
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