Taking stock

My wife reckons I’ve got rocks in my head and a hole in my wallet. She was looking at my Applications folder with some bewilderment (she’s still with Dark Side of the fOrSe and the idea of sticking all apps in a logical place seemed alien to her) and said I was crazy because of the amount of word processors I have bought and paid for. Naturally I replied that they’re tools of the trade and while I admit there’s some overlap in what I’ve got, I do find myself using different tools for different tasks.
I’ve got (all bought and paid for where applicable)

Scrivener: Drafting just about anything of substance. :smiley:
Voodoo Pad: Sci-Fi / Fantasy world-building scratch pad.
Pages 08: Small but fancy layouts, resumes and letters.
Word 2004: Groan! Education Licence left over from my masters degree.
Mellel: Technical documents for print (i’m a pro technical author).
Nisus Writer Pro: Word replacement, bulk editing of RTF files.
Open Office 3: Hopefully will replace Neo Office.
Neo Office: Word replacement for working on Doc files.
Bean: Quick short drafts.
Kword: Technical documents, rarely use it now that I have Mellel
Text Edit: General note taking.

I haven’t even included my layout and coding programs, or what’s on my Window’s partition . So in the interest of marital harmony is this a bit excessive or do you guys have something similar?

Scrivener: Drafting
Pages 08: newsletters
Word 2004: only on my old eMac
Mellel: Theological writing
Nisus Writer Pro: general word processing
Open Office 3: Gradually using more than Neo Office
Neo Office: working on .doc files
Star Office: keep checking on its progress
Tex-Edit Plus: quick short drafts, general note taking
EZ Note X: quick note taking
AbiWord: just in case :wink:

as long as I have a list started, now for page layout

LaTex (just downloaded MacTex 2008 to see what I might learn)

Thanks mate, i’ll have to tell my wife i’m just as sane as other writers :smiley:

Crap I forgot about AbiWord - How did I miss that when it’s right on top of aMSN? Guess I don’t use that one much.

Oh dear, I’m scared to look…

~ Scrivener, obviously, first and foremost
~ Mellel, for long things
~ Nisus Writer Pro, for random short things that I just print off and forget about (correspondence, mainly)
~ Journler, for even more random, even shorter things that I am not going to print off
~ Microsoft Office 2004, as a belt-and-braces final Word step in submitting academic assignments electronically to a Mac-hostile uni (I don’t use Word for anything else, although I do use Excel)
~ AppleWorks 6 (don’t actually use it any more, but it came with the machine and I still have Appleworks documents that I might want to read one day)
~ NoteTaker (don’t use it any more, but I still have files I occasionally need to refer to)
~ TextEdit (don’t actually use it myself, but things like ReadMe files open in it and I’ve never bothered to change the target app)

Phew! That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! Fortunately, I cleared out all the apps I don’t intend using, so my hard drive is looking more streamlined and less like the darkest secret of a software junkie.

I don’t have everything currently installed on my MacBook, as I reinstalled Tiger from scratch a while back. However when it comes to software for my writing I have licences for (in no particular order):

  • Scrivener
  • Mellel
  • Copywrite
  • SuperNotepad
  • Dramatica Pro
  • Pages (only installed because I wanted Keynote for presentations)

plus the following free software:

  • OpenOffice (I’m looking forward to the OpenOffice3 official Mac port!)
  • NeoOffice
  • AbiWord
  • StoryLines (free for Mac at the time of downloading)
  • TextEdit
  • iTerm + vi :smiley:

and intend to install

  • Zim desktop wiki

plus I use

  • Alphasmart Manager
  • MarkSpace Notes
  • HanDBase Desktop Edition

to sync my Mac with external devices that I use for writing. Phew!

(Note complete absence of Word :stuck_out_tongue: )

Wow. This is really bad. I wish I didn’t know this:

• Scivener
• Word 2004. Occupational hazard.
• Final Draft. Same reason.
• Montage. Which I actually use, then export as Final Draft. How sick is that?
• StoryMill. Which I bought because I like Mariner, but I like Scrivener better.
• Pages 08 (Mostly for layout. The thought was, I’d live in that instead of Word for my advertising work, but that extra step started to feel like… y’know, an extra step.)
• Mariner Write> (Purchased at a fairly deep discount.)
• Nisus Writer Pro (Because – since I’m already embarrassed and in confessional mode – Michael Chabon credited it in The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. Little did I know that Nisus did not include Chabon’s immense talent as part of the download. Alas.)
• Circus Ponies Notebook (Which I’ve come to really like and use a lot – I think it’s the lined paper)
• OmniOutliner.
• MacJournal (because I apparently like giving Mariner my money)
• VoodooPad Pro (which I dearly love, and rarely use)
• SuperNotecard (because I thought it would be like the old Three By Five. I was wrong.)
• WriteRoom (which started a lot of this, and which I use mostly for writing emails and online posts)
• A PayPal account. Which is not technically a writing tool, but given all that’s above, might as well be.

So, never let it be said that I don’t support the Mac developer community.

There I was, feeling all guilty and stupid about having so many writing tools on the iMac… really, how many can you need, can you justify, can you even use?

The answer, apparently, is “More than you already have.”

First of all, my sympathies to those whose clients or editors or other demons require extensive (excessive) formatting. (I came up through Amiga and Kaypro (WordStar) and endless iterations of various Windows apps. I used to feel your pain.) I tried NeoOffice and Open Office and AbiWord and StarOffice, and trashed them as unnecessary, though I can imagine eventually having to revive one of them. And of course there’s the inevitable AppleWorks, for which I have yet to find any use.

