This is the first in a continuous series of Tech for Writers posts.
Just Write is an iOS writing prompt app developed by a fellow writer, Cory Renzella. The App is pretty good, but Cory’s story is also pretty good too. This is an honest review brought about as a request from Cory to look at his app.
Just Write, although compatible with the iPAD, is sized successfully for on-the-go writing on the iPhone or iPod Touch. How it came about being developed is an interesting story in itself:
Cory Renzella is a young American (young to me, anyway) who previously worked in Boston in finance. He now lives in Taipei, and teaches English (while learning Chinese).
He tells his own story here:
“A couple of years ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop. Pen in hand, notebook on table, cup of coffee at the ready. I was all set to write. But when I tried to put pen to paper, nothing happened. I had no idea what to write about, so I just sat there.
The coffee got cold and the page stayed blank.
But out of that disappointing experience came an exciting app idea. It wasn’t until this year that I had the time to create it, but it’s finished and has been published.
I put a lot of time into finding quotes, crafting warm-ups, and writing prompts. It was an enjoyable experience, and one reason why I created the app was to encourage people – including myself – to write more.”
Cory noticed I was into writing prompts apps myself and contacted me. Yes, I was indeed interested in trying Just Write out.
Just Write: The Writing Prompts App
- Quotes: Words of wisdom from dozens of great authors and thinkers in categories: On Writing, On Life and On Everything Else. The app offers in-app purchases for several dozen more quotes – see below.
- Warm-Ups: Over 100 timed warm-ups will exercise your brain and focus your mind. Warm-Ups come in three categories also – Word Association, Word Generation and Word Games. Extra packs are available as in-app purchases.
- Prompts: 200 prompts will help you do what you need to do: get writing, right now. These prompts are divided into categories – personal writing, fiction writing, sample scenes, sample titles, and noun/verb pairings. Additional packs are available as in-app purchases.
- Write: Once you’re ready to write, the in-app notepad will conveniently capture all of your work.
Each of the quotes, warm-ups or prompts can be browsed through, or starred, meaning you can bookmark your favourite quote or prompt and go back to it in the next session. Each also offers a notepad icon at the top, taking you into the notepad feature. Today’s date and time is already inserted for you, as is the quote/warm-up or prompt, and you have a keyboard ready to go.
Once saved the Write (notepad) option will show you a number icon on top – how many writing notes you have saved. Going into this Write section shows a list of your saved notes. You can access these to edit, delete or send on.
Within each of the four areas, there is access to the settings for the app (the normal cog wheel). The List View for Cards on/off works for the front page of the area you have chosen (Quotes/Prompts or Warm-Ups). If off, you go directly into the first card (or starred card if you’ve favorited one). You can also choose a transition style when flipping through the cards manually.
The warm-ups offer a countdown timer also – the time of this can be chosen in settings and played as a countdown on the warm-up card.
For the Writing notepad, you can choose from a few fonts, and font sizes – the last handy for someone with my eyesight.
And now the answer you may have been waiting for – with all that inspiration, and after your own coffee has gone cold, can you get your writing out of the app?
Of course you can – from the writing notepad you have a delete option, and an export option. Export offers Print, Post to Facebook and Email. The email worked well – you can send all those quotes to yourself, or into your Evernote Quotes Collection (just me?).
Regarding the Facebook Post, this worked fine on my iPhone, but didn’t on my iPAD. Cory and his developer will look into that. But the screenshot to the left shows my dismal attempt at one prompt, made public for all to see and laugh at on Facebook.
In App Purchases
The Just Write App offers in-app purchases which will make quote collectors happy. For $0.99 you can purchase an extra 45 quotes in the three categories, or go for the bundle of all 3 at $1.99.
Additional packs of 60 each Warm-Ups are available at similar pricing. Additional packs of 30-90 prompts are also available.
Or there is a mega pack called “Everything for Life Pack” at $6.49 offering lifetime access to all packs across Just Write – future releases included.
More Information and Purchases
- The JustWrite App website.
- Purchase and Download (iTunes Apps Store)
- Cory Renzella can be contacted: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @justwriteiosapp
This post is part of the Tech for Writers series. Signup for the new Tech for Writers newsletter to get free content, surveys and polls. The first campaign is to help me complete the writing of the ebook guide, Evernote for Writers.