Your Complete Writing Studio (Mac + PC)
Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is done. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.
OmmWriter TheZENWriting Environment (Mac, PC, + iPad)
OmmWriter is your own private writing room where you can close the door behind you to focus on your writing in peace. Everywhere you go, you have access to a beautiful distraction-free writing environment where your authentic voice is free to go where it is meant to go.
OmmWriter is here to serve you. Re-connect with your old friends Concentration and Creativity, and discover the bliss of single-tasking.
“Achieve higher levels of focus and concentration through music based on neuroscience”
“Stream the sounds of a coffee shop at work! Coffitivity is the virtual tool to research showing moderate ambient noise helps enhance creative cognition!”
Droptask The Task Manager for the list-hater.
“A visual and intuitive workspace to manage projects, tasks and to-dos individually or as part of a team.”
Pomodoro Keeper iOS App
Timer that will track and increase your productivity without burnout using Pomodoro Technique™ on the App Store.
“Toggl is an online time tracking tool. It features 1-click time tracking and helps you see where your time goes. Free and paid versions are available.”
Distraction and Procrastination are 2 of the largest bug-bears in the Writer’s World. Procrastination is a daily battle that needs to be fought aggressively but is purely up to the Writer for success. Distraction however is something that can happen if you use the computer for your writing.
Any occurrence requiring undivided attention will be accompanied by a compelling distraction. ~ Robert Bloch
Thankfully there are some amazing programs out there that allow us writers to work in a distraction free focus environment.
If you are a WordPress user, you will now see that the lovely developers at WP have made our blogging environment distraction free too. They have now added a full-screen option to both HTML and VISUAL writing modes. I am busy writing in the full-screen right now. I love it. It is clean: Just my words and I on a pale gray background which is uncluttered and distraction free.
I have been using WP for just short of a year now. It is my blogging environment of choice. I have had very few instances of problems. When I started blogging, I had no clue as to what environment was the best so I trialled a couple. Of all the ones I tried, which included Blogger, WP covered all the options I needed. It catches all my spam with Akismet. It is easy to post a page/post. My 2 favourite options is: 1) that it keeps a subscription page of all my favourite WP sites so that my inbox does not need to be cluttered up with subscriptions. 2) it is simple for readers to comment on any part of my blog, no annoying hieroglyphics Capture phrases to enter in, unlike many other blogging platforms. Now I can add a 3rd favourite option: The Full-Screen Option. If you don’t use WP already, it might be time to make the change.
What programs do you use for a better focused, distraction free writing environment?
My favourite is OmmWriter Dana II. I have been using this amazing program for about 6 months and can sum up my experience with two words: LOVE and ZEN.
“Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind” ~ Zen Proverb
OmmWriter is software that was initially designed for Mac users and then adapted for PC users. It is a simple txt edit program that allows you to write in a full-screen mode. Mmmhhh… Sounds like a lot of other software out there, doesn’t it? What makes OmmWriter unique is that the developers have put the focus on creativity. There are 8 different full screen backgrounds you can choose from. All of them either improve your creative focus with colours that are easy on the eyes and decrease eye-strain or they boost your focus with subliminal creative messages that are put there to inspire you. Another great tool in OmmWriter is the 8 different soundtracks. These range from classical music to the sound of a simulated womb environment with added heart beat. Prefer working around the sound of people. Try the library environment option: this simulates the sounds of a library. Now you can write in whatever room you want in your own house/office but Omm puts you in a library. If you still need convincing, the best advice I can give you: Try it for yourself!
What helps you keep a distraction free writing environment?
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” ~Mark Twain
Now as for the other bug-bear: Procrastination. The best advice I can give you here is the simplest.
B.I.C (Butt in Chair)
“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” ~ Mary Heaton Vorse
This morning I was pleased to open my inbox and find an email from Collin and the team @ OMM Writer. On the weekend I had entered an online competition on their Face Book page. The requirements were to post your name and your NaNoWriMo Novel Synopsis on their Face Book page. The prize was a link to download their brand new version of OMM Writer Dana II along with a registrated licence key.
Being the self-confessed software junkie that I am, I had heard mention of the original version of OMM Writer. After investigating on my own, I really liked what I saw. My one major problem with writing on a laptop / desktop is the eye strain I get after a while from the glare of the screen. I have tried many ways to lessen this. I have changed my full-screen backgrounds to a deep blue and typed the text in light grey. That at the moment seems the least stressful on my eyes. But it still did not counteract it. Another love of mine when writing is having background music playing. So with a Genius mix loaded onto my Mac’s iTunes, I am usually as set as I can be to begin a writing session. I also tend to do most of my writing at night. So a comfortable writing environment is always top of my wish list. I got quite close to what I wanted but still not have quite the right combination.