Today, virtually all my work can be done and transmitted – e-mailed or printed out – in rtf or pdf. So for almost everything, I need little more than Scrivener.

The only significant exception is playscripts: a couple theatres and directors I’ve worked with use CeltX, so I do too.

Then how come I have Ulysses and Bean and Journler and Smultron as well?

I bought Ulysses before I discovered Scrivener; it’s what my father, with his engineer’s mind, would have called “neat but not gaudy.” I keep it around, and still use it now and then, because, well, because it’s paid for and it works well and it looks just a bit like a BMW.

Bean is there as an all-purpose file handler and as a back-stop doc reader.

Journler is there because I use it as, well, as a journal.

Smultron is a basic necessity, a fast and simple text editor. I use it now mostly for blog entries.

On my “portable” – an old IBM clone – are a couple text editors (Q-10 and NoteTab) and and a clip tool. No internet stuff of any kind, so no distractions even if I want them. All I can do with it is work, which comes back into the iMac as txt.

Oh yeah, I have also started playing around with Lyx and TeXShop. I don’t need that elegance, but it’s fun to have on hand. You know, just in case.


Bean[/size] :blush:



[size=50]actually, Ive got Mellel, too. But I didnt want a boast :frowning: [/size]

That’s not boasting, it’s confessing.

Three Our Fathers, and a good Act of Contrition.


There’s redundancy redundancy with my apps…
Scrivener - When I write without too much planning. Also good for taking notes.
MS Word 2004 - Because I got a major discount (almost too good to pass up) and my parents were “anti-freeware.”
Storyist - When I write with a lot of planning (mainly for plot outlining, character sheets, and setting sheets). Doesn’t really work for taking notes.
WriteRoom - When I find myself distracted from taking notes with a laptop. Also good for focusing on blogging.
Bean - For when I quickly need to type a document and don’t need the power of other things.
NeoOffice - Until OO3.0 comes out and surpasses when NeoOffice has.
Smultron - Mainly for editing sites and HTML formatting.

I’m also planning on buying:
Nisus Writer Pro - For a more powerful word processor. Also for a more native feeling word processor. Mainly for essays, formatting text, and what not.
iWork - Mainly for Pages and Keynote. Pages for letters, articles, and more decorative and creative documents. Keynote because it seems like it’d be better for presentations compared to some of the other stuff.

For some reason I was reading this thread and feeling smug. These people have way too many word processors! I thought to myself. Okay, so here are all the ones I’ve paid for in the last few years:


Ulysses I actually bought before I owned a Mac, just because I liked their attitude and wanted to make a donation. Plus, I was a student and figured I should get in on the discount on the off chance I bought a Mac someday. I don’t use Ulysses anymore, but four Macs later I think Apple owes those guys a tip.

[size=70]I’m with you vic-k. I just replaced open office with pages and removed OO.
That’s it for writing. If somebody wants more they can do it themselves. But then again i don’t depend on writing to eat.

Code development, system management and general computing though… Not even going to look. Too depressing.[/size]

Oh Hell,

Now I can see why I don’t own a house and my car is a 1986 Pajero rust bucket. The money is still there - it’s just in 1’s and 0’s on my brand new Mac Mini and I can see it on my 24" Dell monitor.

If my wife reads this, I’m dead!


Microsoft Word (it came with the computer and I don’t use it)
Mellel (but it came in a bundle and I have never used it)
Bean (it is free)

So Scrivener is the only one I have deliberately spent money on.

My Lord, there is some mistake, You are fatigued Sire. Take rest and refreshment, then repost.
You`ve mistakenly posted 1986 instead of 2006. A minor detail My Lord, but one that leads to misunderstandings and false impressions.
Your servant Sire.

I have only been a Mac user for about seven months and already I’ve amassed a frightening number of writing applications:

MacJournal (which I picked up before I discovered Journler)
Pages 08
Bean (because it is free)

Then there are these “auxillary” applications:

Circus Ponies Notebook
Curio 5.0 (perhaps the single best application I’ve seen on any platform)
DevonThink (I got this early on, but I’ve been fairly disenchanted so far – hoping 2.0 will win me over, and not be too expensive an upgrade)
VoodooPad (I love the idea of a desktop wiki, but I never actually seem to use it)

I know that I’m a basket case when it comes to these applications. Someone help me!

If I had to reduce this list to three applications they would be Scrivener, Curio 5.0 and Journler.

I haven’t got Curio. Last time I looked at it, it was basically a mind map app (as far as I can remember), and since I already own NovaMind and never make mind maps, Curio has never been on my wish list. But after reading Vermonter’s eulogy, I had to have another look. Naughty, bad Vermonter, writing things like that in a thread like this. Shame on you. :slight_smile:

And the latest version does indeed look very attractive, with lots of shiny new functionality unrelated to mind maps, and I can see all sorts of uses for it, and I want it, and my credit card is itching for an outing – but the Curio web site says: “Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) is no longer supported!”. Wah! Not fair!

I am sorry for bringing up Curio 5.0. I understand the affliction, but Curio 5.0 is, indeed, a remarkably flexible and deep application, so I HAD to mention it.

While Curio has significant mind-mapping capability, it isn’t as powerful in that area as a dedicated mind mapper. But add in all the other functions and Curio really shines. I use it for sketching out a plan at the beginning of a project. I find it useful for capturing related information in various formats and keeping it all together in one page. I’ve also used Curio to build a photo album. And, of course, it is filled with project management features – though I don’t use these.

It isn’t inexpensive, but since Curio can take the place of several other applications, it is probably worth it – unless you’ve already paid for those other applications.