32 iPad Apps That Writers Just Love

32 iPad APP's writers love

Today’s writers benefit from an incredible assortment of digital tools from which they can draw inspiration and productivity. Although some writers prefer to stick to old-fashioned pen and paper or even typewriters, there’s a vast population of others that are happy to take advantage of all the new tools out there. Some of the brightest of these tools can be found on the Apple iPad, and we’ve highlighted 32 of them here. Whether you’re looking for a place to scribble ideas, organize plotlines, or just find your zen before sitting down to write, these apps have got you covered.

  1. Adobe Ideas

    Keep this app handy for moments of inspiration. You can scribble notes, write on images, and create sketches to make your vision come to life.

  2. Manuscript

    This app will walk you through the steps of writing to create a publication-ready document. You’ll flesh out your pitch synopsis, chapter outlines, and finally, the content. The app also offers the option to create storyboards, organize your blog, track page and word count, and more.

  3. Clockwork Notebook

    This super simple doodling app is great for typing notes, doodles, and more, with stickers and even an option to paste photos from your photo library. Notes can be exported as PDFs.

  4. MaxJournal

    Write a daily diary, write down notes, and create outlines with this iPad journaling app. You can attach tags for easy organization, as well as attach a few photos. Then, bring it all together on your computer by exporting entries as a PDF, text, or email.

  5. Chapters

    In this app, you can simply organize your chapters, journal entries, notes, and more. Chapters allows you to search, autosave, and even protect private notebooks with a passcode.

  6. Pages

    Although this app comes with a high price tag, writers say it’s worth every penny for all of its useful features. You’ll find formatting options, printing support, and the ability to save your document in a number of different formats.

  7. iZen Garden

    Go to your happy place and allow inspiration to find you with this tabletop zen garden for the iPad.

  8. My Writing Spot

    For a distraction-free writing environment, this app can’t be beat. But this app isn’t bare bones: it offers word count, password protection, dictionary lookup, spellcheck, and more.

  9. PrintCentral

    Get your notes and writing off your iPad and physically into your hands with this app. Find the best printer, and print via Wi-Fi, 3G, or even EDGE.

  10. Clean Writer

    Created for writing minimalists, Clean Writer has a zen interface with precious few features to distract you from the task at hand.

  11. Kindle

    Although this app is not for writing, reading is an important task for any writer. Find free classics, download new favorites, and sync it all up with this app.

  12. Dragon Dictation

    If inspiration strikes, but you can’t stop to type it all out, this dictation app will come in extremely handy. Turn your words into text lightning fast, and you’ll be amazed by its accuracy.

  13. Due

    Use this timer app to encourage short bursts of intense writing and get your book written in no time.

  14. Writers App

    Get your ideas out and organized with the help of this app. You can use it to collect your plot, chapters, characters, and more, all in one handy spot.

  15. GoodReader

    This app is perfect for annotating PDF documents on your iPad. Highlight, comment, and make notes all over to get your thoughts in order.

  16. QuickVoice Recorder

    If you need a quick fix for getting your ideas down in spoken word, this app will do it for you. Record audio clips, email them to yourself, and use them to remember all of your great ideas and inspirations.

  17. Chronicle

    Find a home for your stories, life events, and ideas in this journal. The app offers password protection, cloud backups, and event the option to export your journal as a website.

  18. miTypewriter

    If you’re longing for the old days of typewriters, this app can help you reminisce. It’s simply an easy way to use a typewriter interface for writing on the iPad.

  19. iA Writer

    This super simple text writer can help you get your ideas out onto paper with minimal distractions and plenty of ease of use.

  20. Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus

    This app combines the power of a dictionary and thesaurus, both available offline any time you need help finding the right words.

  21. Whiteboard HD

    Capture your brainstorming sessions in style with this app. You can write notes, sketch charts, and even make simple freeform drawings.

  22. Grammar App HD

    Find tips, rules, and other great resources for cleaning up your grammar right on the iPad with this app.

  23. Colorful Aquarium

    Find relaxation and entertainment in this colorful aquarium. You don’t even have to clean it!

  24. Wikihood

    For doing quick research on settings, Wikihood is a great option. The app will show you all of the Wikipedia entries for any given area, sharing the history, politics, and culture that can be reflected in your work.

  25. Dropbox

    Make your novel available to you anytime, anywhere by putting it on Dropbox. Access your photos, documents, and notes easily with this app that saves them all automatically to all of your devices.

