Easy Writer

Simple, elegant, distraction free writing.

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#5 Product of the DayApril 13, 2018

Windows 10 now has a beautiful, distraction free markdown app for your writing.

Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, Easy Writer has you covered.

Free for the three "Ideas", subscribe to get unlimited access plus automatic versioning.

Backed up and sync'd using the Azure cloud and utilising a clean "fluent" user interface, Easy Writer leaves you free to do your best work free of distraction.

Brand new, we love feedback.

Rob,

Valley Software

Reviews

Nick J.
Richard Simpson
Ben Fox
 

Discussion

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Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson@richardsimp · CTO | Senior Software Engineer, Pross Co
Looks good! Solid base but definitely needs a little polish visually, and in UX. Provided some feedback through the Feedback Hub.
Rob
RobMaker@valley_software · Indie App Developer
@richardsimp thanks!
Rob
RobMaker@valley_software · Indie App Developer
Hi, Maker here. Thought I'd post that I'm really excited for your feedback on how I can continue to evolve Easy Writer. That can be given here, or in the app using the Feedback button. What features you'd like to see, if you'd like more or less interface animations, pricing, layout, all of it. Thanks! Rob.
Ross Currie
Ross Currie@rossdcurrie · Founder, Brutal TearDowns
@valley_software General thoughts: General Comments
  • I can't find anywhere (without downloading) what the subscription fees are. At the moment, I feel like everything in the Microsoft Store is just spamware - download for free, pay to use if you actually want any features. Particularly for a "distraction free writing app", of which there are just a ton of these, it seems like a stretch.
  • Having to login to my MS account before I can use the app is annoying. I don't want cloud integration, I just want to save locally.
  • Why do you need access to my name, gender, display picture CONTACT LIST and friends in order to let me write and save things to the cloud? In the age of Cambridge Analytica, you're asking for too much.
  • I hate that you're making me use Azure for this. It's bad enough that Office is trying to force me to save things in OneDrive, now you are too?
  • Print mode doesn't work. I just get a blank page with the section heading at the top
  • All the "free trial" stuff is nonsense. I actually didn't even notice you have a 1 month option. $7.45/mo seems like such an odd price point
  • UX Issues
  • If there are no ideas currently, you should have a thing in the ideas panel saying "click here to add your first idea".
  • My first logical step was to click the big + button to start writing, and I get an error saying I need to add an idea. Don't make the button visible until I can use it
  • it says "Free Mode", but really that means "Upgrade to Pro"
  • when you add a new section, it puts the section title in the writing pane, and then nothing happens. You can't type. You just sit there yelling at the computer until you see the little pencil down at the bottom-right of the screen and think to yourself, "They can't seriously expect that I have to click that to be able to edit the story, can they?"
  • Missing Features There are so many markdown and distraction-free writing apps out there, and all of them have a subset of each other's features. Why don't you just incorporate all the common ones?
  • The fact that I can't resize/hide the idea/section bars is REALLY annoying. It's not distraction free if I have all my unfinished drafts staring me in the face from the left-hand side of the screen... oh wait, apparently the menu button at the top-left collapses the ideas pane. Why are you using a hamburger menu button for this? Left arrow. Both panes should be resizable and collapsible
  • No preview mode? I can write markdown in notepad and save it to my OneDrive folder. You're not adding a ton of benefit here.
  • No ability to change theme, despite what the images here say. I should have full customisability over font type, font size, font colour, background colour
  • No typewriter noises? Ambient noise music?
  • No typewriter mode? I should be able to have it so that the row I'm currently editing is centered on screen
  • No Hemingway toggle? Make it so that I can't delete mistakes while the toggle is on
  • What kind of distraction-free editor has no fullscreen mode?
  • Side-by-side edit/preview panes.are essential
  • markdown highlighting in editor pane
  • Rob
    RobMaker@valley_software · Indie App Developer
    @rossdcurrie Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply! I've had a kids birthday party this morning and really wanted to put in the time to reply to you properly. General Comments I can't help you with the rest of the MS Store, but you are right it does not specify the fees unless you are in the app. (they are openly listed in there). It is free to use, with the only current limitations being no versioning history and only 3 ideas (I increased that from one). If you are specifically after local only, this is not the app for you; like you say there are plenty there already for that. As you have pointed out, no point just making another the same! To secure cloud, that's why the sign in is there. With MS store needing a MS account anyway, that was the obvious option over Twitter, Facebook, etc OAuth. Plus; unlike one of those options Microsoft don't make their money by selling our details :-) As for the permissions requested; my app doesn't directly get that; It's required for OAuth to cache a token and not require login every time. In fairness that token *could* allow me to access more. Onto pricing, it's set in store using US$, the price you see is a local currency conversion of that price. Longer subscriptions are cheaper than the short ones. UX comments I like what you have said here. Let me get onto those! I thought Free Mode sounded more positive and less pushy but could be wrong there. Features The side by side preview is coming in the next feature release. It is in fact already created but I was unsure of the best way to implement it; drag or toggle, etc. Theme is set by Windows. If Windows is in dark or light, I adjust the app tp follow suit. Sounds; I'm a little surprised. You'd like typewriter sounds? It's easy enough to do, it just isn't something I expected. I did until last week have live markdown until my beta feedback suggested it was distracting. I think the live preview would solve this problem? A full screen mode, which would of course hide the Sections pane is also coming in a future feature release. Thank you again for such complete feedback! I feel very blessed. Rob.
    Ross Currie
    Ross Currie@rossdcurrie · Founder, Brutal TearDowns
    >Sounds; I'm a little surprised. You'd like typewriter sounds? It's easy enough to do, it just isn't something I expected. @valley_software Not personally, but there are plenty of people who do. Comes back to that idea of "if you're creating a writing app, don't just use a subset of features that the others include"
    Charles Reynolds-Talbot
    Charles Reynolds-Talbot@charles_rt · Designer
    Looks like Bear for Windows which can’t be a bad thing 🙂 The good thing about Bear is you can write as much as you want locally and then you subscribe for syncing across devices. This helps get you hooked on using it. Hopefully you can achieve the same with just one “idea”.
    Rob
    RobMaker@valley_software · Indie App Developer
    @charles_rt Thanks for the feedback! I'm considering making it three for free, one might be not enough. What do you think?
    Lucas
    Lucas@pluslucas_ · Aspiring UI/UX designer
    Great to see a nice Windows UWP app on PH!
    Rob
    RobMaker@valley_software · Indie App Developer
    @pluslucas_ Thank you, and you're welcome!
    Alina Gaboyan
    Alina Gaboyan@alina_gaboyan · Marketing BMW
    Great. Thanks