"Huggable Mac apps for writers in 2023"

Listed in “other software”, because the video also mentions other software, but guess what comes first on William Gallagher’s list:


I’m with him on Scrivener, OmniOutliner (not that I use it much these days) and Affinity Publisher, though I’d put Scrivener first! I also have Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer, which I use periodically; I really like the Affinity apps.

But for images (non Designer-type images) I use a combination of Graphic Converter and Topaz Photo AI. I tried Pixelmator a few years back, but couldn’t get on with it; I also have Luminar but I got fed up with them continually creating new versions and more and more pushing of preset transformations… I found they got in the way, so I don’t use that.

For Screenshots, I use Shottr, which does what his app does, though I haven’t tried it on a legal document.

The others I don’t know.


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I agree with him on Scrivener too. Except for an accounting app I don’t use any software that doesn’t come free in the box with the Mac or the iPad.

FWIW, a posh British fishing quarterly called Fly Culture recently interviewed me about, among other things, my Writing Process. To which I said, among other things, “When the notes begin to gel I open a file in Scrivener, a brilliant bit of writing software developed by Keith Blount over in Cornwall, which I’ve used for everything I write or edit since its first beta in 2006.”

Hugging software seems a bit ephemeral. For me Scrivener, and increasingly its cheeky little brother, is a daily-use tool. Like, say, a comfortable pair of hiking boots that, if you ain’t wearing them, you ain’t going nowhere.


Thanks for posting that! That’s very nice of William Gallagher to include us.

Thank you!


May I offer HoudahSpot, a brilliant search tool for Mac?
Also TextExpander for expanding words and phrases you use all the time. (There are probably plenty of these.)
I used to use On The Job when I did work that needed to be priced by the hour (and also when I needed to motivate myself to work by “paying” myself for fixed hours; I’m not sure if it’s still on the go, but I liked the way you could click on a coffee cup icon to pause timing when you went for a cuppa, and it produced automatic invoices, though American in style.

I wouldn’t call it “huggable” exactly – it’s got a very formal, Germanic feel – but DevonThink is my number two most important application, after Scrivener.

The unnamed beta application is working its way onto the list as well.

Apple Pencil has me experimenting with LiquidText, but the jury is still out. GoodNotes has definitely made the essential software list, though.