ZEN editors for distraction free writing

If you are a frequent writer or programmer, a distraction free writing environment can electrify your productivity. Jester Raiin mailed some good online editors which support this and I spiced it up with some more I know of. Here’s the final collection of online and local apps those provide a distraction free writing environment.

  • PenZen
    Takes a minimalist approach. The only option provided are to save the text to Pen.io or download as PDF.
  • Writebox
    Comes as a browser plugin as well as an online service.
  • PyRoom
    Text editor written in Python.
  • Notepad.cc
    My personal favourite to access information from anywhere.
  • Writer
    Awesome interface. Might make you think of yourself as Neo in The Matrix. Plenty of useful tools – export, download, convert to PDF, print, social network integration and editor customization.
  • Quabel
    Lots of editor customization options. Exporting options are supported in a free account.
  • FocusWriter
    Another fantastic desktop app for Linux, Windows, Mac. Offers export options, timers and alarms, goals, customizable themes (from fonts to background), focused text, sound effects, spell checks, sessions, multiple documents, portable version. Great for programming as it supports tabs too. Available in Saucy default repositories.
  • WriteMonkey
    Windows only but couldn’t help adding it. Highly popular because of its minimal footprint, aesthetic look and feel, JS plugin support, Markup support, CSS templates, progress bar, timed writing, bookmarks, jumps and many other interesting features to come in such a small size.
  • Calmly Writer
  • TextRoom
  • Write Space
  • vim
    There’s no better programmer’s editor than vi. To emulate a distraction free environment with vi fire a terminal and press F11 to make it fullscreen. Open vi and write to your heart’s content.
  • WordPress Editor
    Added this because I use it a lot to write all these articles for you ;). While writing a new post press Alt+Shift+W and then F11 (to make the browser fullscreen) and enter the complete distraction free mode.

Writebox: in-browser text editor

writeboxFrequently we need a simple text editor without too many bells and whistles to take quick notes. I use notepad.cc most of the time. Today I found another similar editor which works as an extension to Google Chrome – Writebox. The objective remains the same but it has more customization options.

Features include:

  • Ability to sync to Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • Distraction free writing environment.
  • Some useful keyboard shortcuts (still experimental).
  • Can open text files from the local machine and download as plain text or html.
  • Minimal yet smart look and feel.
  • Change colours, fonts or even use fonts of your choice.
  • Change pixel width of the writing area.
  • And with this tweak, you can always access it from the dash so that you do not have to have a separate text editor installed.

Webpage: Writebox

notepad.cc: quick and permanent notes on the cloud

notepadMany a time it happens that you need to take quick notes or save some links that you will access shortly, from another system. If the data is not very sensitive there is a quick way of taking notes and accessing them from anywhere – notepad.cc. You can password protect the note as well. By default this sites generates a random URL for you at which your notes will be saved. For example, I created this new note for a demonstration. But the power of this cloud-based application lies elsewhere, it allows you to create your own note URLs if it is still available! So use something that you can remember easily, e.g., http://notepad.cc/bookitnow (it is available right now ;))! If you are like me and still afraid of forgetting the link add it as a bookmark in your browser or mail it to yourself to use the same link as long as you like. You can share your password protected note with anyone using the share button and it will still be safe as sharing only provides read-only access.

Similar service:

Webpage: notepad.cc