Until this morning. Until OmmWriter Dana II. Let me summarise this amazing software with one word: ZEN .
This is a quick description of the software by the software developers themselves:
Dāna is the new version of OmmWriter. If you are already an OmmWriter user, you will realize that very little has changed. Fortunately.
A wise man once said “We are all at the mercy of our wild monkey minds. Incessantly swinging from branch to branch.” With multiple windows and applications all vying for our attention, we have sadly adapted our working habits to that of the computer and not the other way around.
OmmWriter Dana is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.
OmmWriter is a simple text processor that firmly believes in making writing a pleasure once again, vindicating the close relationship between writer and paper. The more intimate the relation, the smoother the flow of inspiration.
If you are a scriptwriter, blogger, journalist, copywriter, poet or just someone who enjoys writing, welcome back to concentrating.
Firstly let me preface that a quick run-through of this software this morning has me convinced that this software developer has nailed their aim in making writing, using a keyboard and a screen, a pleasure. Let me tell you how they have attempted and succeeded in this aim.
When you first download Dana II, your screen fills up with a softened off white full screen with some wintry trees in the background. There is a box in front of you and your cursor is ready. There are 6 options on the right hand side of the text box. There is also faint music playing in the background. (My iTunes was turned off at this point.)
The third option in the 6 is a white circle. When your mouse hovers over this circle, 8 other circles appear horizontally next to the original circle. These are the background options. Each option is exceptionally restful and more importantly each is easy on the eyes – MARK # 1 on Less Eye Strain = More Comfort.
The fourth option in the 6 is a music symbol. When your mouse hovers over this, 8 other music options pop up horizontally. All of these are background ambient music options that really put you in a creative and restful zone. I really find music a necessary tool for my writing. This is especially vital when I am writing for NaNoWriMo. the music tends to zone out my internal editor who as much as I have tried to send away on vacation still seems to be hovering around. Although my iTunes usually work well, it can also break my “no distraction needed for concentration” especially when I have to escape out of the full-screen environment to replay the mix. With Dana II, there is no need to exit out of the software to make music adjustments as the music plays constantly in the background of the software. However if you need complete silence to concentrate, there is a mute option in the 8 music options. Mark # 2 on a Comfortable and Relaxing writing environment.
There is also a lovely little option, option no 6 of the 8, that allows to change the sound of the text as you type. A lot of people quite enjoy listening to a “typewriter key” sound which is one of the options on there. At the same time, for those of you who prefer no sound, there is also a mute option that you can choose.
There are also text options. There are 4 different types of font you can choose and there are 4 different sizes you can pick for each font type. So there is Mark # 3 & 4 for this software.
There is the very necessary “Spelling & Grammar” Wizard on Dana. So Mark # 5 & 6 for this software.
There is also a Text-to-Speech option on this software. Typing in one sentence and testing this worked well. The voice is a pleasant computerised male american voice that is easy to understand. Mark # 7 for this option.
Another fantastic feature of this software is the ability to save the document as either (.pdf) or (.rtf). This is a very useful feature that I will be using, especially the .pdf save option. You can also save to the original (.omm) or (.txt) documents. Mark # 8 for this option.
I am going to go back to the audio and visual features of this software:
The OmmWriter developers/creators have collaborated with a Colour Therapist for 2 of the visual background options: visual #7 + visual #8. These 2 backgrounds utilise chromotherapy backgrounds. This technique employs background colours that change dynamically. This stimulates tranquility and a restful environment which in term promotes your creativity. The visual background #5 is the most innovative of all the visual backgrounds. This background uses subliminal inspirational text messages that are unique with each session. A definite Mark # 9 for this visual innovation.
In looking closer at the audio/music options on this software, I am immediately drawn to Track #7. Choose this audio option and you will enter a literal womb of creativity. This track simulates the sounds an unborn child hears in its mother’s womb. For those of you library writers who just cannot make it to the library there is Track #6. This track reproduces sounds heard in a library. So you can figuratively enter a library of quiet and write your great novel. This is a definite Mark # 10 for this incredible feature.
My overall review of this software is a resounding 10/10.
So if you want a word processor program that has simplified your options, stimulates your creativity through incredible innovations and add to your comfort level by erasing all distraction and focusing purely on a restful screen filling with your words: my personal recommendation is OmmWriter Dana II.
At the moment OmmWriter Dana II is only available for Mac users. The good news is that the developers are at their own confession at work on a Windows version. There will also be a basic version available for iPad users in the near future.
Download OmmWriter Dana II and …
Add some Zen to your writing world.
On a personal note:
Thank you to the developers of this software for the lovely surprise in my inbox. I am going to be getting a lot of enjoyment from your wonderful and fresh new software.