Finding a native and fast text editor for the Mac in 2022
Two years ago, I switched from iA Writer to Drafts. I stopped using Drafts a couple of months ago, but I still love Drafts. My workflow doesn’t call for all its features anymore. Blame Brett Terpstra’s excellent Markdown service tools, Blot simple and efficient file structure, and TextEdit for being more than adequate to write and edit the few blog posts I manage to publish each year.
In a quest for a minimalistic setup, I wanted to find the app that was good enough to either replace or complete TextEdit in my writing workflow.
In this list you will not find apps built with Electron — hence the absence of a well-loved app like Obsidian — because not only I might as well list web apps like StackEdit, but I am a firm believer and aficionado of Mac-assed Mac apps.
To help me decide, I’ve read once again one of my favourite blog posts of the last couple of years, which comes from Craig Mod. In his article Fast Software, the BestSoftware, he writes: “Speedy software is the difference between an application smoothly integrating into your life, and one called upon with great reluctance.”
Nicolas's post got me thinking about the app(s) I use for writing blog posts. It's been inconsistent lately. One day I use Drafts, the next Ulysses, and another iA Writer. That's kinda fucked up.
This site is hosted on write.as. Posts are written using markdown in the built-in editor or by pasting markdown from an external editor. That said Ulysses and iA Writer are overkill when all I need is a minimalistic markdown editor.
The app that I would like to use is Byword. It's a simple markdown editor with word and character count and not a lot more. That's all I need. I don't use it though because it doesn't have a sidebar library which is a must-have for me.
One of the apps in Nicolas’ post caught my attention because it sounded a lot like Byword. I'd never heard of uFocus before so I thought I would give it a try. It's like Byword with a sidebar library. I'm writing this post in uFocus, which may be exactly what I'm looking for.
If you like writing in a simple distraction-free text editor this may be an option for you. The app is free to use with an option to support the developer with a donation.
Nicolas, thank you for the blog post.