Word and Ulysses

Like many people, I’ve been tied to Microsoft Word for decades. In the past I tried various alternatives but none worked well enough. Word is comprehensive, robust (though for many years it wasn’t, I used to save documents often to avoid losing them) and quite easy to use. But now I work across hardware enemies – a Windows desktop and Apple phone/tablet – and Word began to irritate me. Syncing with Microsoft’s OneDrive was so, so slow, and the iPad version of Word was okay but only just okay.

Ali Dawes introduced me to Ulysses. What a revelation! I’ve now switched to doing all my drafting on the iPad (and occasionally the iPhone!), eventually porting my words back onto the desktop’s Word (a bit clunky but okay). What do I like about Ulysses?

  • It’s a typing program with a really clean interface that encourages wordsmithing. (It has many more features, such a markup language, which I’m slowly absorbing.)
  • It syncs, using iCloud, really fast and seamlessly.
  • The way Ulysses organises folders and documents (they’re called sheets) is very logical yet flexible.
  • Everything about it is modern, cool and useful.

That first feature, the way it encourages me to write just like a pen does, is the one that sways me. I can’t recommend Ulysses highly enough.

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