  26. Notepiler 9

    Using N9, you can capture media-rich notes, with an easy to find visual catalog. Record audio notes, annotate photos, map points of interest, and more, all in one app.

  27. Todo for iPad

    Stay on top of your to-do list with this app, which keeps your tasks up to date and synched between all of your devices. You can even take advantage of the app’s GPS capability to get reminders based on where you are.

  28. Index Card

    TV writers love this app for thinking through and organizing scripts. It has an easy to use, attractive interface that makes writing more fun.

  29. Fancy Pages

    Using this app, you can create graphics-rich documents including presentations or even a children’s book.

  30. Infinote Pinboard

    Similar to Index Card, Infinote Pinboard allow you to create note cards to pin to your message board. You can share them, print them, and order them by date, color, or even deadline.

  31. Evernote

    Evernote is a super capable writing app that pretty much goes everywhere. You can update notes and documents on your iPad, then have them synched up to work on your iPhone, computer, and more.

  32. SimpleNote

    A lot like Evernote, SimpleNote syncs your notes online for access anywhere. This app also allows you to go back and recycle pieces of text from previous drafts, and shows the word count of your document.

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12 replies
  1. Barbara L.
    Barbara L. says:


    I look on the internet and found Scrivener. I wanted a “project manager” that would hold my scenes, make it quick to access them, rearrange them, and keep my research files handy. I can catalogue them according to content, make collections. It supports the way I work and think.

  2. Mary Ellen Hughes
    Mary Ellen Hughes says:

    Question about Dropbox: can you upload text to Dropbox from iPad? I’ve been writing in Pages ( with a Bluetooth keyboard) but haven’t discovered how to transfer that directly to Dropbox. Instead, I email my text to my desktop. Seems like iPad only let’s me upload photos directly.

  3. Tammy Cravit
    Tammy Cravit says:

    Great list – thanks, Lee! I’ve tagged a couple of these to download later.

    To the list (at least for the Mac geeks) I’d add Storyist (www.storyist.com) which is my go-to writing software at the moment. I can write on my Mac or iPad and the files sync, plus Storyist has support for reordering scenes and some of the other stuff Manuscript does. BUt the combination works very well for me.

  4. Carol Davis Luce
    Carol Davis Luce says:

    Thanks Lee! I downloaded Dragon and Grammar and will snag a few more. FYI, the KINDLE app is not just for reading books. You can now load manuscripts (docs)on the Docs page. Your manuscript will read like a published book. This is great for formatting and/or copy editing your WIP if you’re away from your computer.

  5. Jena
    Jena says:

    I second the vote for SimpleNote — I use it for on-the-fly notes & ideas, URLs, lists, you name it. You can tag notes into categories (research, ideas, blog posts), pin the most important ones to the top (library card number, groceries…), and search for a word or phrase (search for “fingerprint”).

    Until I get a bluetooth keyboard, I can’t see myself doing any serious writing on my iPad – it’s already driving me crazy keeping track of where the apostrophe or question mark or quotation mark key is on my laptop, phone, and iPad!

    When I do get a keyboard, however, I’m hoping to make use of OnLive Desktop, which lets you view, edit, and create documents online in Word (and Excel and Powerpoint) and save to the cloud. The only con I can see so far is that you have to sign up for an OnLive account, which means they’ll send you emails about playing games online (until you unsubscribe).

    I used to use Kobo for reading, but since they added all the Facebook junk to the app, it’s useless. I’ve switched to iBooks. I use the Mac desktop app Calibre to convert other e-book formats (Kindle is .mobi) to .epub, and I’m good to go.

    Dropbox is another app I can’t live without. Did you know that if you plug your camera’s memory card (or iPad, or iPhone) into the computer, Dropbox will automatically upload your photos and videos and give you extra space — up to 4.5GB. You have to update to the latest version of Dropbox. Even if you delete the photos immediately, you keep the free space.

  6. Amy
    Amy says:

    One other thing, when I clicked on a couple of the apps, Adobe Ideas and Infinote Pinboard, I was informed that those apps were not available in the U.S. iTunes/Apps store.

    I did not go through every app (although they ALL look good). Just a heads up.

  7. Amy
    Amy says:

    Thanks for the great list, I will be checking them out. Another great app for marking up PDF’s, is iAnotatePDF. I use it to grade my college student’s paper.

    I bought an iPad two years ago and I love it.

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