For some of us, writing is an enjoyable activity. However, there is much more to writing than just putting words on the page. There are other things we must think about, such as brainstorming, structure, grammar, and making sure we are using the right words, which can make writing tedious.
Thankfully, there are ways to make writing easier. Below, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks to help you write better on your Mac.
1. Choose a Writing App That Works for You
Many of us would choose a standard word processor like Microsoft Office without considering other options. There are many word-processing apps to choose from, and one may be a better choice than the one you have on hand. Or maybe you prefer note-taking apps that are simpler with fewer distractions.
One disadvantage of word processors compared to note-taking apps is that in many word processors, as you type, you are constantly reminded of things like typing errors, which can be distracting. You find yourself fiddling with fonts and menus instead of focusing on the writing. That’s why it’s best to stick with a simple-to-use and clutter-free word processor like Ulysses.
Many word processor menus can be complicated, making you spend time finding the tools you need. One way to work around this is to write in Markdown. Its syntax is easy to learn, lets you focus on writing, and even lets you create complex documents with all the formatting options you need.
In addition to ease of use, remember that each writing app has its own unique features. You might also consider cross-platform availability. So, check out our guide to the best writing apps for your Mac.
2. Build the Framework
Creating an outline is often important if you want to create a well-written piece. Sometimes you can type things as they come to you. Other times you need structure so that you don’t get confused as you write, especially if you’re writing long or highly detailed pieces.
When you create an outline, you can determine whether ideas add up, what sequence works best, identify gaps in your thinking, and back up your ideas with proven facts.
There are several ways to create an outline on your Mac. In Keynote, you can enable outline mode by clicking View in the toolbar, then clicking Outline in the drop-down list. You can type your outline items slide by slide or paste them from elsewhere in the Outline pane. When you’re done, you can organize the slides.
You can use the note-taking templates under the Basic Templates category to create outlines in Pages. You can also use the Harvard list style under Bullets and Lists in the app’s Format sidebar. In Apple Notes, you can create outlines using lists or tables.
If you want a tool specifically to help you with outlining, Scapple is an intuitive app for writing down your ideas however you like. It’s a freeform writing app with an expandable canvas to fit all your notes. You can move notes around, stack notes, edit and resize them, or even link files on your Mac to make room for new connections .
3. Use Your Mac’s Built-in Dictionary
If you use a Mac, you don’t need to have a dictionary or go to your browser to look up words as you type. The built-in Dictionary app in macOS is a powerful tool for finding definitions, thesauruses, and Wikipedia entries.
You can search for words manually or point to a word and press Control+Command+D to open the Dictionary panel with the definition in front of you.
You can customize the Dictionary app to be more robust using Vocabulary for Mac. It connects not only to word forms but to specific senses of the word. Plus, it labels the semantic relationships between words, making it more powerful than a thesaurus.
To use the Terminology for Mac dictionary, open the Dictionary app, then go to Dictionary > Settings from the menu bar and check the Terminology box in the list of reference sources. It will now appear as one of your search options in the Dictionary app.
4. Get rid of distractions
When doing something that requires focus, such as writing, a surefire way to get it done is to avoid distractions for a period of time. But with notifications from different apps, it can be easy to become distracted when using your Mac.
You can avoid distractions while you write by using full-screen mode, hiding toolbars in writing apps, or enabling Focus mode on your Mac.
You can organize your workspace with Mission Control. Spaces, a virtual desktop feature, lets you easily organize app windows across multiple desktops.
If you have trouble staying focused, use the Hazeover app to highlight the most important app windows and move to the background.